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April 11, 2010

Marionette Performance in Celebration of the Monkey God's birthday

Pardon me for the backdated entry..the Henghua marionette performance was held from 8-10 March at Kampong Kapor Road in celebration of the Monkey God's (齐天大圣) birthday

As the performance was staged at Kampong Kapor, a place frequented mostly by Indians and tourists, performance on the first night was especially swarmed with curious onlookers who stood there for quite a while, enjoying the rare sight. The tourists behind us were also busy clicking their cameras away.
Besides the performance, the Tian Xing Gong temple  (天性宫) nearby also came 'alive'. Ronni told me the temple was usually closed (opened at night) when he visited it a few times. He sounded very excited when the temple was finally opened and I was also happy to 'discover' yet another Henghua temple.

The puppeteer bringing the puppet up to the temple after the Eight Immortals performance 八仙戏

Food for thought: Ronni suggested that I took a photo of the marionette performance from Tian Xing Gong to see the 'connection' between the temple and the performance..can you spot where it is?

April 7, 2010

Puppet troupes

Was supposed to watch puppet performances in celebration of Guangze Zunwang's birthday but probably due to getai, both performances held at Hong San See and another one in the open space at Hougang Central ended early. They usually performed at 8pm but this time round, they performed from 5pm-7pm. Nevertheless, here are some of the pictures:

                       Xin Cai Yun puppet troupe's stage (新彩云木偶掌中班) at Hong San See (凤山寺)
                                                      A closer look at the puppet stage
                            Xin Xing Lai (Glove) Puppet troupe's (新兴来掌中班) stage at Hougang Central

April 2, 2010

The Classics

Was quite into reading the classics though I don't deny that was done with some difficulty..the reading started partly for a better understanding of the philosophy and thoughts as an attempt to link to the present. First it was Daodejing (道德经) and while searching for the translated versions of Hanfeizi (韩非子), I found a good website that places both the Chinese and English versions side by side for easy reading and reference.

Here is the table of contents in English and Chinese (just the chapter name is hard to translate if you have not read or understood the Hanfeizi):

Book One
1. 初见秦 The First Interview with the King of Ch'in: A Memorial
2. 存韩 On the Preservation of Han: Issue Between Han Fei and Li Ssŭ
3. 难言On the Difficulty in Speaking: A Memorial
4. 爱臣On Favourite Vassals: A Memorial
5. 主道 The Tao of the Sovereign

Book Two
6. 有度 Having Regulations: A Memorial   7. 二柄 The Two Handles   8. 扬权 Wielding the Sceptre
9. 八姦 Eight Villainies

Book Three
10. 十过 Ten Faults

Book Four
11. 孤愤 Solitary Indignation    12. 说难 Difficulties in the Way of Persuasion
13. 和氏 The Difficulty of Pien Ho
14. 姦劫弑臣 Ministers Apt to Betray, Molest, or Murder the Ruler ('assassinate' is more appropriate?)

Book Five
15. 亡徵 Portents of Ruin 16. 三守 Three Precautions 17. 背内 Guarding Against the Interior 18. 南面 Facing the South 19. 饰邪 On Pretentions and Heresies: A Memorial 

Book Six 
20. 解老 Commentaries on Lao Tzŭ (Laozi)'s Teachings 

Book Seven 
21. 喻老 Illustrations of Lao Tzŭ (Laozi)'s Teachings 22. 说林上 Collected Persuasions, The Upper Series

Book Eight 
23. 说林下 Collected Persuasions, The Lower Series 24. 观行 Observing Deeds 25. 安危 Safety and Danger 26. 守道 The Way to Maintain the State 27. 用人 How to Use Men: Problems of Personnel Administration 28. 功名 Achievement and Reputation 29. 大体 The Principal Features of Legalism  

Book Nine 
30. 內储说上 Inner Congeries of Sayings, The Upper Series: Seven Tacts  

Book Ten 
31. 內储说下 Inner Congeries of Sayings, The Lower Series: Six Minutiae 

Book Eleven  
32. 外储说左上 Outer Congeries of Sayings, The Upper Left Series  

Book Twelve 
33. 外储说左下 Outer Congeries of Sayings, The Lower Left Series  

Book Thirteen  
34. 外储说右上 Outer Congeries of Sayings, The Upper Right Series  

Book Fourteen  
35. 外储说右下 Outer Congeries of Sayings, The Lower Right Series 

Book Fifteen 
36. 难一 Criticisms of The Ancients, Series One 37. 难二 Criticisms of the Ancients, Series Two 

Book Sixteen 
38. 难三 Criticisms of the Ancients, Series Three 39. 难四 Criticisms of the Ancients, Series Four 

Book Seventeen 
40. 难势 A Critique of the Doctrine of Position 41. 问辩 Inquiring into the Origin of Dialectic 
42. 问田 Asking T'ien: Two Dialogues 43. 定法 Deciding Between Two Legalistic Doctrines 
44. 说疑 On Assumers 45. 诡使 Absurd Encouragements 

Book Eighteen 
46. 六反 Six Contrarieties 47. 八说 Eight Fallacies 48. 八经 Eight Canons 

Book Nineteen 
49. 五蠹 Five Vermins: A Pathological Analysis of Politics 
50. 显學 Learned Celebrities: A Critical Estimate of Confucians and Mohists  

Book Twenty 
51. 忠孝 Loyalty and Filial Piety: A Memorial 52. 人主 The Lord of Men 
53. 饬令 Making Orders Trim 
54. 心度Surmising the Mentality of the People: A Psychological Analysis of Politics 
55. 制分Regulations and Distinctions


Taoist mission dinner 1 April 2010

It was great to see friends whom I had not seen for some time or never met at the dinner yesterday.

                                                      The 3 bows and 9 prostrations (三叩九拜)

I asked Chan about the cream-coloured strip-like thing that Master Lee Zhiwang, President of the Taoist Mission was holding. He said it was believed that this was used when officials presented memorials or reports to the Emperor, or probably they could have used it to cover their eyes since eye contact with the Emperor was not allowed then. That sounds very new and interesting to me. Perhaps anyone can share more information about this?
                                                      Chanting the Qi Dao Ci (祈祷词)
             A glimpse at those who attended the dinner at Furama Riverfront Hotel
                    Various representatives reading the Religious Harmony Declaration (宗教和谐声明)
                    Announcement by Master Lee on the agreement with Keng Teck Whay to use its premises