Jin Dong Fu
In 1966, Golden Phoenix Temple was established in Singapore located at Geylang Lorong 3.
Like most Chinese temples, this temple was the central focus of village life. Relationships between villagers were forged and strengthened community and they participated in communal activities celebrating festivals and commemorating special occasions at the temple.
The Golden Phoenix Temple was dedicated to a Hokkien deity called Qing Mian Da Ren, 青面大人 and through his spirit medium; the deity looked after the villager’s spiritual well-being and social needs.
In 1966, the deity gave an unusual instruction to his followers, instructing them that his fellow deity, the Jin Mian Da Ren, is looking for a medium.
A deity arrives in Singapore
Shortly after this request was made, Jin Mian Da Ren, 金面大人, was invited to Singapore through the ritual transfer of his joss-ash from China.
A ceremony was conducted in the village to identify his medium. After several rounds, Mr. Chew Eng Hwee was chosen. This event marks the beginning of Jin Mian Da Ren and founding of Jin Dong Fu Temple in Singapore since 1966.
Since Jin Mian Da Ren’s arrival in 1966, Singapore transformed from a developing country to a first word country. The village where Golden Phoenix temple once stood is now Geylang Lorong 3 or part of the Geylang Chinatown.
Despite the great social and economic changes, something remained unchanged. Mr Chew Eng Hwee continues to serve as Jin Mian Da Ren’s medium. He has been the Temple's medium for over 45 years.
People from all over Singapore and even the region come to seek the deity's help. Visitors to Jin Dong Fu Temple include anthropologists, psychologists, historians and sociologists in search of
Jin Dong Fu and Social Change
1966 was a year of turbulent changes in China's political landscape. It was the start of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. During these times, many Chinese traditions and religious beliefs were affected by the Communist government.
Meanwhile, Singapore gained her independence in 1965 and overseas Chinese in Singaporevvbegun to build their permanent homes in Singapore, Jin Mian Da Ren's arrival thus represents the emerging of Singapore as home.
Today, Jin Dong Fu Temple attracts young devotees who are English educated professionals and people from all walks of life. The temple celebrations provide opportunity for former village neighbors to catch up with each other and for new member to get to know each other.
Socially, they have also reached out beyond their little villages by contributing and supporting various charities in Singapore. These contributions benefit people of all races in multi-racial and cultural Singapore.
Are you a member of Jin Dong Fu or have you visited or participated in their activitities? If yes, share with us your thoughts and experiences.