My Grandmother Experience

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“Do remember to bow to the Kitchen God three times before leaving for the airport; the Bodhisattva will bless you along your way.” I could not remember how many times my grandma had said that to me. The first time she asked me to bow to the Kitchen God, I highlighted the absurdity of how a god originated from Chinese mythology would have to communicate with a character in Buddhism and remarked that it was probably all superstition. I immediately regretted my quip: as was almost always the case when I (or anyone) openly disagreed with my grandma, we had a lengthy quarrel over beliefs and motives that ended with me conceding that my grandma was right even though I did not believe so. From the second time on, I had been replying yes grudgingly.
The grudge faded away after my grandma told me about her youth. The daughter of a hard-working and thrifty peasant, my grandma lived a peaceful life until her father and eldest brother died when she was ten. She had no money to continue school, and her marriage with my grandfather was strongly opposed by my grandfather’s eminent family of intellectuals due to her humble upbringing, not to mention that she gave birth to three girls and not a single boy at a time when a mother’s status was determined almost entirely by her son(s). I started to see how my grandma had become stubborn and extremely assertive just to survive and advocate for herself and her family against all odds. Since then, every time I disagreed with my grandma, instead
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