My father has been attending the Taoist Temple Dinner in celebration of a deity's birthday for many years. The last time I attended such event was may be 15-20 years ago. It was never my interest to attend such an event.
This year, out of curiosity, I decided to attend and try to understand it.
I asked one simple question: Who is this deity?
Then, I realized my parents did not know anything much as well. They just followed the family "tradition" to support this temple, as my late grandfather had been a supporter of this temple.
I decided not to ask more questions.
The Taoist Temple
When I was younger, I would follow my parents and burn incense as a form of offering without questioning. Now, I decided not to follow the worship practice unless I have a clear understanding of the significance behind each practice and ritual. I still bow in respect, but I have my doubts and questions.
It is not surprising that Taoism is losing ground among the younger generations.
The traditional puppet show.
It is a dying trade, and there is no audience anymore.
Quite sad, but that's part of change.
Dinner Celebration with Auctioning of items like Martel Wine.
The crowd was made up of the older generation (those in their 50s & 60s), in fact, I was a rarity among the crowd. I was commenting to my dad and his friends that such an event might last another 10 years only, as the younger generations are not supporting it. They were quite defensive with their response.
I left the event with a lot of unanswered questions. May be that is not important, at least, I understood why my father never fails to attend such an event. It is a community gathering - meeting up with old neighbours and friends.
My dad asked if I could get involved with the temple, as part of our family "tradition", since it started with my late grandfather many years ago.
My reply was "I would rather spend more time on volunteering work".