HONG KONG WITCHES
Welcome to Flashback Friday – Where we share previously published articles which were reader favorites. Hope you enjoy this Friday’s article, originally published in 2013, about witches plying their craft in the center of Hong Kong. Enjoy!
I knew that Hong Kong was a cosmopolitan city – that in Hong Kong you can find a little bit of everything and anything. But never had I considered the possibility that you could find witches in Hong Kong. But low and behold, they are there. I had a chance to actually watch the Hong Kong Witches in action.
Now I guess, to be perfectly honest, I’m not sure if you could call these folks witches. But let me tell you about them – then you can decide.
Causeway Bay is a prominent, upscale area of Hong Kong, located on Hong Kong Island. High rise residential centers, upscale shopping areas, corporate skyscrapers, luxury hotels, and fine restaurants are intermingled with small and winding market streets with venders selling a little bit of everything – clothing, fish, electronics. It’s a very hustle bustle kind of place. A few blocks from Times Square, tucked away under a Canal Road viaduct known as Gooseneck Bridge, several older chinese ladies set up their “business” each day. And their’s is a very interesting business indeed. In front of cardboard shrines accessorized with a variety of figurines, they light candles and burn incense, waiting for customers. And business is brisk. For a price of around $50 HK ($6.45 US) they will cast a spell on your enemy or someone who has done you wrong. You pay your fee, give them the name, and they will place a small paper cut-out of a human figure on a block and begin to vigorously pound on it with a shoe. Then they take a break, set fire to a different small piece of paper, and wave the smoky flame over the paper human figure while something in Chinese. (Sorry – my Chinese is non-existent – no idea what they say.) After the flame burns out, they return once again to smacking the paper figure with the shoe. This process continues until the paper figure is rendered into tiny bits and pieces. At that point the spell is cast and the next customer steps up.
(The photo above is of one of the lady shoe smackers in action – please note that I blurred out the face just in case – after all, you really don’t want to get a spell caster upset with you.)
So – are they Hong Kong Witches? Who knows. They are dealing with magic and they are casting spells. Sounds a bit witchy to me. Are the spells effective? I don’t know the answer to that either. But as I watched this enterprise it did occur to me that I knew of several folks who just might deserve a tiny spell or two. Heck – at $6.45 per name I didn’t have a lot to lose. I paid my money, gave the lady with the shoe three names, and sat down. Let the shoe smacking begin!
Who Knew? ………… Enjoy The Adventure!
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© 2017, Bruce W Bean, Ph.D. All rights reserved.