I had plenty of time to kill yesterday because my sons were delayed in finishing their school stuffs. So, armed with a camera, I wondered into a Chinese temple behind their school.
It is part of the Penang Heritage Trails.
Part of what is written :
When the Hainan men migrated to Penang late in the 19th century, the key occupations were dominated by other Chinese dialect groups, and so they turned to niche occupations by becoming sailors or cooks. Some Hainanese cooks first served in European and Straits Chinese households before branching out to open their own coffeeshops and restaurants.
I had often proudly proclaimed myself a Hainanese whose father sailed to Malaya with his eldest brother in a sampan, braving the rough seas (and pirates).
The Hainan Temple has these rows of photos of the elder Hainanese whom had died, tiled on the walls. It has a serene looking Ma Chor, described below:
The temple, called Thean Ho Keong or Temple of the Heavenly Queen, was founded before 1866 and the present building dates from 1895. It is dedicated to the goddess Mar Chor, the patron saint of seafarers. Goats are slaughtered during the deity’s feast days. It is a common temple for the different migrant groups from the island of Hainan in South China, now called Kheng Chew or Hainan province.
OK, back to inspirational thoughts.
I had this over-whelming feelings of thanksgiving to the uncles and aunties whom had ventured so far from their roots in China to Malaya. I switched off my camera, put it down and bowed my head. For a few minutes, I stopped being a tourist and photographer.
I am but a grateful citizen of Malaysia. I thank God for being born and bred in Malaysia. I thank God for having grown up, grown old as a Malaysian. I thank God for everything. And thank Him for leading my father here safely.
When I stepped out of the temple back into my car, I realised that eventhough I am a Christian, I can still be very much part of my Chinese culture.
Quotes are sourced from Penang Tourism website.