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Mother’s Death Ceremonial Day

Yesterday, my wife took hours to prepare “po piah” (salad roll) for my deceased mother (or my father on a different date). My wife has been doing this ritual for decades. It is a remembrance of her, a kind of reverence and gratitude to parents. The Chinese word for filial, Xiao (孝) has two radicals, with children below shouldering the aged; there’s no word for the reverse. There’s always some remorse on such occasions: I have been short of her expectation.

Pictures to show the construction of “Poh Piah” (spring roll)

The idols are merely symbolic representations, with cultural meaning. The half smile of the Buddha is a powerful tool for visualization. With smile, the facial muscles are relaxed, hence reducing the tension. The in and out breathe meditation or chanting will enhance relaxation. If one sees the idol as Buddha, you are no longer a Buddhist. Fo is written with two radicals, 佛, the right means negation, left means person. The negative comprises of a binary (rich/ poor, right/wrong etc) bonded together. Any person that can negate and transcend the binary in a social world is enlightened.

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