A statuette of Lord Hanuman is among few items that US President Barack Obama always carries in his pocket and seeks inspiration from whenever he feels tired or discouraged.
President Obama disclosed this on a YouTube interview which the White House scheduled as a way to reach younger audiences as it promotes Obama’s final State of the Union address on Tuesday.
Asked to show off an item of personal significance during the interview with YouTube creator Nilsen yesterday, 54-year-old Obama pulled from his pockets a series of small totems, each of which he said reminded him “of all the different people I’ve met along the way.”
It included rosary beads given to him from Pope Francis, who he met at the White House this fall; a tiny Buddha statue procured upon him by a monk; a silver poker chip that was once the lucky charm of a bald, mustachioed biker in Iowa; a figurine of the Hindu monkey God Hanuman; and a Coptic cross from Ethiopia, where he visited in July, CNN reported.
“I carry these around all the time. I’m not that superstitious, so it’s not like I think I necessarily have to have them on me at all times,” Obama said.
But he said they do provide some reminders of the long path of his presidency.
“If I feel tired, or I feel discouraged sometimes, I can kind of reach into my pocket and say yeah, that’s something
I can overcome, because somebody gave me the privilege to work on these issues that are going to effect them,” he said.
Obama, whose father was a Kenyan and mother a white woman from Kansas, spent initial days of his life in Indonesia where Hinduism is a popular religion.