Click to download Tribute to His Majesty PDF

Live Phuket The Phuket News Kata Rocks The Phuket News Outrigger Koh Samui Beach Resort
The Phuket News World News
The Phuket News Phuket | Thailand | World | Business | Q&A | Weird World XML, RSS, Feed
The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News

Unwanted gods find new home

HONG KONG: Tucked away on a coastal hillside an elderly man practices a different kind of recycling – caring for the thousands of unwanted statues of deities that look out to sea, gathered and repaired after their owners discard them.

culture, religion,


AFP

Saturday 22 October 2016, 02:00PM


Dedicated volunteer Wong Wing-pong offers incense to unwanted statues of deities, gathered and repaired after their owners discarded them. Photo: AFP
Dedicated volunteer Wong Wing-pong offers incense to unwanted statues of deities, gathered and repaired after their owners discarded them. Photo: AFP

Dedicated volunteer Wong attends to the colourful collection of figures which are perched on a rocky slope running down to the sea in the south of the city.

Twice daily he sweeps away leaves and burns incense sticks as offerings to the unwanted gods, ranging from Buddhist and Taoist to local deities and Christian icons.

A retired butcher, 85-year-old Wong has been looking after the statues for 17 years after stumbling across a small neglected collection on the outskirts of the site, near the residential district of Wah Fu, while he was out walking.

Back then there were a dozen unattended statues, some broken. Now the spot has grown into a popular destination for discarded figures, and is known locally as “A sky full of gods and Buddhas”.

Wong says new statues arrive every month from a number of sources -- restaurants that are undergoing renovation, private homes where they can no longer be accommodated.

He spruces them up and some who have donated figures still come to worship them.

“No one should demean god. If they are out here, we should treat them well,” Wong said.

“If they are broken, I will glue them back together...I don’t dare throw them away. It goes against the conscience.”

Residents say they are thankful to Mr Wong.

One woman in her 80s, who gave her name as Ms Wan, said she still visits statues of local deities Guan Yin, goddess of mercy, and Guan Yu, inspired by a Chinese general, which she left at Wah Fu five years ago.

“The place is very well kept. I am thankful to him,” said Wan, who removed the figures from her home because some of her relatives converted to Christianity and did not want them on display.

Another resident, 65-year-old retiree Tse Sum swims off the shore near the site every day and also praised Wong for his dedication to the unwanted gods.

“If they are dumped they are trash,” said Tse.

“But if they are kept in order, they can be works of art.”

Religion and local customs permeate Hong Kong, where Buddhist and Taoist temples are common and incense offerings are regularly burned outside local businesses.

Private homes often have a shrine to a local deity, with Christian churches and mosques also in the mix.

But with space at a premium in a city were rents are sky high, informal collections of discarded gods often decorate roadsides and public spaces.

In a leafy park next to a police station in the northern district of Fanling, around 30 statues sit quietly under the branches of a banyan tree.

Unlike Wah Fu, this site is not cared for daily by a guardian, but still draws visitors.

Yoyo Ng, 54, has come to leave a Guan Yin statue, one she kept for more than 30 years, saying she had to remove it from her home to make room for new tenants.

“I didn’t want it to go...Hong Kong is just too small. I had no choice. I keep it in the shade so it’s not exposed to sunshine,” says Ng, who works at a rehabilitation centre for the disabled.

To Ng, leaving the statue in the park means she can continue to worship it regularly there. She said volunteers from her neighbourhood in Fanling come several times a month to clean the figures.

Discarded deities have disappeared from some areas over the years – residents say they are unsure who was responsible or why they were removed.

The government says it has no specific policy of clearing them, although they may be taken away if they are blocking the footpath.

Wong says he has no intention of abandoning the figures at Wah Fu. Looking after the statues has given him peace of mind.

“I feel I’m more healthy now. I have good sleep,” he says.

“I will come here until I can’t walk...I don’t care which religion they belong to. I will look after all of them.”

 

 

The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Comment on this story
* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.
Comments Here:
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
CAPTCHA
    Forget your password?

Be the first to comment.

The Phuket News
The Phuket News The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Share this
The Phuket News
Have a news tip-off? Click here
The Phuket News
Related stories
The Phuket News
Phuket community

Recent Comments


Ex-THAI staff snared in bribe row

THAI AIRWAYS had a culture of corruption. Even the hotels had to pay a kick back to get the passengers of Thai Airways. The manager or supervisor in c...(Read More)


Phuket property prices not just about the beach

Christ Sweet: What do you mean i don't own my company? Me and my family do as per my response below....(Read More)


Phuket property prices not just about the beach

Rorri: To all intent and purpose i own my properties as i own my company.Again as previously stated i am the director of the company and have sole sig...(Read More)


Phuket property prices not just about the beach

.....unless Swerv is a US citizen and started the company using the Amity treaty. If he did, he can legally own 100% of the company....(Read More)


Phuket women fight, knife pulled, over market trousers

I have experienced this type of hostility several times while shopping in Phuket and Bangkok. They don't like you trying on clothes and not buy...(Read More)


All change in Surin as plans for Phuket Rajabhakti Park scrapped

“I can confirm that once complete no vendors will be allowed in the park." That means the beach mafia ( Vendors who pay the corrupt official...(Read More)


Phuket judge hands down Czech fugitive less than legal minimum for visa overstay

How does this happen? It might possibly have something to do with a brown paper bag!...(Read More)


Gripen jet crashes during air show, pilot killed

Eagle: Correction! My response is not a response on a comment of you. You never comment here. I responded on a response of you. Always trying to...(Read More)


French woman deported for Phuket overstay, banned for five years

What eventually happened to this poor horse Christy Sweet?Have been wondering about it this week. Our children are all riders and grow up with horses....(Read More)


Phuket property prices not just about the beach

Yep...I still hate for you clueless clowns to be my financial advisor - like Rorii who is adamant that nominee shareholders are not illegal, now tryin...(Read More)

The Phuket News
Bangkok Hospital Phuket
PHUKET NEWS
Phuket
Thailand
World
Business
Q A
Weird World
ARCHIVE
POLL
CURRENCY
WEATHER
PHUKET TIDE TABLE
The Phuket News PHUKET LIFE
Phuket Arts
Phuket Community
Phuket Culture
Phuket Dining
Phuket Education
Phuket Entertainment
Phuket Environment
Phuket Health
Phuket People
Phuket Technology
Phuket Travel
Photo Galleries
COLOURING BOOK
The Phuket News PHUKET SPORT
Phuket
Thailand
World
SURF REPORT
PREDICTIONS
The Phuket News PHUKET CLASSIFIEDS
Phuket Buy and Sell
Phuket Jobs
Phuket Property
Phuket Cars and Boats
Phuket Community
Phuket Services
SEARCH CLASSIFIEDS
POST CLASSIFIED
The Phuket News The Phuket News PHUKET EVENTS
Phuket Event listings
Phuket Event calendar
Buy Tickets
POST EVENT
The Phuket News PHUKET DIRECTORY
Phuket Bars, pubs and clubs
Phuket Hotels and villas
Phuket Restaurants
Phuket Yellow Pages
POST LISTING
The Phuket News BARGAINS
The Phuket News ABOUT US
The Company
Distribution points
Subscribe
Advertise with us
Pay for advert
Contact us
CONTESTS
Content Google Map
Site map
Australian Visa Services
 
Currency - The Phuket News   Weather Report - The Phuket News   Surf Report - The Phuket News
LinkedIn - The Phuket News   Twitter - The Phuket News   YouTube - The Phuket News   Facebook - The Phuket News
Copyright © 2017 Class Act Media. All rights reserved. | Website usage terms and conditions | Privacy and Confidentiality Statement.