My first visit to Malaysia

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Shared by: Mr. Jaroon Chaibao
(PhD. 1st Year Student)

There is one proverb saying “Traveling thousands of miles is better than reading thousands of books”. It’s true indeed. From December 14 to 25, 2017, I had been in Malaysia. It was my first trip there, so I was quite excited. I gained a lot of experiences and sweet memories during my trip in Malaysia.

I joined the trip because I was given the opportunity to present my research paper at the International Young Buddhist Scholars Conference, Than Hsiang Temple, Penang. I never joined any conference as a presenter before. It was my first time to join such conference. Therefore, I was surprised to be one of the outstanding young scholar award recipients as I never expected because there were many talented and experienced presenters from different countries. However, I also worked hard for the paper. I practiced many times before the conference.

After the conference, all presenters had a trip to tour Penang. It gave me an opportunity to sightsee and learn about the culture and society of Penang. During the educational trip, we have chance to know each other in a better way. Some became my friends. I really appreciate and thankful to the organizers who held this event, especially to the Most Ven. Dr. Wei Wu, the abbot of Than Hsiang Temple and the Council Chairman of International Buddhist College (IBC) for kindly giving us this chance.

The conference was ended on December 17, but my traveling in Malaysia kept going on. From December 18 to 24, one group of IBC students, including myself and staffs had several activities for children in Kuala Lumpur, Klang, and Penang. We taught them modern art and paper craft as well as played with them. At the same time, we learned a lot from them. For example, the 3 to 10 years old children are good in English and Chinese. It ensured me that if we would like to teach or learn language, we should start it from a very young age. Otherwise, we will lose the best chance to learn languages. It is because when one is very young, he or she could absorb knowledge easily without much problem.

I observed from most of the camps I participated previously, the children and teenagers were trained to be independent. They learned to manage their tasks by themselves such as washed utensils, cleaned room, put things in order, led chanting etc. In the Moral Camp of Than Hsiang Temple, we noticed that those who run the program were teenagers who are young. They had organized the camp successfully. There was no doubt that there were some experienced persons supported and trained them, but working in details, they worked on their own. I think it is a good way to train new generation like this. During this long journey, I had a chance to work, learn and travel with teachers, brothers and sisters in Dhamma who came from different countries and cultures. It’s indeed a good chance to share our experiences and work together.

Aside from working with children, we also organized some activities for old people at Sungai Petani Jing Yuen, an old folks home under Than Hsiang Temple. It reminded me life is aniccā, dukkha, and anattā. Therefore, I should be mindful in my daily life.

In conclusion, I was happy and enjoyed this Malaysian trip. It will be my unforgettable moment. Lastly, I would like to thanks IBC, Ven. Zhen Yuan, Ven. Zhen Ti, Ven. Aggadhamma and those who involved either directly or indirectly in organizing this meaningful educational trip for us. I hope IBC would hold this kind of event again in future.

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