Sunday, September 25, 2011

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

The Buddha Tooth Relic Temple is an imposing structure in the middle of Chinatown, Singapore, on a busy corner, surrounded by restaurants and retail stalls.  It seems to be an important part of the community, and often there are events, not only as part of the Buddhist calendar, but also designed to help the poor.  There must be a monastery attached to it, as we have often seen a large group of monks dining at our favorite vegetarian restaurant across the street (must post a blog about that!).  Recently, we had lunch with a colleague of Chris' at this restaurant (second floor of building on the right side of left picture below), and while we were there, about 12 monks filed past us and sat at a large round table in the front.  (I'm sure it was saved for them!)  They ate and left, and by the time our party left the restaurant, a large procession was in progress, led by the chanting monks with horns and gongs, followed by a sizable contingent of lay people in black robes.  We felt very fortunate to have witnessed such a colorful and spiritual event, and of obvious importance to the community.

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