Monday, March 12, 2007

Yu Huang San Tai Zi visits

(11Mar07) This evening, crossing the PingAn (Bridge of Peace) was a little different. As the Taoist Priests prepare the PingAn Bridge for the crossing, Yu Huang San Tai Zi arrived, for the first time in this sintua.

When he arrived, he joined the Taoist Priest in leading the temple devotees in crossing the Bridge of Peace, leading a group born under each Chinese Lunar Year Animal at a time, starting with the Rat, then, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Cockeral, Dog and finally the Pig. And then, all of the devotees formed a line again to walk around the temple tentage and crossed the bridge again.

Balloons were given to the children as part of the fun for them. And after crossing the bridge, the kids were looking towards sweets, which they knew from previous years. Ah, this time, it was different. Yu Huang San Tai Zi asked that each child should write a word, and checked, before he or she could get a lollipop. It was too strong a motivation for the kids to turn down, and so, no matter how small, each kid tried to write or draw. It was indeed surprising to see most of the kids writing at least one Chinese character. Ah, maybe, the teachers can take a leaf out of this in teaching the kids Chinese. (^^)

The fun was not over yet. For the adults, Yu Huang San Tai Zi was going to give them quizzes. He started out writing a Chinese character and asked if anyone could add to come up with something meaningful. It could be a character or a picture. Those who are wrong will be "huat" (fa) (meaning penalise), which interestingly sounds the same as "huat"(fa) as in prosperity. And of course, there are paper bags of "Huat Kueh" - the traditional Chinese cake that symbolises prosperity - "huat" (fa). Which means if one answers wrongly, he or she gets the "huat kueh" but if he or she is correct, he or she gets a lollipop.

It was an evening of mental stimulations as the devotees tried to guess. A word "Tian" (as in rice field) was drawn by a devotee into a goat and another into a tortoise.

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