Ancestor Worship in Vietnam
Replies: 39 - Last Post: Dec 17, 2012 10:48 PM Last Post By: mooslie
Dec 11, 2012 8:16 PM
Surely you have been Vietnam and I don’t deny what you saw. But you just could see the facade. So sad! You visited temple and you saw quite a lot Vietnamese went there to pray. They use money instead burning incense sticks to pray. Just image, if everyone user 1 incense stick, the temple will look like a burning house with smoke and the air is stuffy. Amount of money they donate will help to repair the temple or use in the good way.
Wishing has a lot of money is not only the desire of Vietnamese but also every people in the world. Vietnam is a poor country and they go to the temple to pray for money, it is very easy to understand. They just want to have a good life and it is not hurt to anyone. Besides that, they go the temple not only pray for money but also pray for a good heath, a happy life and they feel peaceful when go there. It is a very sacred place to Vietnamese. Did you try to ask any Vietnamese about that?
You saw Vietnamese burn the hell money, it is votive paper and it is for the ancestor not the lives.
I just write this to provide some information about Vietnamese religious to anyone who would like to know about Vietnam. Just explore the ancestor worship in detail, you will feel sorry about what you said.
Hai Hau (Nam Dinh province) is a famous district for ancestor worship house. Ancestor worship house is as big as a house. Most every family has a private one. It is just for his or her ancestor from their grandparents to 7 generations ago. And if you visit Hue, you will see monumental tombs. Their concept of ancestor worship is about filial piety to their ancestor. Vietnamese believe in the law of giving and receiving. If ancestor has a good life in the heaven, the good life will come to the lives. It is also the way to teach people about the behavior not only for the dead but also for the lives.
I hope you have a proper view of Vietnamese belief of ancestor worship.
Dec 11, 2012 8:28 PM
16Hi Alice. I realize that part of what you say is true and there is a spiritual side here, but that's for the older generation. I have some good Vietnamese friends who agree with me in the fact the praying in the temples is for the wrong reasons. There is noting wrong at all for wanting a better life, but I see a lot of consumers in Vietnam now and a lot of envy and jealousy. I feel your country is quickly becoming as bad as the West in terms of greed and a consumerism. It does have a fascinating history and I love the culture, but the times are changing.
Dec 12, 2012 5:08 AM
17It is inevitable that people anywhere will want to improve themselves and their families materially, nothing wrong with this, especially if the country is rapidly moving forward from a low economic baseline due to past woes.... I think the votive money offering actions have been around for a long time, not a recent addition due to the search for wealth. I do perceive an obsession with purchasing the latest gadget, and this may be partially linked to saving face in front of peers.
Dec 12, 2012 6:23 AM
18@# 13 I burn Hell Money on ancestor worship day just like locals!
For those who don't understand the custom, they burn money believing that the smoke (and money) goes to their ancestors in hell. They feel their ancestors are short of a few bucks and send some money on. Of course the money is just fake USDs (they don't have confidence in Vietnamese Dong and believe that dollars will be more useful in hell). It's a bit puzzling ...if they send up counterfeit cash how can their ancestors spend it.
If they really believe this cr*p why don't they put their money where their mouth is and burn real dollars. Then the ancestors will have real money to spend rather than monopoly money.
Dec 12, 2012 11:32 AM
Dec 12, 2012 6:30 PM
Exactly, they have to burn hell money not real money. The hell money is just for the dead. Of course, the dead and the lives cannot spend the same money. The hell money has larger size than real money and hell money has only 1 color on it, maybe is red, yellow or blue. Because of economic development and the time changes, so there are a lot of the hell money which look like real money appear including dollar money. Vietnamese believe that habits of the dead still keep as they were alive. Young deceased who was born in rich family, they liked to spend dollar money than Vietnamese money, so when they died they still spend dollar money. In fact, they burn much more the hell dollar money in the big city than the countryside.
Dec 12, 2012 9:34 PM
Dec 12, 2012 11:34 PM
Dec 13, 2012 1:21 AM
23@#20 Mooslie...I thought that hell was down!!
True ...that raises the question why do they burn the fake cash-smoke goes up, not down?
@#21 Do they have inflation down there? if so they should factor in 20% extra dud notes for burning. Otherwise the departed will feel short changed!
@#23 good point. They should burn their Ipads and I Phones and send them on. The relatives would find them handy for giving them a call.
Dec 13, 2012 8:03 PM
Dec 13, 2012 8:48 PM
Dec 14, 2012 12:05 AM
Dec 14, 2012 3:57 AM
Dec 14, 2012 9:16 AM
28"Hung Kings’ worship ritual was recognized as cultural heritage by UNESCO in December 6th , 2012. It becomes one of seventeen intangible cultural heritages of humanity"
Yeah, good luck pimping that one to the masses which sees Vietnam as quite passe. It's all about the Myanmar, yet to be ruined by aggressive an ignorant local tourist operators.
Dec 14, 2012 5:25 PM
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