Category Archives: Belief

Lei Maker

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Buddha’s Hand

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When this fruit caught my attention, I imagined how it tastes like. So I resolved to eat some before leaving Hanoi. But when I asked a local what kind of fruit is this, she answered phat tu or Buddha’s hands, and it’s not for eating but as an altar offering. Now I wonder why something deemed to be not edible is being offered along with edibles and beers.

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Phat tu, beers, and others as an offering at the Temple of Literature

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More beers for Confucius

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Yellow phat tu

Deity Clothed in Bibs

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Jizos at Naritasan Shinshoji Temple

Jizo is (also) a protector of children and its statues are usually carved from stone. Seeing the bibs on the Jizos presumably put on by parents gave me some sense of spirituality and connectedness to the realm of human life driven by beliefs and unaffected by science and technology.

Airborne Wishes

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Writing wishes on their lantern

There is one district in the outskirts of Taipei named Pingxi where tourists flock mainly to see and experience the flying lanterns on a railroad track.

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Readying the hot air lantern by putting fire on bunch of papers inside

To do the lantern experience, I’ve observed that first, you choose and buy a lantern from one of the many vendors in there, then write anything that you (and your companions if lantern sharing) hope or wish for, afterwards stand on the railroad tracks (when there’s no passing train of course), it is there that fire will be lit on a bunch of papers inside to generate hot air. Just before releasing, smile at the camera (100% of those I’ve observed have their photographs taken, and they were all smiling, the lantern must be expensive, I suppose), lastly let go of thy wishes into the air. Goodbye. I wonder where all those lanterns end up.

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Couple smiling at the camera with their lantern on the railroad tracks

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Released lantern

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Assortment of lanterns

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Bye bye lantern

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Trio lantern sharing

Kibla

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Kibla sign inside the desk drawer in guest room of Intercontinental Hotel in Makati

It is praiseworthy for this particular hotel in Makati to provide kibla sign in its rooms. Truly lives up to its “international” standards when it comes to religious sensitivity. I noticed the sign when I opened the right side drawer of the desk, whereas the left side drawer holds the Holy Bible. Kibla or qibla is the direction facing Mecca, so in a predominantly Catholic country, kibla signs are rare unlike in the guest houses or hotels in Malaysia or Indonesia.

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Kibla sign (kiblat in Malay) on the ceiling of a guest house in Kota Bharu

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