By Dianna Wary, Houstonia

Before 1983, the Asiatown we know and love didn’t exist.

AS WE STOOD ON THE THRESHOLD OF THE TEO CHEW TEMPLE, Darryl de Mello, the man leading our Asian Heritage Tour through Houston’s Asiatown on a recent Saturday morning, whipped through the things to know about the place—how the pair of stone lions outside the temple mean safety; how the grim-faced soldiers painted on the door are the creation of a Chinese emperor, who had portraits of two of his generals painted on his own door to protect him from evil spirits; and how, once we entered, we should not touch the gallons of cooking oil and small piles of fruit placed alongside the temple’s altars and shrines, there to honor gods and ancestors.

Continued at Houstonia