Induism in HongKong – 1

“Yaathum oore yaavarum kelir” – This famous quote by the good old Tamil poet Kaniyan Poongunranar literally says this. “To us, all towns are one and all men are kith”

I always used to think this as a broad perspective of an old poet but little did I know I would witness something marvelous that proves his point that was as mighty as a blow. Wondering what am I coming to, here goes my observations on the recent travel experiences in Hong Kong where I visited Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin temple which is home to three religions namely Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism (yes! It’s of the famous philosopher Confucius) and Tin Hau temple at Yau Ma Tei. The surprising fact is that, pretty much every practice in those temples is very much alive in India.

Well! What else is the better phrase to capture this commanality, other than that of Kaniyan Poongunranar?! 🙂

Arasa Maram (Peepal tree)
This temple complex contains 3 huge Peepal trees. In India, even today we worship Peepal trees and even today people are forbidden (and don’t dare to) to cut even a branch of the Peepal tree. This tree is present in pretty much every temple complex (or every tree has its own temple??) and this tree in Tamil (Arasa Maram) literally means the “King of all trees!”.

Peepal Tree

Half Animal – Half Human Statues:
The form of worship also includes half animal, half human statues which is again a common practice in India. Needless to say, in India, we do the famous Nandi (half bull-half human), Narasimhar (half lion-half human), Varahi (half boar-half human), Pilayar (half elephant-half human) etc., Looking at the different combinations of these half animal-half human statues, the folk lore non-sensical tales kept vanishing from my mind and I kept thinking more on the possible realization of Xeno transplantation (cross between animals and humans).

Xeno Transplantation

Ancestor Worship:
Induism just follows nothing but ancestor worship. It just falls into 1 basic principle. Respect the elders and worship them when they are dead. All of Ammavasai (New moon day viratha), Kula deivam (Family God) is is in practice all over India. We keep thinking of the dead who were once dear and near to us and seek their blessings when they are long gone. We do keep offering the foods that they like and wanted to keep our relationship with them at peace.

Similarly, the below form of ancestor worship is still in practice in Hong Kong. The photos of the deceased are kept inside the temple complex and lamps are litten and their favourite foods are offered to them.

Ancestor Worship

PS: Many more to follow! 🙂