Sunday, June 9, 2013

A-Ma Temple, 25 years later


Last summer I spent three hellish days removing my parents' photographs from the damaging acidic paper albums that they were being kept in and penciling their dates and locations on the back before placing them into ordered bins.  We were able to identify almost all of the photographs, save a few.  One of them was the one on the left.  I suspected that it was from Macau because I couldn't recall it from any of my adventures here in Hong Kong, and I have been to many temples and hiking paths.  I recognized the first character as tai (very/large) but couldn't figure out the second.

When we got back to Hong Kong, SB pulled out his Chinese dictionary and looked it up.  It is Tài yǐ (太乙) but when I typed the words into Google Translate it came out as nothing meaningful. Then we did a Google search for phrases using the characters and got the characters reference 太乙真人, meaning Tàiyǐ (primordial unity of yin and yang) and Zhēnrén (Daoist term for Perfected Person).  But we still didn't know where the picture was taken.

We were in Macau for the weekend so I made a list of Chinese forts and temples that we hadn't yet visited.  At the first stop in our journey, we found it on the rock wall behind A-Ma temple. I am now feeling inspired to try to recreate photographs that were taken decades ago.

The temple is in Barra and looks out over the mainland of China.


I couldn't resist photographing these tourists.  People complain about how sloppy some Chinese visitors are but these women were all done up.  It was extremely hot and humid and I wondered how they were faring in all of that lace, chiffon, sequins, and ruffles.

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