IT was a rare sight to see more than 10,000 people gathered at a small field in Taman Sri Serdang.
A crowd of such number would not have been possible if not for the bus loads of participants coming from Kedah, Kelantan, Johor and even from Singapore.
They came to take part in the Family Fun Fair, an annual fundraising event organised by the Nalanda Buddhist Society.
Having driven more than 400km from Kota Baru, Kelantan to attend the function, not even an iota of weariness appeared on the face of Tan Tek Keong, 46.
With an apron donned over his T-shirt, a smiling Tan was seen extracting sugarcane juice from a machine.
Tan, who volunteers at Buddhist camps and other events back home, said he felt an obligation to lend a hand to their friends over here in Selangor.
“This is our way of upholding Buddha’s teachings,” he said.
Tan, along with 20 other volunteers from Kelantan, had set up stalls selling produce from the state, including sugarcane juice, coconut water and Khao Jam – a local delicacy made with a mixture of nasi kerabu, fish floss and raw vegetables.
Having journeyed from across the Causeway was financial advisor Pollyn Sim, 48, from the Buddhist Fellowship of Singapore.
Sim, who has benefited from Nalanda Buddhist Society’s many activities and education programmes in the past three years, felt it was time to return the favour.
“We feel like we are part of the family, and we enjoy this family gathering!” she said.
A total of 165 stalls was set up for the funfair, with more than 300 volunteers ranging from children to senior citizens.
Proceeds from the sale will go to the society’s plans to build a new Dhamma learning facility in Serdang called the K. Sri Dhammananda Centre, named after Buddhist Maha Vihara temple’s late chief monk, explained Vincent Lee, one of the society’s board of management members.
Commenting on the large crowd, Lee said he rejoiced to see friends of different faiths and creeds coming together to support the event.
“It is the result of education and a transformation process. Nalanda has raised the awareness of this process and realisation that this (fun fair) is a very worthy cause,” he said.
Apart from building the centre, funds raised during the funfair will be used for the society’s operations, which include Sunday Dhamma schools and free tuition for underprivileged children in the Seri Kembangan and Equine Park areas.