Original Chinese Language Article: By Progressive Network
(Translated by Adrian Chan-Wyles PhD)
In China it is common to see people in tattered clothes haunting bridges, tunnels, bus stations, MTR stations, and other places. Sometimes it is not uncommon to encounter Buddhist monks who have ‘come down from the hills to collect alms’, or Daoist priests who visit homes to exchange Spiritual blessings for donations. With the development of the modern city, begging has grown tremendously, and this has seen the emerging of professional begging. It seems that begging in China has extended ‘out of the country’ and become an international phenomena.
According to a recent New York Times report, in the often crowded Times Square in Manhattan, there have been large numbers of Chinese nationals dressed in Orange, Brown, or grey robes of Buddhist monks and gathering to beg. The majority appear of be Chinese men with shaved heads, but there are also some Chinese women dressed as Buddhist nuns.
Reports state that these monks and nuns have a fixed “operating procedure”: they bless passers-by with a smile, hand out a lucky charm, and then demand a donation. They also often show the a picture of their assumed home temple, which seems to indicate that they are legitimately collecting donations for that temple. Then they open the donation book, which supposedly shows how many people have already donated various sums of money.
This group of people dress as Chinese Buddhist monks or nuns, but because nobody knows their real identities, or where they come from, the US authorities usually ds not interfere, with the police only coming forward when these beggar’s behaviour goes too far. When genuine Chinese Buddhists question the beggars about their Buddhist lineages or traditions, the beggars are usually silent, or just walk away.
It is reported that the attitude of the Chinese fake monks and nuns is very confidently. If a donor gives too little, they bluntly ask for $20 extra, or more. Giving out good luck charms or lucky trinkets whilst begging, is no illegal on the streets of New York and does not break the law, but this year New York police have arrested at least 9 “monastics”, with most charged with aggressive begging, or selling goods without a license.
These supposed Chinese Buddhist monks and nuns who are now begging on the streets of New York, are an extension of what can be commonly seen in China. Netizens (discussing this issue on the Chinese internet) have commented that these fake monastics abroad are shameful for Chinese people, and their behaviour makes China ‘lose face’ internationally.
©opyright: Adrian Chan-Wyles (ShiDaDao) 2015.
Original Chinese Language Source Article:
前瞻网 2014-07-08 11:26