12 Aug 2015   |   Places

Incense Opens The Door To Another World

Many who visit Vietnam believe they are visiting a Buddhist country. And they are. But it’s not exclusively Buddhist. Powerful strands of Confucianism and Taoism govern the lives of the Vietnamese alongside the tenets of Buddhism. And that’s not all. The Big 3 — Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism — are wound about a core of older, indigenous beliefs that include ancestor worship.

It may very well be that the old woman in this image by Tuan Le is communing with a departed member of her family. That smoke you see in this picture is but the grease necessary to facilitate this preternatural contact. Tuan Le took this image at Ong Bon Pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 5 (otherwise known as Cho Lon) one September morning last year. See more of Tuan Le’s images at https://www.flickr.com/photos/93732172@N07/albums.