Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Qing Ming, Cheng Beng or All Souls' Day

Today is the actual day of Qing Ming and I just got to know that it is know as "All Souls' Day" in English. It is a day where we used to feel scare of because it involves the prayers and offering to our ancestors; and of course visiting the commentaries. I believe it was the influence of many "ghost movies" from Hong Kong producers that relates their stories with this day.

Many believes that on this day, usually it will rains. Well, it is so accurate that today, it is raining (very heavily in early morning). This prediction on a yearly basis is more accurate than any weather forecast.

Now, what I know about Qing Ming? It is about a gathering events, not only with our relatives but with our ancestors. How can this be possible? I understand that on this day, the Hell's gate will be opened for about 20 days for the souls to take a break from the Hell. All souls would come back to our world (like holidays) to visit family and friends (just like some stories in movies - horror movie of course). Hence, we will have to prepare the foods and beverages for our ancestors, especially things that they love to eat. Of course, our ancestors will not be able to physically chew and eat the foods. So, after we got to know that they have enjoyed the stuffs, then we (normal human) will then eat all the foods. We normally don't question how true is this and does our ancestors really come back as there are no way we can verify that (if there are really souls there, or are these souls really our ancestors).

Meanwhile, another "must do" on this day is to burn the offerings (materialistic stuffs) for our ancestors so that they will have a better lifestyle in Hell. Again, this is a belief/customs that many of the Chinese have been following for years. Again, should we question the rationale of this, no! because no! What is the point if we got the answer if the rationale is a "belief" or "custom". It is the same as asking for the rationale of "why we need a have a birthday cake with candles to blow on a birthday".

The interesting part is not should be follow the custom or not, but to look at the impact of Information Technology evolution on our life and our ancestors (from Hell). Many years ago, we already started to see some creation of the offerings were based on luxury brands from Paris, such as LV, Gucci, Prada, Mercedes-Benz & etc. It is still acceptable because the products were like bags, umbrella, cloths others (still consider as necessity). However, for the past few years, we begin to see products like "iPhone, iPad, Smartphones, Astro HD Decoders (with recording - so that they won't miss out any show they want to watch). Well, I just wonder if there are WiFi or broadband services in Hell for them to connect to the Internet. If not, these products would serve no purpose because apps need to be downloaded.

On the other hand, if every year we are delivering the updated version and new models to them, I wonder how they would dispose the old units. Is there recycle centers, trade-in shops or maybe eBay for them to trade? If not, it would be a big problem for the Hell's management to managed the overload of used products. Also, how do they charge the devices? Should we considering delivering battery pack for them too? If apps can be downloaded, does that me they can also embark on ICT to enable better communication, such as using Whatsapp, MSN or Skype. Would you want that to happen? By then, how would the Hell's management control and monitor their world. Cyberlaw may be required...

There are just too many questions we can ask when it is about a custom/belief that we can only imagine of and follow. Despite of our rationality to accept the changes of our lifestyle, we tend to have a very narrow mindset controlling our rationality. Perhaps we are too lazy to asked on things that we don't know the answer and our mind just tell us to give up and stop asking; just follow. So, best strategy in life is, "stop asking, just follow". However, we always have a choice not to follow, not to belief, and keep asking......