Education About Asia: Online Archives

Asian Factoids: Spring, 1997

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Taiwanese Students, Examination Success, and Religion

In Taipei’s Dragon Mountain Buddhist Temple, students seeking examination success can buy, for the equivalent of $23.00, a computer label with name, address, and prayer that is attached to a brilliance lamp’s glass door. The lamp, which is an offering to the god of scholarship, contains tiny electric bulbs that revolve continuously on several cone shaped stands. While there are brilliance lamps dedicated to other deities such as the god of riches and the empress of heaven, a recent observation indicated 30,000 lamps purchased for the god of scholarship compared to 6,400 for the god of riches and none for the empress of heaven.

Source: Kangmin Zeng in Comparative Education Review, Vol. 40, No. 3, August 1996