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Two Halls in Shang Meilin

This article was originally published on October 25, 2010, in the Shenzhen Daily.
The information was accurate at that time, and may be outdated now. Use with caution.

Entry to the Longmu Temple in Shang Meilin
Nestled side-by-side among tall buildings, and separated by a small alley, are two of Shang Meilin Village's prized possessions.

Longmu Temple

Longmu Temple; the wall on the right is the Huang Ancestral Hall
One is the Longmu ("Dragon Mother") Temple. Dating back to the Ming Dynasty (and renovated in the Qing), it is dedicated to a mythical figure who was said to have given birth to (or perhaps simply raised) five baby dragons. With their help, she ended a drought, leading to her deification.

Or so they say. She is also a symbol of the parent-child relationship.

Longmu inside her temple
The statues inside are relatively new, but the building itself is original, spared the bulldozer in Shenzhen's rapid development. The temple keeper was once a visitor who decided to stay and tend the place. He's one of the friendliest people I've met in my travels.

Huang Ancestral Hall

Entry to the Huang Ancestral Hall
As mentioned, another treasure sits next door: the Huang family's Ancestral Hall. Although only a decade or so old, it, too, speaks of the strength of family, as the Huangs had to battle developers to recover some of the land on which the building sits. (See the link below for the story.)

Huangs making cakes inside the Huang Ancestral Hall
On one visit there, I encountered a whole passel of Huangs (maybe 200 or more) making cakes for an upcoming festival. Clannish they are not: I had to get out of there before they stuffed me to the ears!

At other times, fewer--but still communal--Huangs can be found playing mahjongg or just chatting in the hall's spacious interior.

Gateway to the courtyard with halls along Meihua Road in Shang Meilin
Both buildings can be found behind a large gate on the north side of Meihua Road between Meicun and Zhongkang Roads, near the Shang Meilin bus stop.

The halls are not terribly far from Meilin Park, described in another article.

Another article in the Shenzhen Daily, Huang's family temple, communal home of the Huangs, tells the story of how the Huangs got their hall back. And, there's more about the Longmu Temple in another article in the Shenzhen Daily, "Longmu Temple, a reminder of the city's fishing past."

GPS Info:
  • 22.565428, 114.056193


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