[Photo Gallery:] Traditions & Worldview in Yonghe, Taipei, Taiwan

Lots of stuff should go in this gallery that isn’t here, like the tai-chi or the exercising or the plague of puppies, because tons of stuff (almost everything) expresses aspects typical of an Asian worldview that are easy to see if you know how to look. But to avoid having 90% of our photos in one category accompanied by really long explanations, we’ll just put the most explicit stuff here.

Sidewalks aren’t lined with offerings to the gods/ancestors every day, but it’s not uncommon to see them since there are plenty of auspicious days in the lunar calendar. And this is not just a case of poor, uneducated peasants clinging to comfortable traditions; these are business owners – including (especially) the upscale businesses – that make a point to appease/appeal to the perceived personal and impersonal spiritual forces around them (and/or appeal to their customers). Incense, food and paper goods (money, cell phones, cars, etc.) are often burned so that the ancestors will have what they need in the afterlife (and thus be happy and therefore kind to their still-living descendants). On the certain days the smoke and incense wafts into our classrooms and we breathe it for hours.

For now, here’s some pictures from recurring offerings on our street, and a local god’s recent birthday party. I left some files large if they had interesting details, like the temple photos. We’ll be continually updating this gallery.

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