THE TURTLE AND THE TEMPLE: OLD TALES AND NEW TIES AT KUSU ISLAND
|National Museum of Singapore Gallery Theatre, Basement|
Date: Sat, 19 Jul
Time: 2pm- 3.30pm
Venue: National Museum of Singapore Gallery Theatre, Basement
Synopsis: Thousands flock to the Tua Pek Kong temple at Kusu Island every year, a pilgrimage practice that began more than 150 years ago. How did this tradition begin and how have the associated rituals and beliefs changed over time? In turn, how have changes to the island and its physical and socio-economic environment affected the practice and future of this pilgrimage? Drawing on his research and interviews conducted in the late 2000s, Jack Chia offers a look at Kusu from the inside out, through the eyes of the temple’s caretakers and their stories of the island.
Speaker: Jack Chia is a PhD candidate in Southeast Asian History at Cornell University. His research on the Kusu Island pilgrimage in 2007-2008 has been published in the New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies. It stems from his interest in Buddhism in Singapore, Chinese popular religion and overseas Chinese history.