Saturday, 14 January 2012

"Jade Buddha for Univeral Peace" in the Global Village

Jade Buddha Made a Stop-Over in Singapore (like many tourists before him) During a Worldwide Whirlwind Tour

semi-overcast 29 °C

I have written quite a swag of things about globalisation and religions. Quite often, in the same entry. Here's another entry in that spirit (pun intended).

This jade Buddha statue is truly born in a globalised world. It has as much - if not more - associations with the West as with the East.

Jade Buddha for Universal Peace
Jade Buddha for Universal Peace
It was born out of a largest - 18 tonne - gem quality polar jade boulder found in North British Columbia (called itself "The Best Place on Earth". Had dropped that bold claim recently). It was carved in Chiang Rai, Thailand by a Thai sculptor. The image of the Buddha statue is based on Buddha from Bodh Gaya, India. The Buddha prototype was designed by an Aussie, Jonathon Partridge. The face was painted by a master painter from Nepal. It was consecrated in Sydney Entertainment Centre (HH Dalai Lama also had been there a number of times for public talks, which I had attended once). This statue is very much affiliated with the Tibetan temple. And this is their official website.

It had been on a world tour and had jetsetted to Vietnam, Australia, North America, and Europe. On it's returning trip to Asia, it makes a stop-over in Singapore between 13 and 26 Jan in Orchard Rd - the shopping mecca, just outside the Takashimaya shopping mall before heading for the next destination. Its final resting place is going to be Great Stupa of Universal Compassion in Bendigo in Melbourne, Australia. With all that travelling, no wonder it puts on a permanent smile.

So it's started life in one of the northernmost Western country of Canada, and going to rest in its permanent home in the southernmost Western country of Australia (both are still British colonies). Isn't it interesting? It was born in a immigrant country and settled in another immigrant country. The typical story of the modern globalised, globetrotting life.

On the other hand, it shouldn't be come as a surprise. Both of these are multicultural countries with large Asian immigrant populations, and what's more, Wollongong in Sydney, Australia has the largest Nan Tien Buddhist temple outside Asia. And the stupa that going to house this jade Buddha is also the largest outside Asia. Just another item of big thing is added to the list.

Well, Australia does have a thing of building big things - Big Merino, Big Pineapple, etc. I've been graced - ok awed - during adolescent by the Big Merino many a times. The service station with the Big Merino is a pit stop for the filling of energies - for our car and bodies - while we were on our way to the Snowy Mountain for skiing. But I was almost always looked at the Big Merino against the night sky as we usually stopped here around 10PM driving from Sydney. Here's a better link for the Australia Big Things.

I guess it's only natural that when you have so much space with so few people, you want to fill it up with big things. To reflect its enormity. Like the astronomers would like to say, "...otherwise, it would be a total waste of space".