On one side of a lake in Jinan, local residents performed the Buddhist practice of “releasing life” setting free dozens of captured fish, meanwhile on the opposite side of the lake, fishermen joyfully pulled in a nice day’s haul.
According to reports from NetEase, park workers at Daming Lake in Jinan city, Shandong Province, quickly responded to the illegal fishing activity, and it soon turned into a good old-fashioned game of hide-and-seek with fishermen trying their best to conceal their day’s catch and fishing implements from the workers.
This isn’t the first time that the opportunistic nature of the fishermen in Jinan has sparked some outrage. Last year, Jinan residents attempted releasing some 800 captive carp into the Yellow River, only to have the fish’s freedom cut tragically short just a few minutes downstream by prudent men with nets. It seems like Jinan’s Buddhist population is going to have to adapt faster, and not sure that releasing the fish into a small city lake is heading in the right direction.
“Release life” or “fangsheng” is the practice of releasing animals from captivity into the natural environment. Fish are released for enlightenment and turtles are released for longevity. After a ceremony in Shanghai last year, local Buddhists became enlightened when learning that they really shouldn’t release 250 kilos of fish into the water at the same time. Meanwhile, last month, businessmen in Hainan became enlightened upon realizing that they could make a lot of money in the long run by exploiting this practice.
by Alex Linder
[Images via NetEase]