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Culture Visit at Ang Mo Kio Temple

Hello guys, this is the first time that I've ever written an article about culture. As I am Chinese, I've decided to write about Taoism, a religion that is practiced by many Chinese people in Singapore. The biggest Taoism event is mainly held in the temple and during such an event, one gets to see a big crowd comprised of both young and old people. It is held on the birthday of a particular deity.

I brought along my Lomo LC-A+ (and loaded it with Kodak ED1600) with me to a temple which is located in Ang Mo Kio. Normally the temple will set up a big tent outside and you will get to see many different kinds of items which are use for offerings. (see photos below) There are joss sticks, sedans, robes (god mediums) etc.

As mentioned above, god medium, they are a group of people who are believed to be the chosen ones by the deities to be their “messengers”. So the event will start when the god mediums are possessed by the deities (see photo below) and there will be helpers around them to grab hold of them as during the possession, they will go into a trance and they will begin to shake uncontrollably. Upon full possession, the god medium will speak to the translator (as they will speak in a unique tone/language) on what to do etc.

Another activity which will be carried out is the God’s Sedan. Each sedan will have a statue of the deity or sometimes more than one being tied securely onto it. Two helpers will carry the sedan up and the moment it is carried up, it will swing and move around hardly without much control (see photos below). Yes I am referring to the sedan not the helpers, this is to show that the deity has come to the temple to show their existence.

Many devotees will attend the event to be blessed by the deities. This is an act of faith which many elderly folks in Singapore have been doing since they were young. So I hope this article will let more people come to know more of this particular culture. I also hope to see more of such articles from other lomographers from other countries.

written by bao_wei

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