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‘This feels like home’: Historic temple in Indonesia’s Bogor a focal point for Chinese community

“EVERYONE IS WELCOME”

Like many different Chinese temples in Indonesia, Pan Kho Bio is a home of worship for observers of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism, a legacy of Indonesia’s New Order regime which lasted from 1965 till 1998.

During this era, Chinese celebrations had been banned and the Chinese community had been compelled to proclaim themselves as Buddhists as a result of Confucianism and Taoism weren’t recognised by the Indonesian authorities.

The temple, its caretaker Kusuma stated, needed to adapt by altering its official identify to Vihara Maha Brahma.

After the autumn of the New Order and Confucianism was formally recognised by the federal government, Buddhists are nonetheless welcomed on the temple.

Statues of Buddha sit alongside these of Chinese deities and figures contained in the temple, positioned at a particular altar at one finish of the white-painted constructing.

There are additionally shrines and altars constructed across the sacred rocks, which is why the temple additionally attracts non-Chinese locals who want to go to locations of historic significance to the Sundanese individuals.

“This is a place where everyone is welcomed,” Kusuma stated.

For Indonesians of Chinese descent in Bogor, the temple holds a particular place in their hearts. 

“I have been to many temples but I like to come here the most because of its history. This is the oldest temple in Bogor. The way the Chinese community in Bogor has grown and flourished. It all started here,” stated 60-year-old Fendy Thee.

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