Due to the economic downturn, the iron rice bowl of public service has become unusually popular. The National Center for Traditional Art’s Wenchang Temple is a temple for official created by the Council for Cultural Affairs. It is said that this temple is particularly able to help test takers pass the public servant examination. Recently, a lot of people taking the test have been praying at the temple to pass the examination.
As many private businesses are firing employees or giving them unpaid leave as a result of the general economic situation, public servants with their guarantees of employment are the targets of much praise and envy.
However, more people take the public service examinations than there are positions, and enrolment figures have reached a new low. So in addition to studying hard, some also ask the gods for help.
The Wenchang Temple is one of the few temples in the nation that is built by the government, and many people believe that the temple’s main deity, Lord Wenchang, will help test takers pass the test and become public servants.
Lin Tsung-an, a guide at the National Center for Traditional Art, says the altar at Wenchang Temple is full of copies of test takers’ registration certificates, mostly of those taking the public servant exam. If they pass the test, most people will return to the temple bringing fresh flowers, vegetarian food and fruit to thank the god.
Although not everyone believes that praying necessarily means getting help, psychologically speaking, traditional religious beliefs provide spiritual support so if test takers take the test in a detached frame of mind, they will normally be able to display their strengths.
Julie: Are you ready for your mid-terms?
Ernie: You must be kidding! I’ve got no chance.
Julie: So do you regret studying quantum physics?
Ernie: Kind of. It’s all Greek to me, to be honest.
Julie: So why don’t you drop out and choose another course?
Ernie: Good idea, but I don’t know what to change to.
Julie: Perhaps you should try studying Greek!
Ernie: Ha ha, very funny.
it’s all Greek to me 完全搞不懂
When somebody says it’s all Greek to me, it means they don’t understand something and are very confused about it.
當某人說「it’s all Greek to me」，就表示他們搞不懂某事而且感到非常困惑。
Mr Chen from Lotung is about to take the public servant examination. Because of the explosive increase in the number of people registering for the test, he is worried he won’t make the grade. As a result, he took the advice of a friend he met online and went to pray at the Wenchang Temple in the hope that the god would help him pass.
Apart from burning incense, test takers that go to the Wenchang Temple also write cards where they make a pledge to the god that they hang on the pledge wall. In the temple, there are 100 bamboo divination sticks that everyone can draw.
Lin says the content of the poem referred to on the stick is for reference only, and whether or not one will pass the examination will depend on one’s own efforts before the god can help. If one doesn’t do one’s best to pass, the god may not be able to help even if he wants to.
(TRANSLATED BY PERRY SVENSSON)