9 December 2012
HONOLULU, Hawaii -- Maya Soetoro-Ng had a test of inner-peace this weekend as her half-brother, President of the United States Barack Obama, completely forgot to call and wish her a happy Bodhi Day, a Buddhist holiday marking the day Buddha became Buddha. The ever multicultural president did, however, publicly release a statement commemorating the first night of the Jewish holiday Hanukkah yesterday afternoon:
|This Hanukkah season we remember the powerful story of the Maccabees who rose up to liberate their people from oppression. Upon discovering the desecration of their Temple, the believers found only enough oil to light the lamp for one night. And yet it lasted for eight.
Hanukkah is a time to celebrate the faith and customs of the Jewish people, but it is also an opportunity for people of all faiths to recognize the common aspirations we share. This holiday season, let us give thanks for the blessings we enjoy, and remain mindful of those who are suffering. And let us reaffirm our commitment to building a better, more complete world for all.
Soetoro-Ng, who watched it on MSNBC, said, "I didn't expect him to give any token mention of the anniversary of when Siddhartha Gautauma reached enlightenment under the Bo-Tree, but I figured that last line about other faiths may have been a wink. Sadly, he never called last night. Just like last year, and the year before that. He never calls. You'd think after rehashing that same damn Hanukkah speech for the third time, he might've remember what day it was."
She then closed her eyes and started breathing slowly to lower her blood-pressure, mumbling, "I am at peace.. I am at peace.." After a minute of calming down, she said, "I realize he's the leader of the most powerful nation on Earth, but, seriously, how busy can he be that he can't so much as call, text, or, Jesus, poke me on Facebook?!"
Maya Soetoro-Ng, who grew up with older brother Barry in poverty-stricken Indonesia, described how the holiday season was always an underwhelming time. "My father was a Muslim and our mother was a pretty nonreligious agnostic, so December festivities weren't really much of a "thing" to us. Still, mom always managed to buy Barry and me new pairs of shoes for Christmas. We were the most luxurious kids at school!"
In the present day, Maya is married to a Chinese man from Canada and is a self-proclaimed "philosophical Buddhist", while her now-famous brother is a practicing Christian, despite what a polled 85% of Republicans and your grandmother believe.
"I wish him a merry Christmas every year when he visits, and he always awkwardly responds, 'And, uhhh.......... you! Too!", which I think is so cute. Yet he never, ever acknowledges any of my religious holidays! He says he forgets. Maybe I'll forget to give him a present this year. No, better yet, I'm buying him a frickin' marked calendar! Get the hint, Mr. President?"
Meanwhile, Obama's half-brother in Kenya, George Obama, gave his, ahem, two cents on the situation. "Consider yourself lucky. He doesn't even so much as send me a holiday card with a dollar in it. Do Americans think we don't know it's Christmas time?"
- Lewis Richmond "Celebrating Bodhi Day for the 21st Century". The Huffington Post, December 8, 2012
- Myles Tanzer "“Chag Sameach:” Barack Obama Plagiarized his Hanukkah Statement from Previous Holiday Greetings". Gawker, December 8, 2012