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Monday, July 26, 2004

Awareness of folk Taoism among Singaporeans

Awareness of folk Taoism among Singaporeans

 

Whilst one can find many books about mainstream Chinese festivals and cultural practices, material about the everyday Chinese customs in Singapore is surprisingly lacking.  This is true even among books written and published in Singapore.  Many of today¡¦s young Singaporeans know little or have much interest in the indigenous heritage of this country, as opposed to that of either mainstream Chinese or Western world.

 

The world of folk belief and customs seem to be regarded by many Chinese, including Chinese educated intelligentsia, as backward superstitions that should be allowed to die a natural death.  In my opinion, if that happens, it would be a tragedy for all.  From the viewpoint of a non-Taoist, no matter how unusual some of these practices they may appear, they are important facets of our cultural heritage. 

 

Strange enough, there are many who do not find it strange when they glorify the miracles of Jesus turning blood to water or curing the blind, and yet calling the same miracles performed by ancient Chinese deities and modern-day spirit mediums mere fairy tales and primitive superstitions.  Perhaps it is all to do with marketing and packaging.

 

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