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Friday, 31 August 2018 00:00

Charity Fair to Raise Funds for Muar Tzu-Chi Jing Si Hall

Written by  Loh Siew Chien, Bee Yong Chin & Tan Siew Chern, Malacca / Translated by Goh Hwe Yong

Tzu Chi Malacca organized a charity fair for the construction of Muar Tzu-Chi Jing Si Hall. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]

After 11 years, Tzu Chi Malacca once again organized a grand scale charity fair, and this time, it was to raise funds for the construction of Muar Tzu-Chi Jing Si Hall. It saw people from all walks of life, races, and age groups coming forward with enthusiastic support for the event.


Two weeks before the actual day of the event, volunteer Tai Piang Boon has been busy days and nights with the preparation work at Tzu Chi Malacca premises.

He remembered that 11 years ago, when the last grand charity fair was held, he was only a new volunteer who offered help without much sense of commitment. Now, he has become a certified volunteer, carrying out his duties seriously. Despite the busy and tight schedules, everyone worked closely and happily, in eager anticipation for a huge crowd of visitors to the fairground.

The charity fair happened on August 31, 2018, which was Malaysia’s National Day. The day was just dawning, yet the event site was already full of volunteers busily assuming their respective duties. Food-stall keepers had started cooking local food, comprising Chinese, Malay and Indian delicacies; and the aroma from the cooking was mouth-watering. Sundry stalls were found at the small field, where stallholders were busily arranging goods contributed for the events. There were also stalls for fresh produce, as well as, stalls catering to spiritual enrichment.

The miniature model of Muar Tzu-Chi Jing Si Hall was displayed indoor. There were volunteers in charge of explaining the features and the progress of work on the building. A Humanity & Education zone was also set up indoor, where visitors could get to learn about Buddhist teachings and environmental protection; and try the inspiring hands-on games and fun plays. In the Multipurpose Room, a calligraphy and Chinese painting exhibition was held, with works of arts presented by a renowned local calligrapher and painter, Pang Heng Kang.

A photography studio was set up in one of the Da Ai Kindergarten classrooms. Visitors could mark their visits with photographs taken here. A children’s cinema was also set up to cater to the happy viewing of educational films for children. The Tzu Chi Continuing Education Centre presented hands-on trial courses in tea arts, flower arrangement, natural essential oil making, and rock painting. At the Jing-Si Books & Cafe stall, nourishing items for body and mind were on sale, while the broadcasting station accepted requests for songs from Tzu Chi music volumes.

Improved recipes to promote vegetarianism

Volunteers from Ulu Tilam, Johor, attracted customers to their stall by calling out: “Delicious mee rebus (noodle soup), tasty longtong (rice cake served with vegetable curry), don’t miss your chance; pastries and vegetarian rice dumpling for grab!”

The mee rebus and lontong were specialty dishes of the group’s chief cook, Pam Yoon Chung. He shared, “I improved on the recipes to make them taste as good, if not better, as vegetarian dishes. I hope to promote vegetarian eating habit, in line with the principle of non-killing.”

Yoon Chung became a vegetarian from 2010, and the following year, he turned his food-stall into a vegetarian stall. It was a follow-up action after he listened to the teachings of Master Cheng Yen. He did not want to commit killing anymore, for fear of unwholesome karma. Having learnt the Buddhist teaching of karmic cause and effect, he repented for committing the killing through selling non-vegetarian food.

He had met with an accident on the road two months ago, and the injury to his right hand had not fully recovered. He took the accident as karma taking place, and blamed no one but his own doing.

To serve is to do good

“Seeing the traffic controllers at work this morning brought back memories of my father,” said How Yong Fong Leng. As owner of a vegetarian restaurant, she had a stall at the site too. Her late father had often shared his Tzu Chi voluntary experiences with his children, and what she witnessed of the volunteers’ love and respect for her late father at his funeral touched her soul. That led her to emulate her late father and offer her support to Tzu Chi as much as she could in the later days.

On the first and fifteen days of each Lunar month, she would allocate space in her restaurant for Tzu Chi volunteers to set up a promotion stall for Jing Si products. She said that her late father had always told her and her siblings to help others in order to gain true happiness.

At the pizza stall, a young man was very busy. He was Wee Pang Suan. The latter was invited by a Tzu Chi volunteer, Hoo Beng, to come and serve. It was his way of reciprocating the kindness of Hoo Beng, for helping and guiding him. To complement his wish to serve, his relatives and friends were generous enough to subsidize him for the purchased ingredients.

No one would miss the sight of Lim Peck Chen and her daughter clearing up and cleaning tables in a swift and efficient manner. Her husband was in charge of sorting the used utensils that they collected into the containers for washing. Cleaning and sorting were no easy jobs since there was hardly any time for rest. Yet, the couple just carried out their duties as a matter of fact. They were tired of course, but to them, to be able to do good in itself was a good reward.

The cycle of love

Vairava Sundari a/p Khatiresan rose early to prepare a huge pot of curry for the much loved tosai, an Indian delicacy. She then brought the curry to the event site, taking her granddaughter along. She had prepared the batter for 50 servings of tosai the evening before, and taught her granddaughter how to make it.

She gladly accepted the invitation to participate in the charity fair because she wanted to repay the kindness given to her daughter by Tzu Chi. The financial aid they have been receiving since 2017 has greatly eased their financial burden.

Lily Teh and her two daughters came to play their part too. She was a single mother to her daughters. They were in charge of getting tables and chairs ready for the food-stall section. Lily suffered from glaucoma and partial loss of hearing. She came to know Tzu Chi last year, when her daughter applied for Tzu Chi Study Grant programme in aid of needy students. Later, she received financial aid from Tzu Chi. Feeling grateful, she became a monthly donor and made herself available for Tzu Chi voluntary activities whenever transport was available. She expressed shyly that she came to the charity fair to contribute her efforts in return for the help given to her.

Ee Chan Hong sweated profusely as he helped to clear up used utensils from the dining area, but he was so happy that there was going to be another Jing Si Hall to be built. To him, more Tzu Chi Chapters would mean more people in need could get help, and he himself had received such help before.

Ayu Nadrirah and Ayu Rasyidah were recipients of Tzu Chi study aid respectively. The two sisters were helping out with the washing up of dishes. They had lost their father seven years ago. Their mother raised her eight children on a meagre income that she got by selling vegetables she picked from the wild. Luckily, in 2015, when Tzu Chi reached out to help needy school children with financial aid, their plight was relieved.

Personal skill put to good use

Sim Teck Guan, a professional photographer, was invited by his good friend, Heng Ching Chuan, a Tzu Chi volunteer, to take charge of the photography section. He felt good that he was able to make use of his professional skill for charity purposes, while at the same time, learnt something new.

A calligrapher and painter, Pang Heng Kang, who has been teaching calligraphy and Chinese painting in the Tzu Chi Continuing Education Centre for more than ten years, contributed 50 pieces of his works for charity sale. He also gave a live demonstration of calligraphy and painting at the opening ceremony. He humbly expressed his belief that one should give back to society what one has taken from society.

Volunteer Tan Teck Siang shared that his mother had taught him by example to help others though they were poor. He did so, and he had been fortunate to receive help from a benevolent kind soul to study overseas. He worked hard after graduation, and became a successful entrepreneur. He became a Tzu Chi volunteer in 2002 because he was greatly impressed by the way Tzu Chi extended help to the needy. From Master Cheng Yen’s teachings, he gained a deeper appreciation and understanding of what doing good and kind deeds was all about.

“Just a single kind soul could make such a vast change in my life, what’s more with a well-organized body like Tzu Chi. I am sure Tzu Chi is able to exert a very positive influence on a large scale, and bring peace and harmony to society through its missions. Therefore, it is meaningful to support the building of another Jing Si Hall,” he summed up his view. He bought not one, but seven pieces of work by Heng Kang.

Lee Wei Harng, a member of the Muar Tzu-Chi Jing Si Hall Building Committee, had been going to various Tzu Chi Chapters to share about the Muar Tzu-Chi Jing Si Hall. In conjunction with the charity fair, he brought a whole set of information sheets and an architectural model of the Jing Si Hall for display at the event. According to him, construction work has started, and it is his wish that the building would be completed as soon as possible to fulfil its function of spreading love and compassion.

 

 

Crowds were seen at the food-stalls at the charity fair. [Photograph by Quek Kah Hoon]   Vairava Sundari was busy with tosai making at her stall with her granddaughter. [Photograph by Teng Swee Ueng]

Crowds were seen at the food-stalls at the charity fair. [Photograph by Quek Kah Hoon]
 
Vairava Sundari was busy with tosai making at her stall with her granddaughter. [Photograph by Teng Swee Ueng]
 
How Yong Fong Leng helped to sell pastries after she was done with her vegetarian meals. [Photograph by Teng Swee Ueng]   Lim Peck Chen’s (right) family of three worked hard in carrying out their respective duties. [Photograph by Ngow Judy]

How Yong Fong Leng helped to sell pastries after she was done with her vegetarian meals. [Photograph by Teng Swee Ueng]
 
 
Lim Peck Chen’s (right) family of three worked hard in carrying out their respective duties. [Photograph by Ngow Judy]
 
Lee Wei Harng, a member of Muar Tzu-Chi Jing Si Hall Building Committee,brought a whole set of information sheets and an architectural model of the Jing Si Hall for display at the event to share with visitors. [Photograph by Lee Kin Chee]   Calligrapher and painter, Pang Heng Kang has been giving calligraphy and painting classes at the Tzu Chi Continuing Education Centre for more than a decade. He contributed 50 pieces of his works for charity sale at the event besides giving a live demonstration at the opening ceremony. [Photograph by Ng Hock Thai]

Lee Wei Harng, a member of Muar Tzu-Chi Jing Si Hall Building Committee,brought a whole set of information sheets and an architectural model of the Jing Si Hall for display at the event to share with visitors. [Photograph by Lee Kin Chee]
 
 
Calligrapher and painter, Pang Heng Kang has been giving calligraphy and painting classes at the Tzu Chi Continuing Education Centre for more than a decade. He contributed 50 pieces of his works for charity sale at the event besides giving a live demonstration at the opening ceremony. [Photograph by Ng Hock Thai]
 

Sim Teck Guan, a professional photographer, was invited to take charge of the photography studio, taking photographs for visitors. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee] Ayu Nadrirah (1st left), her sister, Ayu Rasyidah (2nd right), and Ee Chan Hong (1st right) came to the event to help in dish washing. They are all recipients of Tzu Chi study aid. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]


Sim Teck Guan, a professional photographer, was invited to take charge of the photography studio, taking photographs for visitors. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]
 

 


Ayu Nadrirah (1st left), her sister, Ayu Rasyidah (2nd right), and Ee Chan Hong (1st right) came to the event to help in dish washing. They are all recipients of Tzu Chi study aid. [Photograph by Yong Siew Lee]

 Despite his injury that he sustained in a recent road accident, Pam Yoon Chung, a volunteer from Ulu Tilam, came to contribute his effort as the chief cook of a stall happily. [Photograph by Ng Hock Thai]


Despite his injury that he sustained in a recent road accident, Pam Yoon Chung, a volunteer from Ulu Tilam, came to contribute his effort as the chief cook of a stall happily. [Photograph by Ng Hock Thai]