“I would like to meet ‘Golden Mom!’” The Golden Mom in question is the Queen Mother of the West, also known as the Golden Mother of the Jade Pond — a deity popular in Taiwan but now also worshiped by some people in Haiti.
95 percent of the people of the Central American Republic of Haiti are black, and 80 percent of them are devout Catholics. There is, though, a group of people who believe in the Queen Mother of the West, whom they affectionately call “Golden Mom.” This group of Haitian followers of the Queen Mother recently organized a visit to Taiwan to seek their roots by going to worship in Hualien’s Sheng-an and Tzu-hui Temples. It was an eye-opener for local worshipers to see these dark-skinned visitors holding joss sticks, worshiping the Queen Mother and casting bamboo divination chips to pray for good fortune.
The Chinese Taoist Golden Mother of the Jade Pond Cultural Exchange Promotion Association, which arranged this visit, said that Haitians devoutly follow the Catholic Church, so it encountered obstacles when it set up a branch association in Haiti to spread the faith. Even when the association donated rice for poor children in outlying areas, it was suspected by local authorities of doing so for commercial gain, and the rice was for a time subject to a heavy 100 percent tax. Now Haitians have been convinced of the Queen Mother followers’ charitable spirit, and 50 Haitians have become disciples of the Queen Mother.
Apart from accompanying officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and members of the Golden Mother Association, the group of visitors included representatives of Haiti’s political and business sectors. Among them were Republic of Haiti Chamber of Deputies member Joseph Joel Louis, Haitian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Department of Protocal officer and ambassador to South Korea Jacques Renand Cherduville, protocol officer of the Office of the Prime Minister of Haiti Immacula Caze, as well as chief executives of department stores and real estate companies and bank managers from Haiti.
Rex: Can I ask your opinion on something?
Walter: Sure. What’s up?
Rex: I’m thinking of going to Haiti on vacation, but I’m not sure if it’s a good idea.
Walter: You have to look at the pros and cons. Some people focus on the negatives, like voodoo and coups. But there are plenty of good things too.
Rex: For example?
Walter: Haiti has some great carnivals, and the food is excellent. Plus the weather is amazing.
Rex:Thanks. I might just bite the bullet and go!
bite the bullet 硬著頭皮去做
You bite the bullet when you decide to do something even though you know it could be unpleasant.
當你「bite the bullet」，就表示你明知某事不好做，但還是決定去做。
During their visit to the Sheng-an Temple, the guests held a group worship ceremony in the temple’s great hall. It was eye-opening for the local believers to see a crowd of dark-skinned men and women holding joss sticks and worshiping the Queen Mother, especially when protocol officer of the Office of the Prime Minister of Haiti Immacula Caze skillfully cast bamboo divination chips before the Queen Mother’s statue to pray for good fortune.
(LIBERTY TIMES, TRANSLATED BY JULIAN CLEGG)