Where does the name “Tin Hau” come from?

Summary:
People often wonder why the name TEDxTinHauWomen? Learn about the history of Tin Hau (the “Empress of Heaven”) and what it means to our committee.


People often wonder why the name TEDxTinHauWomen? Where does it come from?

Selecting the name TEDxTinHauWomen pays homage to the Chinese Goddess of the Sea, Tin Hau. According to legend, a young, kindhearted, and brave Chinese woman named Lin Mo Niang possessed special gifts, including the abilities to forecast weather and heal people. She lived with her family of fisherman in Fujian during the Song Dynasty. When she was a teenager, her brothers and father were at sea during a particularly treacherous typhoon that she knew they would not survive. In some folklore, Lin Mo Niang prayed and fell into a trance during the typhoon to save them, while in other folklore they say she swam out to sea during the typhoon to find her family members. In either case, those who survived the storm returned to the village to share their miraculous tale. 

After Lin Mo Niang’s death, people believed she rose to heaven as a goddess because of her many courageous and benevolent acts during her life. Sailors and seafarers reported seeing her spirit guide them from shipwreck to safety on several occasions, and eventually, seaside villages in Southern China and Southeast Asia began recognizing her as a deity, who protects sailors and fisherman from the perils of the sea, bestowing on her the name Tin Hau, or “Empress of Heaven”.

Because Hong Kong was historically a fishing village, Tin Hau is highly revered. More than 100 Tin Hau temples line its historical coastline. For her worshippers, Tin Hau uniquely embodies compassion and bravery simultaneously. So, what’s in a name? As an organization of 60+ women, TEDxTinHauWomen aims to live up to what Tin Hau means to people in Hong Kong and by doing so, inspire others to act with compassion and bravery for what they care about and believe in most. Like Tin Hau, TEDxTinHauWomen will become a symbol of what women can do. 

Tickets for Dec 6, 2019 TEDxTinHauWomen event: http://pelago.me/TEDxTinHauWomen    

To see 2018 talks, click here

Written by: Floria on behalf of TEDxTinHauWomen

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