Sunday, January 29, 2017

Year of the Rooster

In light of the recent xenophobic measures passed down in the US to bar refugees, I just wanted to remind everyone of what being a refugee actually means. It's making the tough decision to flee your homeland, to an uncertain future in a country that you may not know much about, where you will have to work twice as hard to learn a foreign language, struggling to find a decent paying job to support your family, while facing stigma and systemic racism towards your culture in a world that is increasingly distrustful of you simply because you are different than them. You will work desperately to integrate into your new culture while trying to silently maintain a sense of your own. And in spite of this adversity, you will do it whole heartedly because it is your only escape from the persecution and/or war torn ravages of your birthplace, so that your children may have the opportunity to flourish as you did not. It isn't easy being a refugee. Let's not make it any harder for them than it already is.

If you count me among your friends, then you don't need me to remind you that I am only here because of the way the world welcomed refugees when my parents fled their home in the 70's. Let's do our part and ensure future stories like mine continue to be written.

I hate to leave you on such a lecturey note, so instead will wish you all a Happy Lunar New Year! Peace, prosperity, and good health to you all! Below are some photos of random Buddhist and Taoist temples I've visited over the years.

Lunar New Year-1
Vendors hawk Lunar New Year decorations in Ho Chi Minh city.

Lunar New Year-4
The Summer Palace in Beijing.

Lunar New Year-3

Lunar New Year-2
The Taoist Dongyue Temple in Beijing.

Lunar New Year-5
A pagoda seen along a hike in Taroko Gorge, Taiwan.

Lunar New Year-6
A beautiful pagoda/ temple complex in Da Nang, Vietnam.

Lunar New Year-7
A taoist temple on Mt. Hua Shan, north of Xi'an.

Lunar New Year-8
Xi'an at night.

Lunar New Year-9

Lunar New Year-11
Rain or shine, worshippers arrive at this temple in Hue.

Lunar New Year-10
Slow burner coils of incense hang in this buddhist temple in Cholon.

Lunar New Year-12

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