Monday, March 13, 2006


Today I went to my local Asian nail salon for my bi-weekly fills*. Whilst sitting there inhaling acrylic dust, I noticed the shrine again.

I am assuming my Korean(?) manicurists are Buddhist and that the assemblage on the floor near the sink - which consists of an elaborate statue and a bunch of bowls and flowers and stuff - is indeed a shrine of sorts. And, as in times before, I noticed that there was food laid out in front of the statue - offerings.

Today this particular Buddha received a cup of Starbucks coffee and a scone.

I don't know much about Buddhism, aside from what little I picked up in the Religion & Culture elective I took in grad school. So I Googled Buddhist offerings (and then scones... and then offerings+to+Buddha+scones) I learned that offerings to Buddha are known as "puja", and that they can sometimes be of food (although no sites specifically mentioned scones).

I would really like to know more about all of this, but I feel strange asking my Asian manicurists. I don't want them to think I'm stupider than they already do. Ever seen the Seinfeld episode where Elaine is paranoid that her Asian manicurists are making fun of her in a foreign language? Been there.

So I dunno. Perhaps it's hard to find milk-rice and lotus blossoms at the nearby ShopRite. And let's face it -- scones be some damn tasty puja.

* I am probably the most NON-high-maintenance woman on the planet, but I recently got the nails cause my own just will not grow. At all. So this is my one vain indulgence. Truly.

1 comment:

Loki said...

Fascinating... I wonder at the rationale for leaving history's greatest non-materialist material things!