More than 15,000 people participated in this mass ceremony at the Kuala Lumpur Tzu Chi Jing Si Hall in Kepong.
The meaningful ceremony kicked off with volunteers coming together to form an image containing the message “Pave a path of love around the world, walk the path of compassion life after life.”
Then the volunteers along with devotees carried out the Buddha-bathing ceremony, which was led by 80 Buddhist monks from various temples who chanted mantras and were the first in line to bathe the Buddha.
In conjunction with Mothers Day, the day’s programme included a foot-washing session where children washed the feet of their mothers in a demonstration to emphasise the importance of filial piety.
Tzu-Chi Foundation said the ritual was aimed at showing the children’s appreciation of their parents’ love and hoped it would encourage more to do so.
One of the volunteers at the event, Robert Chang said the session turned emotional towards the end as parents and children were hugging each other with teary eyes.
The foundation’s CEO Echo Chein announced the organisation was channelling funds to Nepal to rebuild schools and hospital as well as lend support to those in great need.
She said volunteers donated the money on the day of the Buddha-bathing event.
UNHCR representative Brian Gorlick, who was at the ceremony, said Tzu Chi Foundation had been helping refugees and it was an organisation that can be relied on during an international crisis.
“The refugee crisis is now a global issue and all manners of support are needed,” he added.
Dieter Lim Ooi Leong, who has been a volunteer with Tzu Chi Foundation for about 10 years, said the organisation had its core missions, which were charity, medicine, education and humanistic cultures.
He said Tzu Chi volunteers had reached out to those suffering during a crisis, regardless of race, religion and nationality.
“We provided assistance to rural areas in remote places in Sabah and our volunteers also extended their help to refugees by providing material and medical aid besides helping refugee families assimilate into foreign cultures.