Saturday, January 2, 2010

Shaolin Controversy

From "The Independent", UK:

"The Shaolin monastery is the birthplace of an ancient, elegant fighting code, where fists of fury and the way of the dragon have for thousands of years peacefully coexisted alongside calm Buddhist meditation.

But the temple, built in AD495 as a place of contemplation and discipline, is now a thriving tourist destination and multinational business venture, run by a monk who has won the respect of many for his business sense and canny marketing skills.

Purists and critics say, however, that he is an overly commercial opportunist. The latest controversial business venture of the "CEO of Shaolin" – as the temple's abbot, Shi Yongxin, is known – is a foray into modern tourism and finance."

(D.R.): -Damned Capitalists.


Zacky Chan said...

These various temples and shrines were once sought after because of their reclusive nature, and now they have become epicenters of tourism: the antithesis of their original meaning perhaps. I wonder how the young training monks feel.

Martial Development said...

It wasn't the capitalists that killed and drove off the monks in the first place, was it? And after you take away the people, what is left to be preserved?

Wim Demeere said...

I visited the temple almost 20 years ago. Back then, it was already pretty commercial. There were tons of wushu schools already, huge squares filled with kids training.
The "real" monks asked IIRC about 50$ per spectator for a 15min. demo.
We declined. I did have a Shaolin beer though; Tasted like catpiss. :-)

My teacher visited the temple recently, he said it's much, much worse now. And Wudang mountain is going the same route...