- Encounters with locals
- Place or Religious Monument
I went to Tay Ninh when I left Ho Chi Minh to explore this original and little known religion. It was a unique part of my trip to Vietnam.
When I got to the temple I found a sort of ultra kitsch cathedral-pagoda. It looked a bit like a Walt Disney castle for a princess. The interior was even more original. The colours are incredibly bright and there are dragons around the columns. The main sculpture and the most venerated object is an enormous blue ball decorated with the divine eye. There are also statues of Buddha, Confucius, Jesus, Lao-Tseu... The religion was created in the 1920s by Ngô Vân Chiêu. Cao Daism is a mix of the best of Christianity, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism and Islam. Even stranger, its followers hold seances. Amongst others, they venerate Victor Hugo, Joan of Arc, Julius Caesar, Shakespeare and Lenin, with whom they have regular contact! But quiet! The ceremony is beginning. The women sit on the left, the men on the right, and they are all dressed in immaculate white. The prayers are accompanied by musicians. The priests wear different colours according to their beliefs. Red for Confucians, blue for Taoists and yellow for Buddhists.
I didn't entirely understand what was going on but the ceremony seems to be very regulated and it was very interesting to take part.