Door Guardians

Door Guardians are usually found on the main doors, facing out, in Chinese temples, clan and trade association buildings and old houses. Some are painted onto the doors while others are printed on paper and pasted on. They are depicted as ancient Chinese Imperial Generals in full military regalia, are ferocious looking and standing ready in a martial stance. It is the belief that the guardians prevent roaming demons and ghosts from entering the house thus protecting the inhabitants within.

Peter, Wuan and I had wanted to eat dim sum at one of the shops in Campbell Street one morning. Parking space was scarce and Peter had to drive around to look for one. He finally found a vacant space in Rope Walk, or now known as Jalan Pintal Tali, and that was where we stumbled upon this duo of guardians which looked unlike those found elsewhere. The guardians looked sedate and void of all the military garbs. Instead they were illustrated wearing noblemen?s attire and holding brass wine cups.

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Slave to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. End-stage renal disease since 2017. Principal Facilitator at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. Former columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

8 thoughts on “Door Guardians”

  1. the life size door guardians look very nice. hmm… i haven’t come across it in rope walk. but then again it had been ages i had never been to rope walk, so that figures. 🙂

  2. There are still lots of interesting sights in Penang that we have yet to discover.

  3. u juz reminded me of how i missed my photo-taking sessions and going from street to street on foot. i think i might do just that this thursday or the weekends.

  4. Do not forget to post the photos. I love to see those old buildings with intricate designs. These are fast disappearing.

  5. The door guardians. Do you know what’s in the building they are guarding?. I saw in the net recently that the building is called MENG ENG CHOO, Ghee Hin Hall of Heroes.Is the “Ghee Hin” refered to the Cantonese Ghee Hin triad society of the old days? If you have more information, it will be great. If not, thanks for the post.

  6. Lum,
    I am sorry. I do not have any information on that. Perhaps I will ask around.

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