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Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Sunday, 13 October 2013 00:00

Musical Drama on Profound Parental Love

Written by  By Low Hai Loon, Kuala Lumpur / Translated by Hew Kwee Heong

The sign-language team presenting the episode of “Repaying Kindness”.【Photograph by Tan Sun Pei】

The Tzu Ching (Collegiate Youth) and Tzu Yi Team from Tzu Chi Kuala Lumpur & Selangor successfully staged the "Profound Parental Love" Musical Drama (adaptation of the Sutra of Filial Piety) on October 13, 2013, at Dewan Wawasan PGRM, after 7 months of intensive preparation. The performances attracted some 5,600 spectators.


Under the spotlights and inside a red curtain on stage, several performers were enacting the "Pregnancy" episode. The 'mother' was happy despite having to bear the discomfort caused by her pregnancy.

Backstage, a group of sign-language performers were waiting nervously for their turn to go on stage despite having practised the signs for 7 months.

Inside the PGRM auditorium, all the 2,000-plus seats were fully occupied.

Awakening the youth to their filial duty

Datuk Hwong You Chuang from Kota Kinabalu said, "Many people were moved to tears by the performance. This shows human nature is naturally kind. The performance has played the part of disseminating the message of filial piety to young people today who are too engrossed with their own life and work that they have ignored their parents."

Dharma Master Xian Wu, who is pursuing a Counseling course in Help University, disclosed that through his observation, modern people are too focused on "speed" and "convenience". The communications between family members are very superficial, thus creating a communication gap. To build a happy and close-knit family, patience is needed when communicating with family members, and actions have to be taken to show your love to them.

Adapted from the Buddhist Sutra of Filial Piety, "The Profound Parental Love" Musical Drama was divided into 9 inter-linked episodes, namely, "Grateful Little Lamb", "Prelude", "Karmic Relationships" "Pregnancy", "Ten Types of Kindness", "Parental Love", "Children's Wrongdoings", "Repaying Kindness" and "Finale". It began with the description of joy and pain of parents during pregnancy, the difficulties faced by them in bringing up their child, their worries when their child strays onto the wrong path, and how a 100-year old mother still worries about her 80-year old child. All these describe the unwavering love of parents towards their children.

Apart from some professional artistes and Tzu Chi volunteers, all the 277 performers and 388 supporting volunteers came from more than 20 universities and colleges in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor.

Parents' love is great

Dr. You Xiu Xiang, an audience member from University of Malaya, encouraged more young people to participate in such a sutra performance as it is a good opportunity for them to learn good teachings and the concept of filial piety.

When the music of "Grateful Little Lamb" was played, performer Zheng Lin Fei began to cry as she felt very strongly to the following verse in the song:

"How many children, in order to fulfil their own dreams, have left their homes to go to faraway places..."

Every word in this song describes her life-story. Her father passed away when she was 9, and thereafter her mother decided to move from Kuantan back to her hometown in Kelantan. Five years ago, she came to Kuala Lumpur to study; and whenever her mother called her, she got very annoyed because she could not understand her mother's concerns.

During rehearsals, Lin Fei from National University of Malaysia had the opportunity to listen to the song many times, and with the words imprinted into her mind, she began to realize that she had been very rude to her mother. Now, she sends text messages to her mother frequently to update on her wellbeing.

In the Sutra, there is this verse which says that "If one was to carry one's father on the left shoulder and mother on the right such that one's skin rips open, blood spills, pain cuts to the bone; this kind of compensation is still hardly sufficient". Lin Fei said, "I want to say a big 'Thank You' to my mother and also hope to transfer the merits gained to my late father."

Overwhelming response from the audience

Sixty-one year old Yen Zhi Lan took a 2-hour leave to accompany and watch the performance with her granddaughter, Lai Shi Ying.

After she was born, Shi Ying's parents left her to her grandmother and left without a word. It was the latter who raised her, thus she regards her grandmother as her parents.

Shi Ying repented to her grandmother for being disobedient at times. She said, "Grandma, I love you!"

The grandmother and granddaughter then hugged each other and cried.

Teacher Lin Jin Hua and 3 colleagues led 44 secondary students to watch this performance. They had to travel 3 hours on a bus from Triang, Pahang.

Teacher Lin hoped that her students have imprinted the concept of filial piety in their minds and that they must be grateful to their parents for bringing them up.

In expressing her appreciation to her mother, Teacher Lin's daughter, Xu Zhen Di, pointed at the line in the leaflet which says: "The love and devotion of parents are all alike. Even after exhausting all words and ink, it is still not possible to describe such kindness. They give us life, shelter and education. They protect, care for and look after us."

Wang Hong Yi from Shanghai, China, was very happy to obtain a ticket to the performance. She was seen crying from the first episode till the end. She regretted for making her parents worry whenever she was sick when she first came to Malaysia. She took many pictures of the performance venue to share with her family back in China.

Repay our parents' love by taking good care of ourselves

There is an old Chinese saying: "Filial piety is the root of all virtues." To create a peaceful society we need to have a happy family.

Dharma Master Shi Hui Xu urged young people to take good care of themselves, as this is the best form of repayment for their parents' kindness.

 

Two sessions of the performance attracted 5,600 audience members.【Photograph by Wan Zhi Kun】 Audience members, who came on Tzu Chi buses, had to wait for admission into the Hall.【Photograph by Lee Wei Kean】

Two sessions of the performance attracted 5,600 audience members.【Photograph by Wan Zhi Kun】

Audience members, who came on Tzu Chi buses, had to wait for admission into the Hall.【Photograph by Lee Wei Kean】
The “Pregnancy” episode was played by the Collegiate Youth and their performance was excellent.【Photograph by Tan Sun Pei】 The Collegiate Youth disseminating the spirit of filial piety through sign-language.【Photograph by Wan Zhi Kun】

The “Pregnancy” episode was played by the Collegiate Youth and their performance was excellent.【Photograph by Tan Sun Pei】

The Collegiate Youth disseminating the spirit of filial piety through sign-language.【Photograph by Wan Zhi Kun】
Every performer went on stage to thank the audience before the curtain closed. Performers and audience felt cleansed spiritually.【Photograph by Tan Sun Pei】 He Shi Ying (right) promised to take care of her grandmother who has brought her up.【Photograph by Ho Wen Yee】

Every performer went on stage to thank the audience before the curtain closed. Performers and audience felt cleansed spiritually.【Photograph by Tan Sun Pei】

He Shi Ying (right) promised to take care of her grandmother who has brought her up.【Photograph by Ho Wen Yee】
Zheng Lin Fei (right) regretted for getting annoyed with her mother's constant monitoring on her when she was studying in Kuala Lumpur.【Photograph by Wei Tsao Tseng】

Zheng Lin Fei (right) regretted for getting annoyed with her mother's constant monitoring on her when she was studying in Kuala Lumpur.【Photograph by Wei Tsao Tseng】

 Please view more snopshots of the event: Musical Drama on Profound Parental Love

 

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