These meaningful activities have not only upheld the cultural beauty and human values of the Vietnamese people but also contributed to preserving and cultivating the special relationship between Vietnam and Laos.
|Most Venerable Thich Minh Quang and Buddhists chanted sutras before distributing food. (Photo: VOV)
Over the past three years, on every Sunday, regardless of any weather conditions, Buddhists regularly prepare meals for people in need in the Social Protection Center in Vientiane. The activity is conducted under the guidance of Venerable Thich Minh Quang, head monk of Phat Tich pagoda in Vientiane. The Vietnamese Buddhism followers have helped the mentally ill, the homeless, and many people who have no relatives or are abandoned by their family members, who are all now living in the social center.
Venerable Thich Minh Quang has been overseeing the charity efforts by his fellow Bhuddists.
“Three years ago, we went to this center to do charity work while all people living here were having a meal. That meal was very meager with only a small amount of sticky rice and a bowl of broth for each person. After that, the Charity Board of the pagoda had an idea and started to prepare the meal every Sunday to help improve their lives.”
|The people living in this center are mainly the mentally ill, the homeless, the homeless, many people who have no relatives or are abandoned by their family members, so they are in dire need of help. (Photo: VOV)
Early in the morning, Buddhists have assigned each person a task, from going to the market to buy ingredients to cutting and peeling vegetables and fruits, and then making their own dishes.
Although all the dishes are vegetarian, Buddhists are always flexible to change the menu and calculate carefully to make sure they can provide enough nutrients. In addition, the sponsors also provide rice, bread, and fruit. Therefore, the food is always diverse and delicious, helping people in difficult circumstances have more nutritious and pleasant meals.
Nguyen Thi Loan, who is now 63 years old, is the second generation of Vietnamese born and raised in Laos. She said that from a young age, her parents always taught her and her siblings to do good deeds and help people in need. This is a long-standing tradition and cultural value of the Vietnamese people, which is also conveyed in the folk saying “Love others as if you love yourself”. When her children have grown up and started their own families, she spends her free time doing good deeds to cultivate the mind and accumulate virtues for her children and grandchildren.
“Vietnamese people often go to the temple and try to do good deeds,” said Loan. “I feel very sorry for them because they have no one to rely on. The government can only support a part, so we decide to make the meal to contribute in helping them”.
|The joy of sharing. (Photo: VOV)
Soukvandaphone, an officer of the Social Protection Center in Vientiane, said that the center is currently taking care of more than 250 people. Due to the limited budget, it is not easy to ensure nutrition in daily meals. Therefore, the charity work of Vietnamese Buddhists is very much supported by the center. Although the meals are simple dishes such as fried rice, bread, canned milk, and soft drinks…, it contains both love, sharing, and sympathy towards underprivileged people.
“Every Sunday, monks and Vietnamese Buddhism followers come and prepare the meal to distribute to people at our center,” Soukvandaphone. “The dish is very diverse, full of nutrients, and changed week by week. This activity not only comes from the benevolent hearts of Vietnamese people but also conveys the humane and ethical message of helping others. We really appreciate what they have been doing.”
|Over the years, the Vietnamese community in Laos in general and Buddhists in particular have had a lot of volunteering activities not only towards their homeland but also contributing to the host country. (Photo: VOV)
Over the years, the Vietnamese community in Laos in general, and Vietnamese Buddhists in particular have had a lot of volunteering activities contributing not only to their homeland but also to the host country. That spirit will always be further promoted to help more and more unfortunate people, thereby contributing to highlighting the cultural tradition of the Vietnamese people, as well as strengthening the special friendship between the two countries Vietnam and Laos.