Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation

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Nov 19th
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Home Our Missions Mission of Education How Can We Not Love Our Children? - Mandarin and Taiwanese

How Can We Not Love Our Children? - Mandarin and Taiwanese

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How Can We Not Love Our Children?
An incredible journey
Mandarin and Taiwanese
Children from heaven
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Mandarin and Taiwanese
These South African children and teachers performed and sang songs in the Mandarin and Taiwanese dialects. Tobes and Lungelo won thunderous applause for their performance in Taiwanese.

How did these children learn these languages? Volunteer Ho Tang-hsing recalled that when they first went to the village, the children were very shy and stayed away from them. After some time, the children came to know the volunteers better and began to trust them. The volunteers then taught them some Taiwanese songs. The children were very sensitive to music, and so they naturally memorized the songs very easily. The volunteers spent a long time teaching the children. They visited the children every week and showed that they cared about their lives.

Zulu children are very cute, simple and kind. They can sing any song after hearing it a few times. "They learn everything very fast," Jabulani sighed. "Sometimes I wish I were that age again!"

Their dancing was also adorable. Perhaps due to their inborn sensitivity to rhythm, they were always in motion when they heard music. They waved their hands and moved their bodies, and even their toes would move to the rhythm. Their way of dancing in combination with the gentle Tzu Chi songs created a new kind of beauty, harmony and vividness.

Volunteer Fang admitted that it wasn't easy to promote the Tzu Chi philosophy in South Africa. "After all, we aren't professional educators. We simply keep adapting as we go along."

For instance, when the volunteers were promoting the teaching of aphorisms from Still Thoughts (a popular book by Master Cheng Yen), the results were not encouraging because few students understood English. Starting in March 2004, the volunteers met with teachers every month and explained the Master's teachings. Then the teachers would teach Still Thoughts in the Zulu language to the students.

Respect brings courage
Shabalala Ntandoyenkosi is the principal of Mhlanganyelwa CP School, the fourth school built by Tzu Chi in South Africa. He is only 32 years old, but he is already in charge of five villages with a total population of around 15,000. Everyone respectfully calls him "Inkosi (chief)."

He has been the principal of the Tzu Chi school for three years. He feels that in Tzu Chi he has found something that is close to his heart. In Taiwan, he was flattered by the sincere care of Tzu Chi people. He found the Great Love and the mutual respect among Tzu Chi people very compelling. He explained that many of his people who have received higher education feel that they have risen above their place and culture; they don't respect other people, not even their own kings or chiefs. He considers this wrong. "I hope I can make myself a personal example. Even though I am a principal and have the status of chief, I still must respect my country and my culture."

Ntandoyenkosi used action to express his respect. In South Africa, people like to wear a piece of skin of an animal that they hunted. When he came to Hualien and learned that Buddhism emphasized vegetarianism and forbade killing, he borrowed a pair of scissors and cut off the skin bracelet that he always wore. He explained, "In South Africa it is our custom to wear an animal skin, but here in Taiwan I have to respect this group, just like you respect us."

Nsibanyoni Dumazile, a teacher from the same school, felt that going to Tzu Chi was like going home, or even going to heaven. She felt she was taken care of like a child. "I learned how to respect life here," she said. She is willing to start teaching the concept of respecting life, and hopes that it will spread to the local communities, the cities and even the whole nation.

Principal Hlongwane felt that he was treated like a king by Tzu Chi people in Taiwan. He couldn't believe that he would be treated with such honor. He wanted to relay what he saw to his people when he returned home.

Tzu Chi people have always sincerely cared about these teachers and students, so why did they react so strongly?

Principal Jabulani replied, "Apartheid hurt our people very deeply, and the remnant injury still haunts many people. Taiwan and South Africa are so far apart, but here our hearts are so close to each other."

He believed that when he went home, he could bring strength to his people so that all of them could share the responsibility for their future and strive forward.


 

The Beauty of the Jing Si Abode

Volunteers

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.

" Those who have great wisdom must all the more be humble and unassuming, just like the rice stalk that bows under the weight of ripe grain. "
Jing-Si Aphorism