donderdag 10 september 2015

The Chinese Buddhist temple, Klenteng Ban Hing Kong of Manado

During the inter-religious trip we made through Manado, preceding the formal session of AICIS 2015, we also visited the  major Klenteng of the town, next to a big Chinese school. This building has a long history since the early 19th century. It was burnt down several times, latest on 14 March 1970. After Chinese script and Confucianism has been allowed again since the early 21st century it has been extended with two floors, containing several interesting chapels.

This temple is definitely a tridharma temple, with a cohabitation of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism, different from the pure Buddhist place of pilgrimae in my review of the book by Muhsinin Cholish below (Bejijong). Kwan Im (Quan Jing or other transcriptions). It is a place for rituals, statues with special functions. For me it is interesting, colourful, baroque, but not easy to understand. There is a Sunday school with instructions for young children (up to 12, 09.00-11.00) and teenagers. There is a gudang, room full of rice, oil to be given to the poor. The lowst picture above is of a quite older Kwam Im, an important figure in this temple. Below the three major sages or here calles prophets (nabi) sit side by side, Confucius, Gautama Buddha and Lao Tse. New statues arrive from mainland China nowadays. In Singapore also a studio for Hindu statues is built, but we saw no Hindu temple inManado.

There were also several large cubic forms, filled with small statues. Before each statue the name of a family was attached. They have to pay one million (about € 70) per year for this and so everybody knows which family supports this well kept and beautiful Chinese place of religious devotion.

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