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Jakarta Post

Hok Lay Kiong, silent witness to ever-changing Bekasi

Fri, January 24, 2020   /   11:15 am
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    A resident who works as the temple’s caretaker sits in front the Hok Lay Kiong temple on Jan. 24. JP/Bismo Agung

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    10分快三开户Visitors burn incense as they pray in the temple. JP/Bismo Agung

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    10分快三开户A visitor passes through a door, the temple’s oldest ornament. JP/Bismo Agung

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    Lukman “Silay” Susanto has worked for 20 years as a temple caretaker, as well as a guide for visitors as they say their prayers. JP/Bismo Agung

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    A temple caretaker sleeps during a break from work. JP/Bismo Agung

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    10分快三开户Candles, donated by residents, are carried by workers for the Chinese New Year celebration. JP/Bismo Agung

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    10分快三开户Hu papers for charms contain prayers and instructions from the gods. JP/Bismo Agung

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    10分快三开户The temple’s caretakers chat during a break from work. JP/Bismo Agung

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    A temple caretaker cleans an incense jar. JP/Bismo Agung

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    Pepen, who is not of Chinese descent, works at the temple and writes prayers on candles. He comes from Sukabumi, West Java, and has worked there for 20 years. JP/Bismo Agung

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    Thousands of incense sticks are prepared for the prayer rituals for Chinese New Year. JP/Bismo Agung

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    Steven grew up near the temple and wishes to preserve his family’s tradition in performing the lion dance. JP/Bismo Agung

Bismo Agung

10分快三开户For almost 350 years, the Hok Lay Kiong temple has stood in the middle of Bekasi, West Java. It was the first temple built by the Chinese who escaped from Batavia, the old name for Jakarta. They were pursued by Dutch colonial soldiers after a demonstration demanding a pay rise led to a revolt.

10分快三开户In the 1700s, Bekasi was still a forested area and was considered a safe place for the runaways. Most of the Chinese who worked as laborers built a village as their residence.

Afterward, houses were built and a temple followed suit. It was named Hok Lay Kiong, which means the palace of fortune.

10分快三开户The temple is said to be the biggest in Bekasi. A renovation left the building with only three original doors from the 18 th century. A door marking the altar’s area is made of teak wood and bears a carving of the god Hok Lay Kiong, believed to have the ability to smooth one’s way into fortune.

10分快三开户The temple is also home to traditional Chinese celebrations, such as a Chinese drum festival and Chinese New Year. Situated in the middle of a busy village with diverse residents, the temple is closely guarded by the people in the area. It has survived several riots thanks to the help of Bekasi’s own residents. (wng)

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