Friday, March 11, 2016

Brother Photo Request: Chinese Jesus

In a desire to mix things up and present myself a challenge, today for the first time ever I told my younger brother "you can pick the photo for today's post". The instructions were vague, but I figured he would understand what I was after.

Of course, he didn't, and after expressing excitement he sent me an image from The Oatmeal. Brothers . . .

I began to regret my offer and pointed out it wasn't a photo. My brother proposed it may have been a photo taken in a cartoon world with a cartoon camera.

This is why we didn't have better things growing up.

He soon made another attempt, though, and asked, "Do you have a picture of a Chinese Jesus?"

I didn't see that coming at all, and it raised several intriguing issues.

As I searched my mind for something relevant I have come across, he added, "I've seen Korean Jesus and Vietnamese Jesus, but I don't think I've seen a Chinese Jesus."

And if I was lacking motive, my brother provided one: "Jesus always brings in the pageviews."

Ok then.

One possible connection was Hong Xiuquan, a leader of the Taiping Rebellion and "self-proclaimed brother of Jesus Christ" — quite a story there. But I have not visited the Hong Xiuquan Memorial in Guangzhou, so I didn't see much potential there.

The best I could come up with was a nativity scene I saw a few months ago at the Zhongshan Road Pedestrian Street in Xiamen. Not only did it include Jesus (unsure of ethnicity but probably not Chinese), it also included something connecting to my brother's earlier cartoon theme — Olaf (snowperson), a character from Disney's animated movie Frozen.

nativity scene with Olaf at the Zhongshan Road Pedestrian Street in Xiamen

Olaf's sign said "Warm Wishes".

As with my brother's request, I am not going to even try to explain the display. But I will add that it was popular for selfies.

two young females taking a selfie in front of a nativity scene with Olaf at the Zhongshan Road Pedestrian Street in Xiamen

Like a dog in Taiwan, my brother took me in unexpected directions. And in both cases there were religious destinations. What a world.

Update: More context and a bit of an explanation for the display here.

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