Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation

Oct 02nd
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Home Feature Stories Buddha Day Ceremony Volunteers in Mozambique Hold Buddha Day Ceremony

Volunteers in Mozambique Hold Buddha Day Ceremony

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On May 11, more than 800 volunteers in the southwest African country of Mozambique held a ceremony to bath the statue of the Buddha and show gratitude and piety to parents. The event was held at Kurula primary school. Its principal, Antonio Cossa, knew that the foundation was looking for a place to hold a large-scale ceremony and kindly agreed to provide his school. “Our society needs Tzu Chi. It not only helps people but also gives the teachings of Master Cheng Yen to educate everyone. So I am very happy to welcome it!”

On the day of the event, the weather in Mozambique was especially good, with bright sunlight. At the venue, volunteers were being creative and eco-friendly on decorating. They assembled the African style ceremony by using tree leaves, coconut shells, and wildflowers. At the same time, to save money, they used recycled PET bottles caps as light holders.

Maria, a devoted volunteer, was concerned that the attendees would have to wait too long. So she took the microphone and sang the Mozambican version of Tzu Chi songs in an African style; they explain to everyone the great love and guidance of the Master in Taiwan: “we do not know each other but, because of the Master and because of Tzu Chi, we have become one family.”

Singing Songs for the Master, Learning the Wisdom of Buddha

At the start of the ceremony, Paul introduced to everyone the foundation and the three wishes of Master Cheng Yen. He explained how, to show their desire to serve, the volunteers wished to dedicate songs to her and thank her for bringing selfless love to Mozambique. The meaning of the two songs was: “Loved and respected Master, we thank you for opening our hearts and reaching out to us. Please teach us the wisdom of Buddhism. We wish to be your arms and legs!” An entrepreneur said: “this group of poor people are really different to others. This seven-star presentation is too good.”

Volunteer Cai Dai-lin knew that, in the past, people in Mozambique were taught not to kill; but it was all right to steal – then go to the church, confess your sin and you would be forgiven. She uses every public event to tell people about cause and conditions, and not to do the wrong thing.

This is a concept which the volunteers share with everyone: although life is very hard for people, they should understand how to plant the seeds of goodness. They hope that everyone can have the heart of Buddha and bring his great compassion and spirit of love for all into Mozambique. In this way, the life of everyone has meaning and the heart is freed from its suffering and can serve others: and people can learn the wisdom of Buddhism.

Goodness changes the world through the cycle of Buddhist wisdom

This Kurula primary school is one of few schools in the country in good condition. The principal was very moved by everything which the volunteers have done for Mozambique during the last year. So he immediately offered to provide a place to hold the Buddha Day Ceremony.

Before the volunteers found the school, they looked at several places; there were many ups and downs. They finally decided to hold the event outside and not indoors and use the concept of the great sunlight as a symbol of bringing the Great Love of Tzu Chi to Mozambique.

Washing feet as a sign of piety: children show their love

After the Buddha Day ceremony, the volunteers organised a washing of the feet of mothers by their children, as an eloquent way to show their love and gratitude toward their mothers; that is something many of them find it hard to do. Many children and their mothers could not hold back their tears. Among them was a young man named Faise, who showed his love for his grandfather; he could not stop tears falling down his cheeks.

After seeing this sadness, the volunteers went to visit Faise’s home a few days later; it was then they learn the story of this good-hearted young man. He and his grandfather lived together and relied on each other. The reason that he cried so much was his realisation that the love he had received from Grandfather was so much more than he had given in return. He explained that each time he asked Grandfather to help other children, he was very happy to do so. In Mozambique, most people believe that, if you do not have enough to eat, you cannot help others. In addition, Faise had not imagined that he could see several hundred loving Tzu Chi volunteers gathered together in one place – so he and Grandfather were not alone, but there are many good people! His grandfather said: “this society needs a group of good-hearted people who work together and unite their strength.” So he wanted to join Tzu Chi as a volunteer.

To welcome the volunteers, the principal of the primary school organised a dance by the students. At the same time, he gave to the Tzu Chi representative a traditional African woman costume and invited them to return to the school again and hold events there.

After the event, the volunteers gave out to everyone beans which they had collected. It was a way of expressing the concept of the Master: “wishing everyone being a seed of goodness to continue the cycle of love.” It marked the successful completion of this important and solemn ceremony of Buddha Day Ceremony.

Report by the documenting volunteer in Mozambique on May 11, 2014.


The Beauty of the Jing Si Abode


Are you prepared to put your kindness into actions and join Tzu Chi in promoting the goodness and beauty of mankind?
You are always welcome to join our Tzu Chi’s Great Love missions by becoming a member or volunteer. Please contact the Tzu Chi location near you.