Interesting perspective on cultural differences

“But only that morning, Lama Tashi had told us about his first encounter with a watch in Tibet. He’d never seen one before when a friend came by with a wristwatch he’d just bought from a trader. “It’s wonderful,” the friend said. “You wind it up and it will tell you exactly when you are going to die. So you can prepare.”

“Maybe good reminder, he said he’d thought at the time, to keep death strapped to your wrist. Later, when the same friend told him of a small box that let you hear the voices of people two valleys away, he didn’t believe him. When someone else added that you could get a box like that, but bigger, that had pictures as well, Lama Tashi felt sorry that anyone would tell that sort of lie to a lama. You find the same sort of outraged disbelief–well founded in cultural ignorance–when Westerners hear about reincarnation for the first time.”

– Kimberley Snow, In Buddha’s Kitchen, p. 85.

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