Thursday, September 13, 2007

May Matsu Be With You

All healthy cultures have a "goddess" aspect to their existence, even if they don't acknowledge Her as such. Sick cultures (some in the Middle East, for instance) that deny and suppress the divine feminine suffer accordingly, and the longer they try to suppress the other half of the creative force of the universe (the feminine half), the more disfunctional, vicious, warped and perverted they become. What a refreshing change to read about a culture that openly embraces the Goddess concept: Taiwan sends sea goddess to New York to promote UN bid Wed, 12 Sep 2007 15:58:04 GMT Taipei - After sending politicians, scholars, singers and dancers to the United States to support its bid to join the United Nations, Taiwan on Wednesday sent Matsu, the sea goddess, to evoke divine power to help the island have its prayers answered. Matsu, who is revered by Taoists and the Chinese as the protector of seafarers, is worshipped in a sacred and noisy parade with 13 messengers dressed in 2-metre tall colourful costumes. The messengers lead the parade amid exploding firecrackers and the beating of gongs and drums, while Matsu's statue sits in a covered armchair carried by four disciples. This is the spectacle that Taiwan will take to the doors of the UN in New York. Although the Mastsu troupe has officially been invited by a US- based Taiwanese group for performances and cultural exchange, its main purpose is to call attention to Taiwan's fight to join the UN. Taiwan's campaign to join the UN began in 1993, but it has failed each year due to opposition from China which sees self-governing Taiwan as a breakaway province. Taipei has no right to join the UN whose membership is open only to sovereign countries, Beijing says. While waiting for its application to be discussed at the UN General Assembly opening on September 18, Taiwan's Foreign Ministry decided to make a noisy push for its UN bid this year with the Matsu ceremony. "Taiwan is a sovereign nation and has the right to join the UN. Our main purpose is to convey this message to the whole world," Lu Ming-sen, board chairman of Fengtien Temple, whose Matsu statue is joining the tour, said before departing from Taoyuan International Airport. Taiwan has hundreds of Matsu temples, and each temple has a Matsu statue. The Mastu tour will last for six days. Its highlight is on September 15 when the troupe will perform the Matsu ceremony in front of the UN headquarters. US-based Taiwanese will line Second Avenue holding burning joss sticks as the Matsu statue, escorted by the 13 sword-waving messengers and musicians, proceeds from 52nd to 42nd Street. [New York City] "This will be a historical moment because the Matsu of the East will meet the Statue of Liberty of the West. Taiwan is determined to become an independent nation and to join the UN. Matsu will lend us (her) power to realize our goal," Lu said. ************************************************************************************** For more information on Matsu (pronounced something like "Ma cho," "macho, macho man, I want to be a macho man... - gives new meaning to the word, don't it...) see Wikipedia.

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