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Sunday, November 25, 2012
Local Lord (地主爷): A Cultural Perspective
Even gods are different according to geographical locations, believe it!
local lord belief is stated in the book Zuozhuan chapter on popular articles
stated (左传通俗篇): “In a
township, there must be a local lord, the function of local lord is to watch
over the master of the township, and hence it is called the respectable one.”
call local lord “old uncle” (伯公) and he is given a wife called “old woman” (伯婆), the Taiwanese Hokkian call him Fudezhengshen
(福德正神). There are many times that a
Taoist will seek the help of local lord for assistance, such as to travel to
under world (观落阴) or to call
upon the dead (牵亡魂).
(广东) and Hong Kong, shops and houses
local lord is worshipped in the form of wooden tablet inscribed with the words “the
doorway local lord”. Even though the status of “doorway local lord” is inferior
to the main local lord, it can still protect the household from the wandering
spirits and bring in fortune. Still remember the posting of a ghost seeking
revenge? Let me refresh your memory:
Singapore and Malaysia Chinese also worship local lord but with a slight
tablet of local lord in Hong Kong and Taiwan would read: “The front and back
local lord and god of fortune.” (前后地主財神)
tablet of local lord in Singapore and Malaysia would read: “The Chinese and
foreigner local lord and god of fortune.” (唐番地主財神)
the case is, the local lord watch over a household, so he is normally placed in
the living room facing the main entrance. A businessman will put the local lord
in his shop or factory. The reason is that while protecting the shop, the local
lord can also bring in fortune and good for business.