A New Friend, and More Things Chinese

This little guy has since been scrubbed clean. His rubber piglet skin was perhaps once pink (under the armpits, he is a little pink) but now is olive green. I found him in an abandoned lot in front of a cluster of old houses. The houses, probably a few hundred years old, were crumbling, flooded with polluted water and were supported by metal beams, yet the walls and roofs still showed the original artwork and caligraphy that must've at one point been someone's pride and joy. The area was claimed by weeds and littered with long forgotten work boots, flip flops (why so many shoes?) plastic water bottles, gloves. No really Gross trash, otherwise I wouldn't have been picking around there. I came across this rubber piglet, and moved it to a patch of flowering weeds for a photo. But it was too cute to leave behind.

In case you are ever on Jeopardy and a category named National Flowers comes up, and when you "Make It A True Daily Double, Alex" and the clue reads "HONG KONG", you can answer confidently: What is Bauhinia and be the runaway winner. A stylized version is featured on the Hong Kong flag, and the $5 coin. Perhaps other coins too, but they're smaller in diameter so I've not paid as much attention.
Weeds and TV antennae; both rooftop dwellers. One of my funner compositions today. I do like making artistic images out of things of little importance; stuff most often not given a second glance, or even a first glance. I like to give recognition to the mundane.

You can click on the photo to see the ceramic figures in a larger picture. Here we have a selection of worshiped beings placed on a red table in front of a temple. The combination of beings depends on the needs of the village (though most villages will want for things such as wealth and long life).
The distinctive long-bearded, massive-foreheaded fellow brandishing a peach is the Longevity guy. Not a deity or god, I'm told, but worshiped nevertheless as a revered legendary character (there are some repeat statues; you'll note 2 peach toting guys). Next over, with the beard and robes, is the God of Fortune and Money. In the middle, a very benevolent Goddess for General Purpose Good Things, like health. And over on the far right, deitified Han dynasty war generals, the more famous one being Kwan Wan Cheong, known for Integrity, Fierce Loyalty and Trust. Apparently, these generals are frequently found in Hong Kong police stations.
By now you're wondering, as I am wondering, What Religion is going on here? Fortunately I have a Chinese Anthropologist in the family. Chinese religion is different from organized world religions. It has folk roots. There is no scripture or book or anything to be studied, such as the Koran or Bible. There aren't any specific rules to be followed (though, Chinese people are generally influenced by ideas in Buddhism and Confuscianism; the latter of which is not a religion but does have writings, read by no-one but scholars.) Asking X God or Deity for something is rather a habit, integrated into life. It's not taught; there are no preachy leaders. If someone you know is sick, just head over to the temple, light some incense, place fruit on a plate and silently ask Benevolent Goddess for some help. This is not to say that the religion is simple; it has a large share of annual, elaborate celebrations, customs and traditions. I am only skimming the surface at this point.