Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Feast for the hungry

In chinese tradition, this month is the 'hungry ghost festival'. Chinese believes that the gate of hell will be opened on 14h July(Chinese Calendar) & unleash multitude of hungry ghost into our world. It is sort of like a holiday for the ghosts to roam freely this time of the year. In this event, usually we'll be advised not to stay out late. Mothers will keep their children off the street at night. Minimize any long travel. Postpone your annual family trip. Avoid having your wedding this month. Halt any activities that might bring you to a direct confrontation with the ghost roaming around. What do we do with so many ghost around? Taoism believe that throwing a feast & chanting will pacify them.

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There's always some eerie & mythical atmosphere culminating the air this time of the year. Despite that I've brought up by my parents who don't follow this tradition, I still hear many scary ghost story being spread regarding this event. Personally I don't believe in ghost due to my spiritual belief in Christianity. But still, there was occasion that my mind start playing tricks on me by bringing back some ghost story I have heard before, having flash back of some scenes of ghost movies I watched before. When this happen, I admit that the thought of it sometime does interrupt my peace of mind a little.

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Do you see all the " Ho Heng Tais (好兄弟)" on the seats. They are the VIP there.

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Seriously? Cab & bus? With drivers? With registration number?

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As I was taking these pictures, I still have some eerie feeling not sure will I be offending these spiritual entity. Then I remember reading from news about famine in Somalia. Seeing hundred of pictures of people & children suffering from lack of food in this African country. Reading sad story how this famine kill thousands of babies & children. How the people in the famine affected area would go to neighboring country to seek help & refuge. My heart was sadden hearing how the mother have to leave her child behind to seek help or abandon the the dead baby to continue the journey. People there died primary due to starvation, no food, no water. Talk about scary story, the fear of these hungry children & adult faced, is that the aid from UN may not reach them before they die. On the contrary, here in KL, most chinese including myself are feeling a little fearful of the hungry ghost? The ghost are hungry? throw them a feast. They might be bored? Give them entertainments. What a joke! Who are the real desperate hungry here?



If you happen to walk alone or drive alone this week late at night. And your mind flash back some ghost movie scenes to interrupt your peace of mind, try this. Try think about the real needy & hungry people in Somalia. Try think about your own child. Try think about your love ones. If a kidnapper trying to kidnap your child, will you get cold feet or you will fight him with your life? If robber trying to hurt your wife, will you run away or stand your ground? I'm not sure about you. When I think of these, ghost seems to be the last thing I need to worry about or to be scared of.

2 comments:

CHUN CHUNG said...

Nice series of photos. I especially like image#4. The empty chairs with the slight glow from the lens gives a subtle eeriness to the image. I keep going back to the image to see if I can spot any 'heng tai' in it :)

XuenPhotoz said...

Thanks ChunChung, Wanted to photograph the chinese opera casts doing make up but was told 'no pictures please'. image #4 is my favourite too.