wishing for the power to transform…

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Year 2009. “As long as there are religions, there are going to be people who are hiding their rottenness behind the veil of religion.” Juliana Hatfield

Although Mongolians have obeyed for centuries to the shamanism practices Buddhism from Tibet made his way into Mongolia throughout the same periods. So Inner Mongolian Buddhism is in short a derivation of Tibetan Buddhism. And as in Tibet, in Inner Mongolia too the communist revolution leaders thought that a total extirpation of knowledge about the religion and its practices would cut modern Mongols off from much of their past to the detriment of their national identity. With that in mind is easy to imagine what would happen next. In 1938, under the accusation of cooperation with the Japanese imperial army, nearly every monk of a total community of over 100,000 spread over 3,000 temples had vanished. In 1940, almost every monk have either disappear by means of murder or apostatised. After the 1990’s Inner Mongolia saw an “invasion” of Chinese from every corner of the country, some looking for work and business opportunities while others have been sent by the central government with unity intended reasons…. and that mix had also add some mix feelings, inclusive of respect….

…on Sunday, 5th April of 2009, while on professional duties I strolled around Hohhot City to visit whatever remains I could find from the worship places saved from that savagery of years 40’s and the bloodiest cultural revolution of 70’s. Around noon I found a small buddhist temple, recently restored, and very active with some monks trying to keep the place as much alike as in the past. After the main entrance there was a kind of lobby before entering the worship room, with an oversized Buddha image, in its natural peaceful pause to which direction I turned to light-up a couple of incense sticks and pay my respect.

I had not completely crossed the threshold leading to the main praying room when I realised there was, behind me, a Chinese family, speaking with an unmistakable Beijing accent I got used to clearly distinguish from any other part of China, eating some crackers in front of the Buddha image and talking loudly. It seemed to me they were talking nonsense and rather making jokes or so. As I said, I had not completely crossed the threshold leading to the praying room when I heard a loud noise. The noise was from a big fart the man had just released with a display of disrespect because a big laugh too ensued, not only by him but also from his wife and the kid too…

Sometimes, in such circumstances, I just wanted to ask what these people think about manners, tolerance and respect… and what the hell were they doing there anyway?!?!?!

I walk away by wishing to have the power to transform… some humans in rats.