Embrace Foundation
Traveling in Hong Kong - 2017


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HONG KONG

Air Pollution


From flying into Hanoi, Viet Nam to flying into Hong Kong, the Founders did not see the sun or sunlight for 12 days.

The air pollution is so dense that the moment your plane begins descent from the clear blue sky and begins to move downwards, Hong Kong becomes submerged in a thick gray impenetrable blanket.


This is true also of Hanoi but Hong Kong’s pollution is far worse. Luckily journalist Diana Lin did an excellent investigative documentary on the Pearl Television channel on “Pearl Reports” in Hong Kong while the Founders were there. She has exposed the grim effects that air pollution is having on the many adults and small children, as well as on vegetation, crops and trees in China.  Perhaps the Chinese media will be able to pressure the government to take radical action.

Chinese Documentaries

In Hong Kong you can view CCTV Documentaries which does an outstanding job reporting on everything from archaeological finds to how people in rural areas are trying to save their villages by turning them into tourist destinations for city dwellers.

It would be a real boon if there were a documentary channel like this broadcast in Western nations. It is very well done and all Chinese people should be proud of it.

A Challenge to Traditional Chinese Culture & History

As Hong Kong has virtually become part of mainland China, many long cherished beliefs and practices are being lost. 

We do not think It is owing to any anti-religion campaign on the part of the federal government.  As many people will note, a number of gigantic Buddhist temple complexes have been built in China in recent decades.


It is, however, due to real estate developers and city officials who have a total lack of regard for historical buildings regardless of their religious or aesthetic value.  It is also due to the influx of mainland Chinese who know little of their ancient practices, philosophy or religion and do not yet have an interest in protecting their cultural heritage.


Urban Planning - Where is It?

There has been almost no urban planning in Hong Kong. Buildings are excessively tall, towering over relatively narrow streets. There are few parks, public spaces or places for children to play. This is particularly sad for a people who adore children and traditionally have honored the elderly.  The air pollution has made its’ mark on just about all buildings leaving them dull and in need of steam cleaning.

Kowloon has taken a stand for public space in their ferry wharf area which is very attractive. The island is densely populated now so It will be difficult to carve out new areas for parks and green belts.  Kowloon also has an attractive walkway along the waterfront dedicated to the Hong Kong movie industry, for all Jackie Chan fans (the Embrace Founders are definitely among them) this is a place to go.  Within the ferry public space area you will find a museum attractively tucked among trees.


What is Chinese Philosophy vs Traditional Religion?

It is very important to understand the difference between Chinese philosophy and Traditional Religion. Chinese Taoist philosophy is largely based on “The Tao Te Ching.”  Lao Tzu is credited with it’s content. Lao Tzu’s disciples, including Chung Tzu, contributed to the further development of Taoist philosophy. Confucian philosophy is largely based on the “Analects” of Confucius (Kongzi) and the teachings of other Confucian Sages, Mencius being one of the foremost scholars.

Eastern philosophies including Chinese philosophy, is a manner of thinking, acting and believing. It generally offers moral guidelines. It is not however, involved with prayer, mantras, chanting, services or rituals. Neither philosophical Taoism or Confucianism are religions (although both Lao Tzu and Kongzi may be enshrined in temples by people who honor them and their philosophies.)


Traditional Chinese (and other South-East Asian Traditional) religions encompass many ancient practices. Some of the beliefs include honoring sacred trees, sacred places, sacred sages (wise, courageous beings) who often historically lived and saved the lives of people through battle. medicine or some other means.


Why are Traditional Temples Labeled Taoist?

It is possible, that many Traditional temples in early ages were labeled Taoist due to the fact that the Taoist philosophy believes in “learning from nature” and living in accord with “natural” laws. It is also likely that prejudices built up against Traditional beliefs with the introduction of Buddhism and the philosophy of Confucianism compelled Traditional religionists to merge under the “Taoist” banner as a form of protection.

The three primary movements of Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism historically were forever being juggled as favorites among various Chinese dynasties and Emperors. There were centuries of persecution in China when the struggle for the Emperor’s endorsement (or the endorsement of feudal lords) led to extreme violence between Buddhists, Taoists and Confucians leading to mass executions and even book (scroll) burning.


I
t is much to the credit of the pragmatic nature of the Chinese people that they (like the Hindus in India) found a way to combine everything - to derive, what they believe is the best chance for getting their prayers answered and finding a way to put their lives and society in harmony. (The Chinese who embrace Taoism, Confucianism, Buddhism and Traditional beliefs no doubt think that this approach offers them the greatest opportunity for “Luck” or “Good Fortune.”

In other words, it is a way to stack the odds in their favor, as any Chinese (the majority who seem to have an inherent gambling spirit) knows.

The Chinese and Hindus are by no means the only people who like to rely on a variety of “Specialty” saints or sages, angels or spirits or aspects of the Divine to hedge their bets. Actually, almost all religions and most religious denominations offer numerous spiritual options.



NOTE: Cloudy Photos


It should be noted that the burning of incense in copious amounts, (a part of traditional Chinese and South East Asian worship) makes for incense obscured photos of temple interiors and often exterior as well.
garden Pagoda in the Chi Lin Buddhist Nunnery - Kowloon Island off of Hong Kong
Exquisite Chi Lin Buddhist Nunnery - Kowloon Island off of Hong Kong
Absolutely Stunning with Lovely Gardens -Chi Lin Buddhist Nunnery - Kowloon Island off of Hong Kong
Absolutely Stunning with Lovely Gardens -Chi Lin Buddhist Nunnery - Kowloon Island off of Hong Kong
Wong Tai Sin Temple Main Entrance (Taoist/ Traditional)- Kowloon
Wong Tai Sin Temple (Taoist/Traditiional) - Kowloon
Wong Tai Sin Temple Taoist Meditation Chamber - Taoist Priests Buried- Kowloon
Taoist Garden behind the Wong Tai Sin Temple - Kowloon
Man Mo Temple Dedicated to Literature - Hong Kong
Member of the Pak Tai at Wan Chai Congregation Inviting Ajata to a Special Celebration
Khalsa Diwan (Sikh Temple) Hong Kong
Shui Yuet Kwun Yum Tong (1840) - Sheung Wan District - Hong Kong
Pak Tai Temple -Cheung Chau Island off of Hong Kong CIty
Sikh Pothi Sahib (custodian) of the Granth Sahib (Holy Book) - in the (Gurdwara) - Sikh Temple - Hong Kong
Old Fashioned Junk in Harbor - Hong Kong Skyline (Still taken from Video)
Man Mo Temple Dedicated to Literature - Hong Kong
Pak shing temple
Exquisite Chi Lin Buddhist Nunnery - Kowloon Island off of Hong Kong
Offering Prayers, Wong Tai Sin Temple (Taoist/Traditiional) - Kowloon
Yuk Hui Temple (Pak Tai Temple), Cheung Chau Island, Hong Kong
Yuk Hui Temple (Pak Tai Temple), Cheung Chau Island, Hong Kong
Street Temple, Cheung Chau Island, Hong Kong
Beach, Cheung Chau Island, Hong Kong
Taoist Temple, Hong Kong
Pak Tai Temple, Hong Kong

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