In China, Avalokitesvara is known as Guanyin, and for several centuries has been depicted in both male and female forms.
The fluid gender of this deity in a number of Buddhist cultures has been the subject of copious research in Asia and beyond, but may best be explained as a consequence of his freedom to assume any form to respond to the many needs of followers.
The Chinese name Guanyin, short for Guanshiyin, means “The One Who Perceives the Sounds of the World”.
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