Weekly Photo Challenge: Close Up

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Close Up.”

Some details are more vivid when we look at them up close. The intricate lines and shades of nature are shown in focus and we are again amazed by these wonderful creations. The closer we get to the subject, the more we are able to see the minute traces that make up the image. 20140824_153216 20140824_15251620140517_160418

This is the project I’ve been working on this past week. I have began making origami jewelries and it’s been fun! I have made about 50 pairs of earrings and been experimenting on the designs. Sometimes, things are more vibrant when in focus.

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Kuan Yin, The Goddess of Compassion

East meets West. This Kuan Yin structure found in an old house in Gulangyu is a depiction of cultural mix in its design. The front view shows Kuan Yin and the back view of it is Mama Mary. According to our guide, this shows that the East is in front while the West remains at the back, which is a refusal to succumb to colonial powers. IMG_7506 IMG_7509

Gulangyu

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20150404_080308Gulangyu Island is a wonderful place to go when visiting Xiamen. You just need to ride the ferry to cross to the island and have fun spending the whole day here. We didn’t have enough time though when we went there and it would have been fun to explore the whole place on foot.

There are many old houses there left by different Chinese from across Asia. We had a local tour guide that took us around Gulangyu. They have great respect for the overseas Chinese because they come back to China, give donations, build structures and just don’t forget to give back to their mother country.

One of the best places to take prenuptial photos is Gulangyu. We already saw two to three pairs having their photo taken. There are also cafe and shops that one can explore. You can also choose to ride the cart but there are places that this couldn’t reach.

There were old houses that were converted to museums that we went into. The guide explains to us the different houses and the fate of the owners of those structures. According to him, if we look at the design of the houses, we could see a mixture of Asian and Western touches on the structures. People were resistant then of the colonial powers but managed to infuse Western influences to the designs of the houses. He asked us to notice that the upper part of the houses have Chinese designs while the bottom part have Western details. It is a statement that says they won’t be subdued by the west. These architectures are interesting to see but we just didn’t have enough time to take more pictures.

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In the sense

IMG_7163Incense sticks or called the “joss sticks” are used in temples, in performing religious rites, or in ancestral veneration. Since we were little, we were given these joss sticks to talk to our grandparents and ancestors who have gone before us. We did not know what it means then but just followed suit. In time, it became tradition to light joss sticks and pray to them using that during special dates on the lunar calendar or during their memorial.

At the wake of my grandfather, elders reminded us to keep lighting joss sticks and that the process should not break. The incense should not run out.

The joss stick has been used as a clock in ancient times to determine the time of day.  I remembered that my dad said a joss sticks last for an hour, though new ones seem to burn faster. However, it can still be used as a gauge for how long has passed, half of the stick means half an hour.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Symbol

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Symbols depict signs and representations; it can mean a lot of things for different people.

Symbols mark the places and provide solid reference for a particular city.

Once you see it, you’d know where you are.

Once you find it, you won’t be lost.

Once you decipher it, you’d be a step closer to understanding the culture or the person.

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Nanputuo 南普陀寺

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Our driver parked the bus and told us to walk here for a bit and look around. There were too many people that day but our driver said that he’ll try if we can get in with our ride since we have a wheelchair. He just informed the guard that we are going in to eat lunch and we were permitted to go in. It turns out that my grandmother had been here years back. Nanputuo (南普陀寺) has a big compound which house different temples. It’s a long way up but we didn’t proceed except for my mom and elder cousin. They said it had more temples as you go farther. IMG_7247 IMG_7257 IMG_7258 IMG_7280 IMG_7281 IMG_7284 IMG_7286 IMG_7316edit