Sunday, September 11

Six banyan trees

Today we went to the six banyan tree temple, a Buddhist temple in Guangzhou. They performed a blessing for the children, and everybody wandered around the enclosure. The temple is very open: it's fine to walk around, take pictures, participate in the blessing or not as you choose. The picture to the left shows all the families with babies receiving the blessing from the three monks to the right. We didn't participate, but only because Gwen was sleeping and we'd have had to wake her. The temple was beautiful, and nominally has an 1800-year history -- although it's been destroyed 9 times during that period by various wars. There's a cool 9-story pagoda, shown here, said to house part of the Buddha's remains, brought from India to Guangzhou.

There are lots of stories in China about people on the streets running up and staring at the babies, fixing clothing, offering frantic advice in obscure dialects, and generally being helpful and motherly. We had a big group of maybe twenty women who were fascinated by the prospect of Gwen being with Donna and me. They clustered around while she slept, and told us (as a helpful translator told us) that she was a lucky girl. (We feel like the lucky ones.) Here's a picture that a few of the women posed for.

Finally, after the blessing, the monks showed their lighter side by engaging in a vigorous game of "Buddha peek-a-boo" for the children, who were fascinated. Several mothers, like the one shown here, were laughing so hard they actually prayed for the game to stop.


Blogger Diva said...

Cool temple. We didn't go there. We went to the one in the Jade Market with the 500 Buddahs.

Aren't you glad you brought the stroller!!!!

Gwen is such a cutie. So happy and so very beautiful!!!


September 13, 2005 6:41 PM  
Blogger Donna said...

We're incredibly happy that we brought the stroller! She's a sweet little baby but she's like carrying around a 20 pound hot water bottle! ~Donna

September 14, 2005 6:36 AM  

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