Tue, Dec 05, 2017 - Page 13 News List

Taiwan temples 3.0

The younger generation is learning to take over the annual procession duties at Banciao’s Ling An Temple, keeping traditions alive through new methods and events

By Han Cheung  /  Staff reporter

“I thought it would be a good idea to serve the deities,” he says.

His family was initially against it, as the public continues to believe that temple troupes involve gangs, fighting and drugs, something that’s only done by delinquents.

“But they also came to the temple when they had trouble and they felt that this was a kind and gentle place. I didn’t become ‘bad.’ I became more grounded,” Tseng says.

Tseng added that his friends still ask him why he participates every year, as they also harbor those stereotypes.

“But I feel that this place is different. We’re not having a procession just to have a procession, or to make money. We’re doing it purely for the gods.”

Audience members on Saturday mostly consisted of people in their 20s and 30s, and Hung has noticed a growing interest in Taiwanese folk culture among the younger population — especially temple culture, much of which is unique to Taiwan.

“It’s good to take an interest, but set aside your preconceptions. Get to know what’s going on first.”

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