Friday, 31 January 2014

Chinese New Year Celebrations

We decided to take the family and check out the Chinese New Year Celebrations at the Chung Tian Temple on Brisbane's southside. Ive been before many years ago and thought it would be good to get out of the house for a bit of a different experience. I knew the Shaolin Kung Fu Guan demo team were going to be there for the Lion Dance and Kung Fu demo, and knew Suki (our Daughter) would get a kick out of seeing the Lions jump around.

Thursday night so there wasn't as many people as I was expecting from previous years which was nice. Not long after we entered the main grounds, we decided to have a look around and at that moment we were approached by one of the temple information guys and asked if we would like to take a private tour.
I don't know why he approached us and not all the others around, maybe we looked lost, ha ha.

This was an amazing experience. He took us around the entire site and explained what everything meant and all the symbolism etc. From the basics of Chinese writing and how it was formed,  to what all the figures meant on the roof edges. It was also very interesting to hear the true story behind Buddha. I grew up in a Christian family and heard a lot of propaganda and false information about other beliefs, so to hear some real history was refreshing. For instance Buddha was not a Deity, he was and always has been just a man, and all the statues do not represent images of a god but of different aspects of ones self. Buddha himself said that there shall not be any statues made of him, and it wasn't until 500 years later that other crusaders built statues in his image, as he sounded like a god to them. That's a very brief account of the whole story. Also interesting to learn the difference between a lot of other Chinese beliefs and Buddhism, as people tend to get confused and mix them all up as one thing, which is also how I've been taught in the past.
photo I took at the Chung Tian Temple for Chinese New Year 2007

After the tour it was on to drink tea and sample some of the food. We watched some of the dances and music performances while we waited for the lion dances. I wanted to stay until the Kung fu Demos had finished however for Suki, after seeing the lions was enough and was getting restless, so we headed home.

So why have family outings in a health and wellness blog ?
Because wellness isn't just about diet and exercise. Just as your body needs food to stimulate and grow, your brain, and your family relationship needs stimulation to. We knew it was going to be a later night than usual for us and our daughter, and we could have just stayed at home and watched a movie, or just nothing at all. However the experience was so well worth it, and Suki had not seen anything like it before. Plus as Shaolin Kung Fu is derived and formed around Zen Buddhism, the information we learnt tonight was very useful to help understand a bit more about how it came to be.
Knowledge is understanding, and one should not make assumptions about someone, a race of people or their beliefs but learn the true story about them.
This evening was, I dare say, an enlightening experience.

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