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“What are the candles for?” I asked the uncle.
“Anyone or any family who come here to ask protection from this god will have their names written on the candle.” He said.
“Ooo…” I nodded my head and looked again at those candles which standing beautifully in circles placed on the altar.
There were two big candles in front of those small candles and I saw some candles have only one name while some have few. Probably like what the uncle said, some people come here not only to ask protection for themselves but for the whole family as well. Make senses.
Then far behind the altar, I saw a silhouette of the statue of what I think was the god that the uncle mentioned earlier. I couldn’t see clearly the look of the god because of the low lighting. I just grabbed my camera phone and took a snapshot of the scene which somehow looked beautiful to me.
Then, I stepped out from the main door and I looked for the name of the temple. I noticed there was a big signboard above the door, like in the kungfu movie. But again, I had to get my eyes to focus harder to read the words carved on that wooden signboard. There were big three Chinese characters followed by three words.
“Sin Tek Bio”
That’s the temple’s name.
Sin Tek Bio or Sin Tek Temple which is one of the oldest temples in Jakarta, was the second last stop of our walking tour at Pasar Baru, Jakarta, together with other #TravelnBlog workshop participants. That old temple is located at one narrow alley, not far from the famous Bakmi Gang Kelinci shop. We passed by the Soto Mie Bogor stall and few seem to be empty houses with ‘For Sale’ signboard hanging in front of the door.
The temple is not big and not as grand as other temples that I have seen before because I was told that the temple was built by Chinese people from low to middle class who used to stay at that area. Probably only people who have stayed there would know the story behind it. But, hmm..probably not. I was kind of answering my own question that popped in my mind at that moment.
“Ok, next stop. Let’s go!” I heard our Tour Guide from Jakarta Good Guide calling.
I ran over to join the group after I looked again one more time at those candles. It was familiar and I wondered where I have seen that similar scene before.