Worshipping colour


April 2014


The heat of the sun is nearly audible. My shadow disappeared.

I don’t know what to call the bizarre building in front of me. Colours fight for my attention. The bright yellow façade is challenged by its own decorations in blue, pink and green. Plants, flowers, skies, dragons and saints. An eye stares down on me from the colourful mass. But what am I looking at?

Its interior is no less colourful. Yellow walls reach up to a ceiling as blue as the sky. Green dragons slide down pink columns, their heads raised in worship. Yes, this is a place of worship.

The eye again, staring. Not at me, but at its worshippers. Its worshippers, who are dressed in white as if honouring the colour of their place. Their chanting rises up and resonates in all those colours. So many tints, tones, notes and shades.

Yes, this is a place of worship. A place of colour.

*The building described here is a temple of the Cao Dai religion. Cao Dai is as colourful as its place of worship: it combines many religions. The temple is located in Tay Ninh province, in the South of Vietnam.