I didn’t know Hindus were buried. Like, they’re always cremated, right?
And then we stumbled on our local Hindu graveyard. And realized how wrong we were.
The Bangalore architect laughed at me when I asked him about it later.
“That’s the great white myth,” he said. “You Westerners still like to romanticize us Indians like the colonialists. But it’s not true. These days, most of us Hindus prefer to be buried.” Continue reading “Hindus Are Buried…?!”
Most people visit Ananda Phaya to see the massive gold Buddha. I’m not surprised: it’s remarkable.
But hidden in a side-alcove, propped up in the ceiling, I couldn’t help noticing a series of paintings. Gloriously gore-filled paintings of demons wreaking havoc on mortals: boulders rolling over bloody victims, body parts dangling from coatracks, quartered corpses splayed out for crows, body part littering slabs of tile.
It’s Good Friday, and so why not mention this delightful little boat I pass every day? It gives passage to Baby Jesus and Mama Mary, who endlessly sail the open seas of Bangalore’s Shanthinagar district.
Of course, by “open seas” I mean a dirty, dusty, honking, traffic jam. And by “sail,” I mean sits on top of a little concrete chapel.
But what I love is how India can turn a crummy concrete chapel into something so endlessly endearing.
My only question is: why a boat? I guess only the founders of St. Mary’s Chapel Shanthinagar know why…
AsiaObscura friend Dawn Xiana Moon (dawnxianamoon.com) sent over a pile more pix from the absolutely incredible statues and terrifying dioramas at Tiger Balm Park aka Har Paw Villa. See our original story here, or click on her pix below for full-sized versions….
Singapore is bland. It’s a high-priced row of shopping malls and fine eateries, with a few hawker markets thrown in. “It’s soooooo boring,” warned my hairdresser Miss P.
But then you stumble on something like this. The Tiger Balm Gardens: The most disturbing theme park of all time.
There’s sex, violence, bear-maulings and scabies. Statues of slutty immoral crotch-grabbing wenches, and creepy animals dressed as humans. Down a dark musty cave, a terrifying tableaux displays every vengeance that awaits you in the hell you’ll surely meet. Continue reading “The Creepiest Amusement Park of All Time?”
Okay, okay, I’ve been dwelling on the dark side of Taoism for too long. Sure, 19 Incredible Taoist Gods was an awesome series of sweet court officer pix, and Terrible Moments from a Taoist Temple was a collection of terrifying dioramas, but what about the lighter, cuter side of the religion? Is there one? OF COURSE!
With Melaka being a culture mix of Indian, Malay, Chinese, Dutch and Portuguese, amongst others, local customs are very much honored and preserved. Buddhists, keeping up with modern times, offer their ancestors the very best in the afterlife. Apart from the expected cash to spend and incense to purify and keep them from harm, the modern dead are blessed with all of life’s daily amenities and enjoyments including cigarettes, a complete wardrobe, soda pop and beer, as well as lingerie and extra set of dentures, and the latest iPhone!
“I’m surprised you already have the iPhone4 here!”
“We have everything!”
“You really do!”
“Here, look at this!” the shopkeeper’s wife interjected and thrust into view a life-sized paper iPad (with faux leather case!)
Everything here is made of paper to be burned. It’ll end up in heaven with your ancestors, that way. The washing machine, the clothes, the iPhone, the old man. Okay, not the old man. He’s real.
When you’re in a country that doesn’t officially celebrate Easter, like China, sometimes you get nervous. Will the Easter Bunny get his visa yanked at the last-minute? Are you sure those chocolate eggs are melamine-free? Is the holiday even legal here?
Well, we had those same concerns too, but finally decided China’s gonna love Easter!
Good Friday First, start your Easter right, with a large order of “Holy Fries” for Good Friday. Weren’t chips Jesus’ favorite snack? Even if they weren’t, they’ll go great with your Friday fish.