Thursday, 7 February 2008

NY Times: Offering of Cleanliness

Image ©Nicole Bengiveno/NY Times-All Rights Reserved

The New York Times features a multimedia slideshow of photographs by Nicole Bengiveno of the cleansing ceremonies at the American Society of Buddhist Studies on Center Street in Chinatown, on occasion of Chinese New Year...the Year of the Rat.

The accompanying article by Ann Farmer has an interesting paragraph:

"One of the nuns, Sing Yeh See, 45, was born in Vietnam and worked as a nurse in California before deciding to move to New York. As a nurse, Ms. Yeh See said that encountering sickness and death made her more aware of how temporary life can be.

Two years ago, following Buddhist tradition, she had incense burned into the top of her scalp to create nine permanent bald spots. “It hurt,” she said, but added that it was an expression of her devotion."

The audio of the feature is of Buddhist chants...but they should have thought of also recording the voices of the many nuns working feverishly at the temple.

To my Chinese readers: Xin nian kuai le!

The New York Times' Offering of Cleanliness