Thursday, May 23, 2013

What do Taiwanese people ask for when they pray?

Taiwan's temples are often crowded with worshippers. What are they praying for? 

According to Religion,Occultism, and Social Change in Taiwan, a paper published by Academia Sinica - the ROC's most prestigious research institution - a few years back, the most popular requests made by those visiting folk shrines were physical health (80.8%), prosperity (75%), career or educational success (59.6%), reassurance (55.8%), safety during military service (48.1%), wisdom (48.1%) and good karma (42.3%). Of course, these categories are all quite broad, and because the data has been translated from Chinese to English (and likely Taiwanese to Chinese to English), it's hard to draw any firm conclusions. However, the survey did make another interesting finding: 53.8% said “habit” was a major reason they prayed. 

I took this photo at a fairly ordinary, medium-sized temple in Taoyuan City. 

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