12/04/2009

A Day to the Temple for Kids

The year of the Ox kinda seemed a little gloomy, after months into it. Yesterday, I read that a popular Chinese restaurant finally shuts it's doors to patrons after having cash flow problems because of low patronage. Some of their longest staff who had worked for more than a decade could hardly believe it. This Chinese Restaurant is popular with wedding banquets as many as 26 banquets in a single month. And this does not stop the bad economy from swallowing them up no matter how good their food may be. The truth is there, people are spending less and those in business are suffering. Many businesses are finding it hard to stretch.

For a while, I played around getting a job. I am still considering them seriously. I feel very guilty not working at times like these. And with the bad times, jobs are not easy to get by too. I've been flipping pages of classified and they are really getting thinner each week.

On Friday was Good Friday. It was a public holiday for us in Singapore. In Chinese Calendar, it was the 15th day of the month, where many Buddhists will go to the temple. I thought this was a good time to pray for blessings, safety, health and kids. My sis told me this is a good opportunity for me to bring the girls to the temple for the experience. I have not brought them into one before. We headed for Bencoolen St where the popular Kwan Yim Temple is.

We parked just across Bugis Street Flea Mart, directly below ILUMA. This is the first time I've seen this beautiful unique building there.. I was really awed by the external facade of the building! It's new and I wonder if the mall is opened for business yet..

Iluma building

I know this popular Kwan Yim temple will be fully packed with people and smoke because 15th is a day many would offer prayers in this temple. Ah Boy was worried if the girls would be uncomfortable with the crowd and the joss sticks.

So what I did was - left the girls outside first with him while I go in and pray first. Then when I am done only brought them all in to pray at the main altar. Lea and Rae were very good. Rae followed the way I guided her to place her palms together and I spoke on her behalf out loud so she could hear how to pray.. Po-Pee Po-Pee Peng-Aun, Gao-Tak-Chek, Gao-Tua-Han.... all that stuff.

Lea was so cute. She closed her eyes and clasp her hands instead! She thought it was to be done as we did in Church! So I told her to just place her palms flat against each hand.. She did so diligently and repeated what I said. Never mind if the girls spoke dialect like Greek. I was really proud of them because they did not complain about the crowd, and the smoke that made them weep. Very good girls! I think this is a good experience for both my girls at this age. I shall not hesitate to bring them to the temple again in future. In fact, on the way out of the temple, the girls said they wanted to visit this place again because they really liked it. I guess, I didn't have to worry if they will adjust, God has showed them the way in a quiet way.

5 comments:

jepunlauee said...

I am sure goddess "kuan yin" will sure poh pee your family and you peng-aun ,peng-aun..
its really good to teach your girls how to pray when they are still young..

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Constance, wow, Bugis street? Was there last in early '80s. Seeing your pic, it sure has changed beyond my recognition.
Used to have great food there.
Nice posting.
Best regards, Lee.

TINTIN said...

It's good to bring yr girls out praying at the temple. I will bring my kids to pray at the temple once a while too..

stay-at-home mum said...

Its good for the children to be exposed to the different religions around!! And the area surrounding it must have proved interesting for them!

Constance Chan said...

jle, ya my girls are very inexperienced when it comes to prayers.. but it's about time.

uncle lee, yes bugis has changed a lot. but good food is still there. the thing about bugis is that you can be in one street with both modernism and the goodness of old restored and conserved buildings on the other side. bugis-middle road are all now considered conserved for all things art and aesthetic.

tin tin, yes i wanted to bring them to have a look at the Burmese and Siam temples whilst in Penang but no time.. nxt time i will do that too.

stay at home mum, yes i believe this way is good as they learn many different cultures and picks up good things from each faith or religion. with many kids in sg all brought up in such a concrete jungle, it is very rare to see them mixed around like the old days too. there are too many closed doors, gates and all too preoccupied at home.