Temples, Scissors and Tradition

It would be easy, as we have done with indigenous peoples in Canada, to attempt to eradicate  history with imperialist arrogance. However embedded in the streets surrounding the Thien Hau Temple is a way-of-life.  There might be a lesson in the images, the people, the bareness.   The incense burning in the temple coupled with the prayers of the faithful are a reminder of a tradition lost on the me generation.  The double doorway access to the inner temple court is an amalgamation of oral tradition.  The figures huddled over the doorway an invitation to everyone.

The detail on the gate arches are more than invitation, they are also a gathering of community.  A memory of those who have gone before.  The incense amalgamated with prayers rises beyond the open ceiling.  Devotion is more than action.  Possibly a way of life.

In a neighbourhood of fading skills this scissor sharpening man learned something a few decades ago and still hones an edge on any pair of scissors.  In our western disposable society sharpening scissors has been replaced by replacement.

Intergenerational care is demonstrated as a grandmother wheels her grandson along the roadway.  She ignores the horns, the cars, the motorbikes and quietly pushes her grandchild along the way.

Basics are available everywhere.  No over cooking, over preparation or processing.  Life in the shadow of the temple is simple.  Six kilometres from here the tourist sites flash international brand names.  They fly flags of affluence.


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