Do you know who this lady is? She’s the Mona Lisa of Chinese Buddhas.
But lets forget the past for a minute and talk about the present! After visiting Luoyang, an historic capital of China where Buddhism was first introduced from India, we went to catch our train to Xi’an. We knew something was up when police holding back throngs of teenage girls had blocked the station entrance.
At first we couldn’t figure out how to get through the arrival doors, but then a police officer weaved us through the crowd. Kids started taking pictures of us (which is par for the course these days), so I started waving to the crowd.
Suddenly everyone was taking out their phones. I began blowing kisses and waving with both hands. A roar went up and I thought I had truly made it to the red carpet.
A teenager working at KFC told me the crowd was waiting for a famous Chinese singer arriving on another train. My girls got caught up in the excitement when they saw security guards, station workers, fast food workers, and ordinary girls running upstairs a few minutes later. We followed the crowd and got a glimpse of “him,” whoever he was! He eventually ended up outside, with scores of girls chasing after him.
Sophie said, “The first time I chase a famous person and I didn’t even know who he was!”
Earlier in the day we visited the White Horse Temple where two Indian monks had brought Buddhist scriptures to the Han Chinese around the time of Christ. We then visited the Longmen Grottoes where over 100,000 statues have been carved into more than 1,400 limestone caves, mostly from 493 AD to 1127 AD.
The Buddha in the photo was done in the likeness of the only Emperess to rule China. She apparently gave up her cosmetics budget to have a 17.4 metre Buddha constructed, which the Chinese say resembles the Mona Lisa.