Tuesday, August 08, 2006

photo scavenger hunt: money I once again saw Mountain Musings' Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt and finally decided to join her and others in the fun. Today's theme was "money." For Christmas 2003, my sister, Sarah, came to see me in Taiwan. In the photo above, she displays several 1000 New Taiwan Dollar bills. Each 1000 NT dollar bill is worth about 30 something US dollars. My brother shows me his wallet which is full of 100 New Taiwan Dollar Bills. Each 100 NT bill is worth around 3 US dollars. But the sad thing about money in Taiwan is "spirit money". Taiwanese people burn spirit money (also called "ghost money" or "paper money"). They burn it believing that it is going to their ancestors who can then use the money to buy things in the spirit world. Twice a month, I can see people in my neighborhood burning money to the spirits. Photos from above mosiac can be found full size on the following pages: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Right now, it is the middle of Ghost Month, so there is even more burning of paper money than normal. Ghost Month is a month where the Taiwanese (and others in Asia) beleive that the gates of Hades are opened and the spirits allowed to roam free on earth. While the ghosts roam the land of the living, the living must appease them by offering them food, gifts, and money. Morever the living are scared and try to take precautions against avoiding evil--they will not move to new houses, will not marry, will not make any major purchases, and will not go swimming or take part in other "dangerous sports." Please pray for the Taiwanese. Oh how they need to be set free from the lies and the fear that binds them!

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