Friday, April 11, 2008

Buddha and the Bear (Yin and Yang)

Bangkok is a city of contradictions. Here modern culture co-exists with traditional ways of life. This is a place where high and low culture come together, and no one seems to notice. It's not unusual, for example, to find a luxury condominium project next to a leaning wooden house with a corregated metal fence. And, it's normal to see Buddhist monks shopping at 7-11.

The plastic yellow bear lying next to the Buddha statue in the photo is another good example of the types of contrast you find here. For a foreigner, like me, this combination of objects seems funny and a bit strange. But, for the cab driver, and for most Thai people, this grouping is a perfect mixture. This unlikely pairing is proof that Asians can find harmony between opposites - this is the coming together of the Yin and the Yang on a taxi dashboard.