Saturday, October 17, 2015

Nine Emperors God

Ceremonial boat sets record…
People love to set records – longest, biggest, tallest and other what-have-you superlatives. How about “biggest lie” or “loudest fart”? I am pretty sure many of the political leaders in our beloved country would win these records hands-down. And the runners-up will not be far behind.
And what about silliest, dumbest, craziest, stupidest? Surely Guinness can also offer some form of records to make some of the fame seekers happy. 
When The Star reported a couple days ago that the devotees of the Nine Emperors God in a town in Kedah had built a ceremonial boat and they were touting it to be the largest in Malaysia, the first thought that came to my mind is that how could they do this to their great deity! 
Wouldn't the Nine Emperors God feel insulted? 

It is a junk, no matter how big the boat is! 

China already has an aircraft carrier; it is believed to be building more. Why are these people still building a junk for the Nine Emperors God. Surely, the great deity doesn't want, or indeed need, to be propelled by monsoonal winds to go places! The great deity certainly deserves a flag ship hat befits his status. If it is not an aircraft carrier, than it has to be at least a cruiser!

Each time I turned up to join my siblings to pay respect to our forebears’ graves during Qin-ming or All Souls Day, I could see people burning paper houses, cars, credit cards, the latest smart phones and even passports. How filial these people are! 

Hopefully, traffic jams in the netherworld are not as bad as ours here. And I just wonder whether if it is wise for all these filial souls to give their long departed loved ones credit cards. Debt is the last thing you want them to incur in the other world - unless, of course, you burn sufficient paper money each month to take of it. With the amount of paper gold and silver and "Hell" money you see burnt in every of these occasions, inflation there must be pretty bad. And why burn "Hell" money, when your loved ones may actually be in nirvana, or heaven, or paradise now?. 

Many of these practices are said to be the legacy of Daoism (or Taoism). I do read Lao-tze and his teachings from time to time. I always think he is the greatest philosopher China has ever produced. But in nowhere did I see Lao-tze propagate these superstitions.

Maybe I am kurang ajar - just how my late father thought I always had been when I was young! And still am!

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