Monday, August 6, 2007

Tian Hou Gong, Bintawa

Tian Hou Gong, Bintawa

Like many of the Tian Hou Gong in Sarawak or Ma Zhu temples around Southern China; Ma Zhu, the Taoist Goddess of the Sea, is worshipped in the temple; here with two Heavenly Guardians at the sides.

Ma Zhu is widely worshipped among the Chinese communities traditionally engaged in the fishing line of work or whose ancestors lived around the Southern China coastlines.

She is widely worshipped & popular among the Taiwanese, Fujians, Cantonese, and the Chinese in the South East Asia.

According to legend, Ma Zhu or Lin Mo Niang was born in 960 on Meizhou Island, Fujian. She had the gift of heavenly power, and her warm heartedness & eagerness had earned her respects & love from the villagers. She died at the young age of 28; according to one legend, when she climbed a mountain alone and flew to heaven and became a goddess.

The Tian Hou Gong in Bintawa; it was said that in the 1960s or earlier, the local pioneer Heng Hua community live around the Ang Cheng Ho area before been relocated to the present Bintawa. As devotees to Ma Zhu, the earlier Heng Hua people used to commute between the earlier Ang Cheng Ho & the nearby Padungan Tian Hou Gong, a routine practice for a fishing community especially before & after a fishing trip.

After the relocation, a new Tian Hou Gong was then initiated as it was & it still is a more convenient location of worship and to provide the required spiritual needs to the Bintawa community.

The present Tian Hou Gong has gone through many times of upgrading & expansion since then, especially in the 1990s where few of local devotees had contributed tremendously to the current glamorous architecture of the temple.

# Other places of worship & devotion with Ma Zhu as host deity:

From Tian Hou Temp...

Places of Worship & Devotion In Sarawak

Friday, August 3, 2007

Hock Teck Tsyr, Limbang

Hock Teck Tsyr, Limbang

The Chinese started settlement in Limbang area more than a century ago. Around the year 1887, the pioneer Chinese migrated from Kuching (now the Capital of Sarawak); it was said that one of the senior immigrants started the construction of a small hut, said to be on a nearby small hill, for the Hock Teck Tsyr, or Tua Pek Kong Temple. The Temple had provided them a means of spiritual support as well as encouragement especially during the earlier years of challenging & harsh environment.

This early simple temple was maintained by a small group of devotees until around 1890.

The 1st relocation of a better premise was initiated by a businessman, said to be from Singapore who came to Limbang around that year.

The present premise is of the 2nd relocation as the earlier land was gazetted for Government purposes in 1964. The completion of the current Hock Teck Tsyr was August 1978.

Like most places of worship in Sarawak, the temple here, or Hock Teck Tsyr and its affiliated associations have provided an essential religious center for the devotees, the required spiritual supports, contributions to the local welfare, education; as well as strengthening cultural interactions & practices of the local Chinese community.