Murals, Wrestlers and Hot Pot

Busy week but I have a few things for readers.

This blog about murals in China is a treat. There are several long photo essays about the meaning and ritual function of these murals that I enjoyed. Check it out: TwoSmall

This article is about Shaolin Monks in the new Chinese version of WWE style Professional Wrestling and the challenges they are facing with the government. My new book takes the time to explain why the government thinks this way. Last week I briefly posted about the Chinese view of Christianity. The Chinese idea of religion is inseparable from the state. Totally inseparable. Martial arts were part of religion, so they were part of the state. All of them. Even when martial arts were practiced by bandits, they were just a renegade part of the state. As the Chinese government evolves, it seems to be sticking to the idea that religion is part of the state and martial arts are part of religion, therefore--PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING MUST BE REAL!

A common type of temple that was obliterated in China in the early years of the 20th Century was the Temple of the Eastern Peak. These were all over north China. They were linked to the storyline of the play Canonization of the Gods (Fengshenyanyi) but they were also considered the gates to hell. That's right! In American suburbs, the gates to hell are under the High School, but in China there was a special temple where you could get access. Anyway, I was thinking that the idea of accessing hell never went away in China even though the temples did. See they have a type of food call Sichuan Hot Pot. Everyone sits around this pot of boiling hell water and cooks things like eyeballs and kidneys and intestines and feet, whatever looks scary. The hot pot is now the gate to hell.