Postcard of The Week: Penis Worship in Taiwan

Along my travels I’ve come across a lot of interesting statues, monuments, places and things of worship… but definitely not this one!

The first shot is the most decent I could take in-between giggles (mine and the others’ in my group).

We were spending a morning at the Formosa Aborigine Culture Village in central Taiwan – an amazing 150 acre theme park where all aspects of Aborigine life are displayed, from model homes to cultural dances and crafts. As I mentioned before, the Aborigines were the first inhabitants of Taiwan; there are 14 recognized tribes today, with the majority living in the mountains and on the east coast of the island.

This, my friends, represents the God of Fertility. The Aborigine belief is that a woman who wants to get pregnant must “worship the penis” – rub on it a few times for good luck.

Our guide Ivy told me that I shouldn’t just rub it, but hug it. I think she was pulling my leg! Ha! No way, I wasn’t going to stand there and glorify a penis, giant or not, in public no less. Or was I?  Ah hell, even if I definitely wasn’t trying to get pregnant, it was too funny of a photo op to pass up. Some day I might just look back on it and laugh, right? So I hugged, posed and tried not to look silly doing it. Don’t laugh! 

As we walked away, Ivy told me that if it worked, I should tell her so we could come back here to pay respects. She totally freaked me out for the rest of the day… thanks, Ivy!

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Lebawit Lily Girma

Lebawit Lily Girma is an award-winning, Ethiopian-American travel writer, photographer and author of several Caribbean guidebooks for Moon Travel Guides, including Moon Belize, Moon Belize Cayes, and Moon Dominican Republic (October 2016). Her work focuses on Caribbean culture and adventure, and has been published in AFAR, CNN Travel, BBC, Delta Sky, The Guardian, Sunday Times Travel Magazine, and Every Day With Rachael Ray, among many others. Lily is also the 2016 recipient of the Marcia Vickery Wallace Award for Excellence in Travel Journalism for her Caribbean coverage, from the Caribbean Tourism Organization. Lily calls herself a “culture-holic”–she speaks four languages fluently and has lived in Cote d’Ivoire, England, Jamaica, Belize, the Dominican Republic and traveled to some 30+ countries around the world. Last but not least, she is a former corporate attorney who ditched her Washington DC office for the road in 2009 to pursue her dream of becoming a storyteller. Lily holds a Bachelor of Arts in French and Spanish (summa cum laude) from the University of Maryland at College Park, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law.

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  1. Yaffa 16 November, 2011 at 3:05 PM #

    LOL…LOL…The Taiwanese Penis!! Who would have thought that a large penis monument would be on display in Taiwan. This is absolutely bizarre Lilly!

  2. holger 16 November, 2011 at 3:09 PM #

    I used Penis in my headline of a blog too a few weeks ago – boosted traffic to 300% for a while … 😉

  3. Brenda 16 November, 2011 at 3:11 PM #

    See… now this is why I love following your blog… Lord only knows what you’ll be posting next!

  4. Lebawit Lily Girma 17 November, 2011 at 9:46 AM #

    @Yaffa, I think I had to capture it to believe it! LOL.

    @ Holger, hilarious! It’s definitely not one I could avoid using in this case. 😉

    @Brenda, thanks I take that as a compliment! Haha. Gotta love travel, you just never know what you’ll learn next.

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