Published: July 10th 2010July 10th 2010
It’s hard to track down much religion in China, apart from Islam and Tibetan Buddhism, both of which are quite conspicuous, one mercifully the other mercilessly. A lot of Chinese claim to be Buddhist (but certainly not the Tibetan type); almost all of them are Taoist to some extent or other, regardless of whether they know it or admit it and there are is a disturbingly growing number of Christians of the worst conceivable type. (Self-pitying, misanthropic, pledge wavers, fresh out of Major Barbara, almost invariably overweight and even more badly dressed that the norm. Slight wonder the spouse took to drink and ran off to Tibet.) They have Amway too these days; the march of history. Perhaps the two could be related?
Correct me if I am wrong, if you like - facts are grist to the mill of the small mind - but China has the biggest land area in the world which is predominantly Muslim, and the second biggest Muslim population (after India). Or maybe not. Most people think most (or all of them) of them or Uigor, but is a lot more to it than that. Happily for the traveler, they wear distinctive funny little hats. They also make bread and noodles. You are never far from a funny-little-hat restaurant or bakery. The noodle shop is probably open 24 hours. It is reliably cheap, nutritious grub served by people who don’t speak such good mandarin themselves.
Correct me if I am wrong, if you like - facts are grist to the mill of the small mind - but China has the biggest land area in the world which is predominantly Tibetan Buddhist, and the biggest TB population. Or maybe not. I guess there are many more TBs in Belgravia, Malibu and the North Yorks Moors than have ever been in Tibet. Happily for the traveler, they wear distinctive muddy coloured robes. They also make nothing of any value or interest, but they hold little red envelopes and long, whining arguments. You are never far from a muddy berobed, belligerent, proselytizer, happy to inflict tedious whinges upon you. On no account allow one to touch you or you will be locked into a handshake that may last several hours. Don’t give them your phone number. Don’t take them home. They occupy the ecological niche taken by Scientologist in the West.
Humans are not comfortable in the absence of religion, so several cults have sprung up in China, mainly fashionable and mainly the preserves of the swelling middle-classes.
So Qut - A Dog Cult
Shi Ni Ka - An imported religion, mainly from Japan.
Yn - Yn came originally from France, but the Chinese have made it their own, adding layer upon of unnecessary and pretentious ceremony. A cult of the very rich but sadly uneducated.
Kam Ra - The cult of Edward Scissorhands currently destroying all places of beauty and art in China.