As a practicing Hindu guy, raised in an orthodox household, I have mixed opinions on what religion is and how far it defines us. While I was raised in a large joint family (with lots of cousins, aunts, uncles and grand-uncles and grand-aunts with my grandfather as the patriarch) we were allowed to have our little reign of freedom within the orthodoxy. As long as we participated in the large rituals with the family, bent our heads before god (the statues and idols) and respected the traditions, the older people in the family didn't particularly mind or care that we, the younger children didn't know to read the holy scriptures or say the holy verses (In Sanskrit). My family moved to the US for 5 years, where we lot touch with most of the orthodoxy, though my parents made sure we knew a few holy verses, prayed for a minimum of 5 minutes everyday in the morning and celebrated all the major Hindu festivals. I lost touch with religion out of anger, against god for not helping me and helping my parents see reason when I was 17, after going through a lot. I stopped praying, grudgingly partook in festival rituals and hardly visited temples for years. Until I got back into praying, when it helped heal and helped me accept what I am, who I am. So I gave up on religion, but found it again. I still practice rituals, but on my own terms and my parents know and agree with it. They don't question what I pray for, what I ask god for and why. So, spiritually, I'm in a happy place.