It might not be easy to find Chinese temples in a city such as Paris as it is usually hidden away and only known within the Chinese community. Such is the one found in Champigny sur Marne, just a few kilometres from Paris. Founded by the Vietnamese Chinese community, Chua Quan Am, known as the temple of thousand Buddhas is also dedicated to Guanyin, the Bodhisattva of mercy and compassion. Guanyin popular in East Asia can be portrayed either as male or female. Upon entering the temple compound visitors are greeted by two statues of turtles carrying commemorative inscribed stone slabs, which leads to the great statue of Guanyin depicted as a female deity placed inside a glass tower. On the ground floor a small chapel filled with orchid plants and fruit offerings is dedicated to the once Chinese war general, today venerated as Kwan Kung god of wealth and business. A temple guardian would hit the gong next to the altar each time a visitor comes to pay homage to the deity. Sounding the gong is believed to invite the deity to descend while announcing the arrival of visitors. On the first floor of the temple is the grand chapel of the thousand Buddhas on which can be seen several statues of Buddha, Bodhisattva and other deities. Small altars of remembrance with photos of deceased ones are placed along the walls of the chapel. Like in many Chinese temples, bamboo tubes filled with the famous fortune sticks are placed on the altars to be used freely for believers.
Categories: Chinese temple