Showing posts with label Religion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Religion. Show all posts

Monday, October 13, 2008

Temple Dinner @ Charn Mao Hern Kew Huang Keng (葱茅园九龙皇诚敬会)

12 October 2008

Charn Mao Hern Kew Huang Keng (葱茅园九龙皇宫) hosted a temple dinner and invited Eunos CC, so I tagged along and attended this wonderful dinner.

Lanterns covered the ceilings at the temple, illuminating the temple and giving it a grand look.

The emcee for the event is Lin Ruping (林如苹), a veteran Getai host as well as a TV actress. Singers presented their vocal beauty before the auction was held.

A large portion of the auction items were wine. There were 2 special items - a lion dance figurine and a dragon dance figurine. The money generated from the auction for these two items will be used to fund the respective groups for their coming competition. The price went to more than S$3,000. I felt puzzled when a red packet, containing lottery tickets, had its auction price upped above $1k!

After the auction, Ah Nan (阿南), Wang Lei (王雷) and Lin Ruping dominated the stage with their humorous performance and songs. They derived some jokes out of the death of Lin Li (林利) in a way that generated cheers and applause. Managed to record a video through my mobile phone, a song they sung together with another Malaysian singer.



The last performer was a very young girl who sang a song from the movie "Money no Enough 2", which I have yet found out the title. Nice rendition of the song though.

Earlier in the day, saw a funny scene. This photographer took a long time to get his desired shot of the CCTV camera. The battle of the lenses:

Friday, August 01, 2008

Burning Joss Sticks can cause Cancer

I was alarmed when I read the papers today. At one corner of the page of The Straits Times was this article stating Burning joss sticks can cause cancer. In disbelief, I searched online for more information and came across this page at http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/jul/30/health ...

... devotees across Asia could be taking their life into their hands every time they go to a temple to pray...

...as deadly as traffic fumes and cigarette smoke...

...risk of leukaemia, lung, blood and bladder cancers

One joss stick creates the same amount of cancer-causing chemicals at one cigarette.

"It's not necessary as part of the ritual for these traditional joss sticks to burn down," he (Dr Manoon) said. "By putting them out after a minute or so the air pollution would be cut by 30 to 40 times."
I can't believe I had been a smoker since I was born!

However, I do not believe every Buddhist, Taoist and Hindus would immediately abolish their own traditions of burning joss sticks during religious prayers. Therefore I have come up with some pragmatic solutions to the health hazard caused by incense.

Solution 1 : Open Windows to ensure proper air flow [Duh...]

Allow the smoke to escape out of the house when burning joss sticks indoor, so as to reduce the amount that you have to breathe in.

Solution 2 : Wear a N95 Mask or Chemical Protection Mask

Simple! Just don a mask to prevent the inhalation of toxic substances while carrying on the practice.

Solution 3 : Learn from SAF - SIMULATE

If we can simulate rifle shooting with "Bang! Bang! Bang", we could also use simulation on joss sticks. Instead of lighting them, we could just light it up "virtually/imaginarily". This way your joss sticks won't release any gas at all.

Solution 4 : Install the Urn outside your house

Just like in temples, most of the time the urn is situated outside.

Solution 5 : Buy premium grade Incense

I had come across some joss sticks that don't release toxins. They cost much higher but they are made of premium grade of wood.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Religious Touting in Singapore

23 June 2008

On the way back home, I took a cab. The ride was smooth and comfortable until I reached my place. After paying for ride, the taxi driver handed me a pamphlet.

Darn! Without looking at the pamphlet, I already knew it could only be a religious one. And indeed it was. It was an article distributed by The Glory Presbyterian Church for the Singapore Every Home Crusade Co. Ltd.

Singapore is a secular state. It is multiracial and multireligious. Everyone has his or her own freedom and space to practise religion. Nevertheless, I have had encountered more than a handful of religious touting incidents. I shall attempt to recall some interesting ones:

  • On one occasion, a taxi driver started a religious preaching once I boarded his taxi. He started to criticise other religions and pointed that his religion was the only true religion. My family and I were utterly annoyed but kept silent as he rattled on.
  • When I was younger, I frequently bumped into an auntie who would shove a religious pamphlet to me and then refused to let me go away.
  • Even on my first day in school at NUS, I encountered a surveyor who asked questions leading to religion and then introduced himself as a member of a religious society of the campus. Throughout the first few weeks of school, he kept calling to engage me with activities organised by the society.
  • In the train, I encountered some teenagers who were moving around the region to share about their religion. They picked up a conversation with me and then handed me pamphlets and postcards of their organisation.
  • I ever heard from a friend that there was someone at his door, telling him that he had a demon in his house when that person saw his alter.
In my view, it matters not which religion is being touted. What matters is the act of touting. I guess no one really enjoys being commercially touted, being shoved a facial treatment advert and getting your face scrutinised and commented by the sales personnels. Religious touting is also not enjoyable. Every religious buildings can have its own banners and posters spreading its message to the public, but no more than that.

The choice of religion should rest upon the hands of the individual. All religions are for the good of mankind. For world peace to be even a least bit realistic, everyone has to commit their part to accomodate religious differences...

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Returning the Blessing by Goddess Guan Yin

Went to the the Kwan Im Thong Temple at Bugis in the morning to return the blessing by Goddess Guan Yin.

My Aunt had asked for the Goddess to bless me for my two years of National Service. As it drew near the end of the year, Aunt got me to return the blessings.

The rain was heavy for the whole day. Luckily the temple wasn't that crowded.

We bought 5 apples, 5 oranges and 1 Fa Kuay (Prosperous Cake) to offer for prayer. The offerings were placed on a tray borrowed from the temple and then placed at the table in front of the altar.

Then I said my prayers. After a while, I collected the offerings and donated some money to the temple.

Learnt a new ritual.