After 3 posts related to Vietnam War, now it’s time for a post about harmony. So many people have talked about the importance of harmony, the beauty of peace, the sweetness of togetherness, and so on and so forth. But in Vietnam, some people really did create harmony, literally, in one of the most bizarre, yet intriguing ways ever. Religions are often blamed for so many wars and conflicts that happened to humanity ever since the existence of religion itself. Then some people from southern part of Vietnam started to think of blending different religions into one new way towards enlightenment. Therefore, Cao Dai was born.
Cao Dai is an indigenous religion of Vietnam which combines the teachings of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. Like any other religion, Cao Dai also has prophets or saints and the most important ones are: Nguyen Binh Kiem, Sun Yat-sen (Chinese nationalist figure) and Victor Hugo! The Cao Dai dignitaries are easily noticeable from their bright-colored robes. Buddhist dignitaries wear yellow robes, while Taoist and Confucian dignitaries wear blue and red robes respectively. Meanwhile, all other followers wear plain white robes. Each sect has its own duty, such as providing foods and supplies, maintaining the temples, and expanding the religion (I can’t remember which duty belongs to who).
The harmonious nature of Cao Dai is also reflected through The Great Temple of Cao Dai (also called the Holy See of Cao Dai). It has the features of a cathedral on the façade, a mosque at the central dome, and pagoda at the rear section. Apart from that, the interior itself offers a colorful sight of various ornaments as a result of combination of different religions’ symbols.