Cao Dai Temple in Southern Vietnam
The Cao Dai religion (pronounced cow die) is a mixture of Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, and Catholicism.
I wouldn’t think these religions would work together, but somehow, they do.
If you’re interested in learning more about Cao Dai ism’s beliefs, you can definitely have a look at the Wikipedia article.
However, here’s what I learned in the short amount of time we were at the largest Cao Dai temple.
- The Cao Dai have over 4 million members and are growing.
- Cao Dai is Vietnam’s third largest religion (behind Buddhism and Catholicism).
- Cao Dai is a pretty strict religion which requests that it’s members attend church 4 times/day for an hour and a half each service. (Not many young people join this religion as it doesn’t leave much time for work).
- During services, men and women are separated down the center of the temple.
- The temple has no pews or chairs. The worshippers sit on the floor.
- Victor Hugo is regarded as an early Cao Dai prophet and according to the religion was reincarnated in the form of a Vietnamese person in the early 1900’s.
It’s difficult sometimes not to judge what from the outside seems to be very strange.
But I try to look objectively at my own Catholic upbringing and religion. I can see that there are also some things within Catholicism that from an outside perspective seem very strange as well.
The temple itself is visually striking in many ways, not the least of which is the mixture of dragons and eastern mythical creatures combined with the vestments and hierarchy of Catholicism.
Also interesting is that the “eye” (similar to the All-Seeing Eye on dollar bills) is a recurring theme all throughout the Cao Dai Cathedral, which you can probably see in the pictures.
Overall, I enjoyed our visit to the Cao Dai Temple, where we listened to and watched the first 20 minutes of the service.
Going to the temple meant an extra two hours (each way) on the bus from Ho Chi Minh City, but the temple is a place I am glad to have seen. Cao Dai ism is a religion I find fascinating, if a bit abstract and strict.
April 13th, 2011
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- December 20, 2013 12:40 AM : Poem: My Problem
- December 19, 2013 08:25 AM : Christmas Lights Scavenger Oddities: December Date Night
- December 18, 2013 01:46 AM : Thoughts On A Perfect Fire
- December 17, 2013 01:32 AM : Poem: For The Soldiers
- December 15, 2013 12:08 PM : Why Get Out Of America
- December 15, 2013 02:05 AM : Poem: As An Eagle
- December 14, 2013 02:02 AM : Poem: Howling In The Night
- December 13, 2013 12:38 AM : Poem: To The Mouse (# 2)
- December 12, 2013 05:49 AM : Go Broncos!
- December 10, 2013 01:34 AM : Poem: Anointed
- December 09, 2013 08:42 AM : Poem: Father Christmas Is My Step-Dad
- December 07, 2013 12:41 AM : Poem: I See
- December 06, 2013 01:47 AM : Poem: I Feel So Separated
- December 03, 2013 12:43 AM : Poem: It's Time
- November 30, 2013 12:25 AM : Poem: The Monkey
- November 29, 2013 02:05 AM : Poem: Crushed
- November 28, 2013 12:28 AM : Poem: The River
- November 26, 2013 12:34 AM : Poem: A Maze
- November 25, 2013 02:52 AM : Poem: What Legacy?
- November 24, 2013 12:36 AM : Poem: Regarding Guilt
- November 17, 2013 03:55 PM : A downtown billboard
- November 16, 2013 04:55 PM : 25 More Places to Travel
- November 15, 2013 12:21 AM : Poem: True Beauty
- November 10, 2013 02:00 AM : Poem: The Shortness Of Life
- November 08, 2013 12:26 AM : Poem: To The Mouse
- November 05, 2013 09:31 AM : Scary Skydiving
- November 05, 2013 07:31 AM : Poem: Knowing I'm An Angel (To You)
- November 03, 2013 12:41 AM : Poem: Confused
- November 01, 2013 12:39 AM : Poem: There Is A Light
- October 31, 2013 12:18 AM : Poem: The Fog
- October 30, 2013 01:12 AM : Poem: Why Do I Run To Utopia
- October 29, 2013 12:35 AM : Poem: A Rose
- October 26, 2013 10:51 PM : Sprichwort (Advice): Pursue The Story In Your Heart
- October 25, 2013 05:30 AM : Denver in the morning