Christmas Dinner

DSC01407I roll into Tay Ninh on December 24th largely to see what this Vietnamese Cao Dai religion is all about and to see their Temple. I’d been in town for only 15 minutes, when walking through a park, I meet a local man named Nheim. We walk through the park and talk for about 30 minutes and he is great company and eager, it seems to practice his English.

He is great fun to talk to, has a very engaging personality, and is forthcoming with all kinds of information on his town, things to do, and Cao Dai. As we say our goodbyes, he invites me to his house the next day to meet his wife and have dinner. Christmas dinner with a Vietnamese couple…count me in! Continue reading

December 25th: Merry…..something….?!?

Child at Carnival on December 24th - Tay Nihn, Vietnam

Child at Carnival on December 24th – Tay Nihn, Vietnam

On this day, arbitrarily picked by Romans during a forced conversion from Paganism to Christianity, I am an American in a communist country, touring a Cao Dai Temple, then attending their midnight mass in Tay Nihn, Vietnam..

Main Altar and the All-Seeing Eye at the Cao Dai Temple

Main Altar and the All-Seeing Eye at the Cao Dai Temple

So, for these reasons, I’ll simply say, “Happy December 25th everyone!” Continue reading

Cao Dai – Tay Nihn, Vietnam

Cao Dai Elder Lights Candles at Temple Altar

Cao Dai Elder Lights Candles at Temple Altar

What is Cao Dai? Well, it is a religion and it’s a new one on me. They have a big, gaudy temple, about 3 million followers, and it’s Christmas Eve. What the heck…I’m down. Let me in!

And they did. I was given the royal treatment, toured around the grounds and through the temple, and had all my questions answered (even if I only understood about one word in five).  I was also invited to attend their mass at midnight on Christmas Eve. Continue reading