Daily Archives: April 5, 2008

The Goddess of Compassion in Ole Shanghai tips up

THERE WERE SOME beautiful things in the museum at old Szujhou last Monday. One of my faves was a statue of the Goddess of Compassion, sometimes called Kwan Yin.

It transpires that Shanghai was a major centre of Buddhism in ancient times of yore – indeed two of the most important temples of Avalokiteshvara, the Sanskrit name for compassion, still exist in the old town.

It is true that sometimes the Chinese guys got very suspicious about their wives worshipping what appeared to be a man in their sacred shrines, and that some of them insisted they didn’t do that, they should worship a goddess, thus giving rise to the Kwan Yin worship.

Well, they told me that in the CKS museum in Old Taipei, many many years ago, which seems to hold all the treasures that used to be in the Beijing museum after Mao beat Chiang and Chiang fled. Families, what are they like?

I have, in pixels, mused that the best hope of reconciliation between Taiwan and the People’s Republic is that some at least of those treasures go back to the mainland without blood and certainly without recriminations and ICBMs. Cultural treasures are not always about money.

And no, I am not a Buddhist. It’s just that fighting over statues and pictures of Avalokiteshvara doesn’t seem to have much point to it in the 21st century. If they are Chinese treasures, let them be available to more people. Taiwan has treasures of its own, too.  ♥

BOGGARD While philosophers – whether Platonic or Aristotelain – ponder such items, here’s a few more pix from Ole Shanghai.

Some charming local kids

Some charming shots of Old Shanghai



We visited the four pavilions of the 21 things

EARLIER THIS WEEK we went to Sujzhou, a way away from Ole Shanghai, where we were treated to the story of the damaged tiger but didn’t get a chance to go up Tiger Hill.

We did see many pavilions and since then we’ve had kind of an obsession with pavilions, of which there are many in China but more in Suzjhou than any place in China, it appears.

Here’s the first, which we dub the Pavilion of the Seven Mandarins, because there were seven mandarin ducks in there which didn’t look like they had the freedom to fly away.

Seven Mandarins

Following this is the Pavilion of the Seven Hacks, because there are seven hacks in this picture who didn’t look like they had the freedom to fly away.

 Seven Hacks

They still had to see the Pavilion of the Seven Rocks, of which there are very many near the pavilions of Suzhou. At this point at least seven of the hacks didn’t want to go to the pavilion of the seven silk scarves or the seven dead silkworm grubs.

Seven Rocks
They wanted to return to what they had really come to see – the Pavilion of the Seven Intels, at the conference centre in Ole Shanghai – pictured below by the Seven Flags blowing outside the Great Gate of the Seven Microprocessors. ♦

Seven Intels

The bog has returned

BACK IN B LIGHTY and the bog is working again. Four days of reading The China Daily and The Shanghai Post have left an indelible mark on my EPROM, however.

All the news in these two papers is good. I am making a mental resolution to only write “good news” in the future.  Pictures to follow.