Hong Kong’s Final Resting Place for Discarded Deities
What to do with statues of deities that you don’t want any longer? You can’t just throw out these statues. They represent gods, after all. What a predicament.
Hong Kong residents usually have a shrine in their home with small statues to their favorite deity. When someone wants to renovate the shrine for one reason or another, he faces the dilemma of what to do with any statues that he is replacing.
In Hong Kong, the tradition has developed to leave the statue on the side of the road. People who pass by can take them home if they like.
An 85-year-old man named Wong Wing-pong has been picking up the discarded statues for more than 17 years.
Not only does he take them to their final resting place on a hillside overlooking the water but he also repairs them if they’re broken. Even more touching is that he burns incense twice each day as an offering to the cast-off gods.
Wong chose their final resting place accidentally when he chanced upon a small assortment of statues that had been neglected.
Now people actually bring statues to him, and they often return from time to time to worship the statues that Mr. Wong is taking care of so conscientiously. One lady hated giving up a statue that she’d had for more than 30 years, but she needed to make room new tenants.
Residents are thankful to Mr. Wong for what they regard as a valuable service.