sábado, 12 de maio de 2012
KUAN YIM SHRINE - THIAN FAH FOUNDATION HOSPITAL
Thien Fah Foundation (มูลนิธิเทียนฟ้า),
Yaowarat Rd (slightly north of the Yaowarat Rd and Charoen Krung Rd intersection, also north of the Odeon Circle)
This is the oldest charitable society of Bangkok, founded in 1902 by Chinese immigrants in Thailand.
The local clinics at the site provide free medical treatment for the poor using traditional Chinese as well as modern practices.
Most interesting for foreign visitors is the courtyard which boasts the Guan Yin Shrine (ปูชนียสถานเจ้าแม่กวนอิม), commonly known as the "Shrine for the Goddess of Mercy".
Local visitors of the shrine follow the Mahayana school of Buddhism, which is different from the Theravada school that is dominant elsewhere in Thailand.
The statue of the goddess Ming, to whom the shrine is dedicated, is the highlight of the temple.
The statue was carved out from a single piece of solid teakwood and shows Ming in the attitude of giving blessings.
It was carved in China in Tang Dynasty art style and is believed to be around 800 years old. The statue has been in possession of the foundation since 1958, when it was taken out of China and placed inside the temple. The exterior's architecture is typically Chinese with an impressive roof and beautiful teak wood motif carving of dragons and other Chinese symbols. It is particularly lively during Chinese New Year.
On every Sundays, Thian Fah Foundation Hospital provides free medical check-ups at Lumpini park.
Most of the people came to measure their sugar level in blood.
At first the number of people present was about 200 people, but now the approximate number is 430-480.
There is also about 1000-1200 people who turned up for measuring blood pressure.
Even it was raining; they would be holding umbrellas and queue up.
This becomes another activity in Lumpini Park.
A hundred year of Thian Fah hospital is a reliable society for the Chinese immigrants. It was set up to help the Chinese, until now, the goal and mission remains the same.
Thian Fah Foundation Hospital can be known as 'the hospital for the Chinese' or 'the hospital for the society'.
THIAN FAH FOUNDATION (KUAN YIM SHRINE)
The Thian Fah Foundation and its hospital provides medical care for the poor. It is only fitting then that the shrine located in what is effectively their parking lot is dedicated to the Chinese goddess of mercy, Kuan Yim (or Guan Yin depending on who you ask).
Inside the shrine is an altar to her and several other Chinese figures.
A large gate marks the entrance to the parking lot and is visible from Wat Traimit across Yaowarat and Charoen Krung Roads.
The faithful burn incense sticks and pray in front of the shrine and inside.