United in unique festivity


Devotees taking part in the special event to mark Wesak Day, Mother’s Day and Buddhist Tzu Chi Merits Society Malaysia’s 50th anniversary at the Esplanade in Penang. — Photos: LIM BENG TATT/The Star

THE first rays of dawn broke over the horizon at the Esplanade in Penang to shine on some 6,000 devotees creating a human formation on the field that read ‘Tzu Chi 50’.

The occasion was Buddhist Tzu Chi Merits Society Malaysia’s triple celebration of Wesak Day, Mother’s Day and the society’s 50th anniversary.

Young children of the society warmed their mothers’ hearts with the Chinese tea ceremony of serving their seated moms with little cups of the beverage while kneeling.

Fiona Thor, 33, was among the smiling mothers as she sipped the tea served by her daughter Natalie Chin, eight.

“She is young, so we have never done much to celebrate the occasion. I find this simple ritual to be memorable as it inculcates the virtues of gratitude and filial piety,” she said.

Society commissioner Khoo Boo Leong said each May 2, Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation Taiwan headquarters would organise the triple celebration.

Lim Chong Sin, 40, and her daughter Teh Sze Yee, four, praying in front of a Buddha statue during the event. (Below) Devotees in a human formation displaying ‘Tzu Chi 50’ to mark its anniversary celebration.
Lim Chong Sin, 40, and her daughter Teh Sze Yee, four, praying in front of a Buddha statue during the event.

“Global volunteers will hold it at their respective homeland to honour both Buddha and our parents.

“This year the celebration commemorates Taiwan Tzu Chi Foundation’s 50th anniversary in line with the spirit of perseverance and the mission to help those in need,” he said yesterday at the ceremony in George Town.

The celebration saw a total of 248 Buddha statues arrayed in rows for devotees and visitors to pay homage in the Buddha bathing ceremony.

The ceremony began with a reverberating drum performance and there was also food tasting and music performances.

Khoo said the society chartered 70 buses to bring devotees in droves before dawn.

Human formation in conjunction of Buddhist Tzu Chi Merits Society Malaysia’s triple celebration of Wesak Day, Mother’s Day and the society’s 50th anniversary at Esplanade.
Devotees in a human formation displaying ‘Tzu Chi 50’ to mark its anniversary celebration.

“Tzu Chi Malaysia Chapter’s nine affiliated branches and centres will also be holding Buddha bathing ceremonies in their respective districts,” he added.

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