You misread my comment.
Sorry about that.
The thing is i dont think we have the buddhist equivalent of the easter and xmas christian here in the west, the way they might in the east.
Nibbida wrote:This is what Thanissaro Bhikkhu had to say along these lines: "Several years ago, when Ajaan Suwat was teaching a retreat at IMS, I was his interpreter. After the second or third day of the retreat he turned to me and said, "I notice that when these people meditate they're awfully grim." You'd look out across the room and all the people were sitting there very seriously, their faces tense, their eyes closed tight. It was almost as if they had Nirvana or Bust written across their foreheads."
Yeah, this is kinda what i was referring to... but it's actually a "good" thing in many ways, and Asian culture is not so different, actually. It's just that what i've observed is there tends to be much more of a priority placed on education and career then on spiritual freedom and liberation.
When ego and social comparisons dominate this perfectionism and drive for achievement can have negative consequences- many people here in Japan judge themselves and one another by education level, test scores, who's school is best, which company is best, etc.
I've just watched this first hand in our home, with my wife (who is Japanese) and our eldest son who had to take high school entrance exams a few months ago. It's been hell, for her, for him...