Temple etiquette?

Old Nov 5, 16, 5:49 pm
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Temple etiquette?

We would like to visit some temples, like the Man Mo Temple, on our trip to Hong Kong. What is the proper way to behave in a temple? We really don't want to cause offense. (take shoes off?, bow?, photographs?, burn incense?) Also, is it ok to bring an 11 year old child into a temple?
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Old Nov 5, 16, 11:34 pm
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Originally Posted by Tardis_mom View Post
We would like to visit some temples, like the Man Mo Temple, on our trip to Hong Kong. What is the proper way to behave in a temple? We really don't want to cause offense. (take shoes off?, bow?, photographs?, burn incense?) Also, is it ok to bring an 11 year old child into a temple?
It depends on the temple, watch what the locals do.

Bowing and incense burning is optional.

If photo are not allowed there will usually be signs posted. Or just point to your camera at a staff member and they will gesture whether it is ok.

11 yrs is allowed in. Make sure he doesn't burp!!! (Proper behavior)
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Old Nov 6, 16, 8:28 pm
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There's hardly any etiquette in most HK temples (not talking about Buddhist monasteries). Shoes on, photographs allowed in most, all kids allowed. Only thing is that donation is appreciated - but do ask first, as some donation boxes are put up by the temple itself, while others are for the HK Chinese Temple Committee or other umbrella associations. The abbot will appreciate if you donate to their own box.
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Old Nov 6, 16, 9:05 pm
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Was there yesterday. Plenty of people in shorts, also locals who were engaged in worshipping rituals (hope that is the proper term). Also, plenty of children. No need to take off your shoes.

At Man Mo, taking pictures is allowed, but flash photography is prohibited. Other places like Chi Lin Nunnery prohibit all photography inside the halls, but there are big signs everywhere.

HK temples are pretty "easy going" to visit as long as one applies the same common sense as one would visiting Notre Dame
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Old Nov 7, 16, 4:26 am
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Thank you all!
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Old Nov 11, 16, 1:09 am
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Just show the same level of respect that you would expect from visitors to your own place of worship.

I would suggest that you do not take photos without checking first. Normally just pointing to your camera will illicit either a nod or a shake of the head
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Old Nov 11, 16, 3:14 am
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Originally Posted by steveben53 View Post
your own place of worship.
What a bizarre assumption to make! In the developed world "worship" (i.e. the voluntary abandonment of rational thought) is rapidly dying out (amongst my friends I can only think of one who attends a place of worship, and she does so only under duress). I can't find any reason to assume that the OP is thus afflicted.
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Old Nov 11, 16, 4:04 am
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Originally Posted by christep View Post
What a bizarre assumption to make! In the developed world "worship" (i.e. the voluntary abandonment of rational thought) is rapidly dying out (amongst my friends I can only think of one who attends a place of worship, and she does so only under duress). I can't find any reason to assume that the OP is thus afflicted.

So in order to attend a place of worship one has to be afflicted ?
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Old Nov 11, 16, 10:23 am
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I just want to emphasize that there is a clear distinction between temples (like Man Mo Temple mentioned by the OP, or the popular Wong Tai Sin Temple) and the Buddist Monasteries and Nunnery.

There are hardly any rules or prohibitions in the former only. Monasteries on the other hand each have their own rules. For example, no photos inside the main hall at Po Lin Monastery on Lantau, and no incense burning at Chi Lin Nunnery at Diamond Hill.
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Old Nov 11, 16, 1:23 pm
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Originally Posted by steveben53 View Post
So in order to attend a place of worship one has to be afflicted ?
In my view, yes, but we're in Omni territory here.

My point is that in places like the UK only a small minority of people attend places of worship on a regular basis, so your assumption seemed rather invalid.

Last edited by christep; Nov 11, 16 at 1:29 pm
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Old Nov 17, 16, 1:17 pm
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Originally Posted by christep View Post
What a bizarre assumption to make! In the developed world "worship" (i.e. the voluntary abandonment of rational thought) is rapidly dying out (amongst my friends I can only think of one who attends a place of worship, and she does so only under duress). I can't find any reason to assume that the OP is thus afflicted.
One of the most stupid posts I have read on this site, which is saying something.
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Old Nov 17, 16, 5:18 pm
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Originally Posted by DernierVirage View Post
One of the most stupid posts I have read on this site, which is saying something.
Then I guess that you are also so afflicted - but, thankfully, you are in a rapidly reducing demographic in developed countries. In the UK only a rapidly decreasing minority of people have attended a place of worship in the last year (sources vary, but of the order 25-35%) and only something of the order of 10% attend such a place on a regular basis.

So my point is that the assumption that the OP would necessarily have their "own place of worship" is clearly invalid.
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Old Nov 19, 16, 6:25 pm
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Went there on a recent trip and it was a stinking hot day. I was in knee length shorts and a t-shirt as was my husband. That seemed the normal attire for all the tourists there. The temple is pretty easy going as someone above said. Just respect their culture. Have fun.
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