Friday, June 4, 2010

Wild Boar Temple

Short note: Apologies for the short absence, as the mid-term exam season is here, not because I have turned blind already from the LASIK surgery like some people had claimed haha! I would love to write more, but time is against me. Besides, there's nothing much happenings recently, just some random rantings, if there is any. This entry was written some distance back, but I never posted it up because I wanted to make it as a filler-entry, during busy periods like now. So, here you are, an entry about my visit to a place in my hometown, Taiping, which I find it quite interesting. Mind you that this was way back during my summer holidays in September 2009!

Disclaimer: This entry contain images which might not be suitable for certain religious viewers. It is advisable to skip this entry, especially to the Muslims as they might get offended by the material.

This is a non-halal entry.
It is something which used to be the hottest talk of the Taiping town several months back, and I finally get to experience it myself. In early 2009, my Mom told me about a story about wild boars. Not just normal wild boars, but something more special. Apparently, the people of an Indian temple located nearby TESCO Taiping would ring the bell every evening, and these wild boars will appear from the forest. Maybe my description just too bad that you might think it's something stupid haha! I mean they don't appear suddenly like magic show, but they would run out from the forest once the bell is rang.
So, what's so special about these wild boar?
The road that leads to the Indian temple.
There used to be so many people visiting the place that they have put up this signboard.

Having nothing else better to do, I decided to turn an undercover agent and find out about this story lol! The location is just behind Taman Zenith, which is nearby Tesco Taiping. If you are unsure about the exact location of Taman Zenith, just get yourself to Tesco and ask any locals there. Just tell them "Mau tengok babi hutan" and I'm almost certain they would show you the way there.
At that junction, which is the entrance of Taman Zenith, there would be a boy with another two guys, who wait there every evening. They would be holding plastic bags contaning stuff wrapped in newspaper. I approached the boy one day and asked him what was he selling.
"Mau beli nasi lemak ar?"  (Wanna buy some nasi lemak?")
The nasi lemak boy.

"Kasi babi hutan makan" (To feed the wild boars)

I was gonna ask him how much a packet of the nasi lemak, thinking that he was selling nasi lemak for us to eat, not until he uttered the second line haha! From a further conversation with him, I found out that it's actually nasi sardin (sardine rice), sold at RM2 a packet, which is to be used to feed the wild boars at the temple behind.
"Hello Cikgu, mau tengok babi hutan ka?"
My Mom, who was with me that evening, continued our search for the temple. Whether it was a coincidence or not, we came across two of her students who were loitering around that area. We got down and asked for the direction to the temple, which they were more than happy to tell us.
It was not the Indian temple on the hill as we thought initially, as the wild boars visited another Indian temple about ten minutes walk from the first one.
Look for this yellow signboard and you would find the temple inside.
The entrance to the Indian temple, famous for the wild boars.
There's even a time limit when you're praying.
We went there on a weekday, so there wasn't many people. On weekends and school holidays however, there would be sea of people who will crowd that temple. Stalls selling muruku and other assorted snacks are usually set up. According to one of the guy who is my Mom's student's father, the wild boars used to love nasi lemak.

Nowadays, they prefer to be fed with muruku haha!
The temple is on the left, while the wild boars would come out from the forest on the right.
Devotees praying at the temple.
The new temple is still under construction on the left.
Nasi lemak sold in the compound of the temple.
A group of tourists from Singapore at the temple. I know they're Singaporeans from the southern Hokkien slang they spoke to each other.
People from all over the country, including neighbouring countries, as far as from Singapore and Thailand would come to this temple for one sole reason. So, what is so special about this temple and its wild boars. You might laugh when you read this but apparently, they come all the way there just the touch; yes, you read me correctly, to touch on those wild boars. Apparently, the reason is because the wild boars would bring luck to those who get to touch on them.
They claim that when you touch on them, just go to the 4D shops and buy any random numbers and you would strike. Quite lame and unbelievable, isn't it? However, there are stories which claimed that they make quite huge winnings after touching the wild boars and they managed to strike the first prize. Some of them even used some notes to touch the wild boars, and used the same note to buy lottery lol!
Lottery hopers placing the nasi lemak on the fence, waiting patiently for the wild boars.
Mom and her students seemed to be anticipating for the wild boars to make their appearance haha.
So, anyone interested to try this?

Once you strike, you don't have to work anymore and can straight away retire already haha!
This is where the wild boars will run out from.
There are certain times when the wild boars come out from the forest. At seven sharp every evening, the bell at the temple will ring and it is like a cue when you would see one big herd of wild boars running out from the forest. My paranoid Dad tried to brush off the punctuality of the wild boars by saying there is someone who is stationed up the hill to chase the wild boars down to the temple haha!
When we were first there, there was only one baby wild boar there. After a while waiting, finally the whole bunch of wild boars ran out.
Lonely baby wild boar.
Here comes the whole family.
And people started to get a touch on them. Some tried to touch the wild boars while holding on red packets haha.
I overheard one of the tourist saying something to his friends.

"Bong ar, bong ar, th'an bong koe mai bong ar." ("Touch! Touch! Get to touch already some more don't wanna touch-ar")
I didn't "bong" the wild boars-lah, just took a photo with them haha!
I controlled myself from bursting into laughter when I saw the people there being so enthusiastic to touch those wild boars. They were like so excited and believe that those claims are true, in hope that they would be an instant millionaire the next day.
Some even brought their food there to feed the wild boars. To be truth, their intention is not to feed the wild boars; they are just to lure them to go near the fence so that they get to touch the wild boars.
Feeding the wild boars with packets of nasi lemak.
Not just from one person, but there would be groups of people who would fed on the wild boars.
But the real intention was to touch them.
To see the people there touching the wild boars as if they are their pet, is sometimes a little gross haha.
The new steel fence was built just recently to replace the old wooden one. I guess that is because there were too many people back then and they fear the fence might collapse from the pushing an shoving of the people.
Although there are fences to avoid the wild boars from running around everywhere, they can still escape from the area at times, especially when they are really hungry. It is advisable not to hold your food too low or the wild boars could escape and try to snatch the food away from your grasp. I saw that myself and that lady was so shocked to see one wild boar biting and pulling her food away from her hand, until it made her shouting away haha!
How the place used to look like (picture taken here).
The wild boars begin to come out from the perimeter.
Some of them are daring enough to come out from the fence to fed on the food.
Some of them can get really fierce when there's not enough food for them.
Just in case you are wondering if I tried touching on those wild boars, I didn't because I doubt the claims by the people.

Sometimes, they just make out some rumours to make the place popular and gain revenues from parking collections and nasi lemak sale. If that story is true, I might create a new rumour by claming that you would strike lottery if you shake hands with the monkeys at the Taiping Lake Gardens haha!
They seemed to be admiring the wild boars haha.
My Mom talked to one of the Singaporeans in that group, and asked him is he touched the wild boars. He said he didn't because he doesn't beliave on the claims made and believe they are just rumour.
He added, "Touch touch so much, instead of kena lottery, kena H1N1 got-lah!"


CLF said...

heard boar meat made better char siew and siew yoke compared to their domestic cousin, hmm....

Roshmi Sinha said...

"Nasi lemak sold in the compound of the temple."

Is that what we call as the samosa??

... which is a spicy vegetable/meat (chicken or mutton) stuffing covered with a flour coating and fried. It is yummmmm!

Indian mythology, the great epics or for that matter 'Hinduism' or the 'Hindu faith' is very closely linked with nature.

... And 'Hinduism' is not a 'religion' as the western world understands it. It was never meant to be a religion... but a 'way of life'... so to speak. It was essentially the knowledge gathered by the ancients over a period of time.

The emphasis was on doing one's 'Dharma'... i.e., doing one's duty and being on the 'path of rightousness'... no matter what the situation. Without worrying about the aftermath or consequences.

Things have changed now... thanks to the succession of conquerors and other vested interests :(

In Hinduism... God is one... but the emphasis has always been about maintaining balance between the masculine and the feminine force. And that... without the feminine the masculine is inert.

When modern/western 'scholars' say that the Hindus have 33crore Gods... it is incorrect. In Hinduism, God is not feared... rather considered to be a member of the family... as a son/daughter/parent/friend/sister... etc. And worshipped as the power that drives the universe and beyond.

God is one... we call/imagine God by various names. And there is no gender for God. The gender part has come about due to the english language... which lacks depth. Unlike sanskrit or prakrit or the other languages spoken here.

Roshmi Sinha said...

Lord Vishnu... has 10 major 'avatars' or 'incarnations'. This is referred to as the "Dasavatars"... or the "10 incarnations". The Lord appears in certain forms during the 4 cycles/4 eras/4 yugas... that we believe wax and wane like the seasons. This is the way of the universe... and at the end of the 4th cycle... the world comes to an end. Then after a gap of time... the cycle starts again... and life appears.

The 10 avatars of Lord Vishnu are as follows:
1. Matsya (fish)
2. Kurma (tortoise)
3. Varaha (the wild boar)
4. Narasimha (half-man and half-lion)
5. Vamana (dwarf)
6. Parashuram (the warrior saint and a great teacher) 7. Lord Sri Ram (the King of Ayodhya. Believed to be a very just King. The main character in our epic - The 'Ramayana' or 'the Story of Ram')
8. Balram (Lord Krishna's brother... and a part of Lord Shiva... the God of destruction. A character in the epic - the Mahabharata)
9. Lord Krishna (the best manifestation of Lord Vishnu... no other God has had so much written about his/her life. One of the major characters of the other epic - the 'Mahabharata' or 'the story of the great Bharata')
10. Lord Buddha (a Suryavanshi Kshatriya Prince... who gave it all up. His teachings are part of "Buddhism")
11. Kalki (yet to arrive. Will be in his warrior incarnation... and will destroy the negative forces/people/oppressors... and restore the knowledge/supremacy of the Vedas... the most sacred text of Hinduism)

The first 5 avatars... appeared during the 1st cycle/era/yug - the 'Satya Yug' (the age of truth and justice)

The 6th and 7th avatar appeared during the 3nd cycle/yug/era - the 'Treta Yug' (this age too will be known for the prevalence of truth and justice... though the decline will set in)

The 8th and 9th avatars have appeared during the 3rd cycle/era/yug - the 'Dwapar Yug'. This age has seen the rise of greed, breakdown of the familial bonds and decline of truth and justice)

The 10th avatar has appeared during the 4th cycle/era/yug - the current cycle... or the 'Kali Yug'/the age of Kali)

This age is marked by a progressive decline of society, truth, principles, ideals and justice. Of rightousness. Where people lose their capability to think rationally and differentiate between right and wrong. They are motivated by baser qualities. The pursuit of knowledge declines. The King/ruler... no longer upholds his duty and progressively loses his/her moral fibre. Infact, people who do not have the quality and ability to rule and provide justice (as a King/Emperor/ruler should)... have/will become rulers. Thereby bringing in the decline... through their actions.

The last important avatar - Kalki - is yet to appear. Some say... Kalki will appear in Tibet while others say Kalki will appear in the Southern part of India.

P.S. Therefore... the 'wild boar' connection should be clearer now, I guess :)

sakura said...

erm, i heard of ppl touching some animals, like fishes in the temple to get luck.. but wild boar? it's gotta be the 1st time i'm hearing it.

the wild boars got to eat nice

i kinda agree with the last statement though :p

Kae Vin said...

calvin i guess if u bend down and let people touch they also will touch.

they were so desperate! XD


Ken said...

A total eyes opener.
Never heard about this...

It is a Hindu temple of some god/goddess? And the boar at there is the like the normal Koi we see in the Chinese temple.

calvin said...

@ clf:
yes, i've heard that before too. the meat is basically more tender and not as chewy and the domestic ones. in fact, since wild boars live in the forest and they feed on natural food (roots and leaves), i guess there are much cleaner :)

calvin said...

@ roshmi sinha:
nasi lemak isn't to be mistaken with samosa, because both of them are completely two different things. nasi lemak is a popular dish in malaysia, whereby the rice is cooked in coconut milk and served with a spicy sauce (called sambal), and a few side dishes.

anyway, i know what samosa is, and i love it a lot too!

it was a long comment from you about the 'wild boar connection' and i really appreciate your detailed explanations. as a buddhist, i managed to find some close connections with the content that you mentioned, since hinduism and buddhism are closely related.

i'm sure and i hope it would be a source of reference and information for the people out there. thanks again :)

calvin said...

@ sakura:
haha, when i first heard it from my mom, i couldn't stop myself from bursting into laughter. after i went there and witnessed it myself however, i believed her story, although i still doubt whether touching the wild boars will make your strike lottery.

yeah, in the end of the day, i think it's the wild boars' gain. now, they no longer have to feed on roots and leaves, but can have more luxurious food as in nasi lemak lol!

calvin said...

@ kae vin:
who would wanna touch me? isn't that something we call sexual harassment lol!

calvin said...

@ ken:
yes, if you happen to be in taiping, try giving the place a visit. who knows, you could strike the jackpot haha!

Darren RyanZn Tan said...

I have been there once, but... too smelly and i dared not even touch it.

calvin said...

@ darren tan qin chen:
haha, i think only those old aunties will believe such thing. if it's really true, everyone from taiping, including me, will be billionaires by now lol!