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Sunday, 13 March 2016 00:00

Propriety in Teenagers Projects Pleasant Image

Written by  Yang Chun Yan, Muar / Translated by Lilian Chew

On March 13, 2016, Muar Tzu Chi Teenagers’ Group celebrated its 15th Anniversary; the occasion was attended by 47 students. [Photograph by Lin Mei Fu]

Koo En Qi said: “Practising good dining etiquette will reflect our good upbringing.” Tan Wei Sen thought that having good etiquette would project good impression to people. The beauty of a team is derived from each individual, if everyone could dress uniformly, then the team would be very neat.


Etiquette is life’s most beautiful form, thus always carry ourselves graciously and lovingly. In the world of Tzu Chi, Master values propriety and requires Tzu Chi people to pay attention to their image, because not only will a dignified and solemn image be sensed but it will also have an influential effect on people. Master exhorted Tzu Chi volunteers to adopt “propriety” to purify their heart and the hearts of others. A world with propriety is indeed a pure land on Earth.

On March 13, 2016, Tzu Chi Teenagers’ Group in Muar celebrated its 15th Anniversary with 47 student members attending. As it coincided with school holidays, the curriculum ran for seven hours, from 1 pm to 8 pm, unlike the usual three hours.

The main highlight of the curriculum was the learning of etiquette in walking, standing, sitting and lying, which would determine a person’s demeanour; and which would then govern the beauty of a team. Hence, the programme team placed heavy emphasis on this aspect, hoping that the children would grasp the living art.

Dignify oneself with fundamental propriety

Volunteer Low Chung Chin, who has accompanied children for the past 15 years, was pleased with the Jing Si Aphorism Teaching Method but he noticed that lesser time had been spent to teach children on Tzu Chi’s etiquette. He hopes the children could start learning from the basics.

“When we are eating out, having good dining etiquette will dignify ourselves. It is also a form of respect for others,” Chung Chin lamented the decline of dining etiquette in today’s youngsters.

Chung Chin continued, “Master mentioned before that self-restraint means keeping our speech and deeds to be in line with ceremony, so propriety is very important.” He felt that education must begin with the fundamentals which is teaching children with the basic etiquette. The Tzu Chi Teenagers’ Group plays a crucial role to guide, and hopefully through the designed curriculum, the teenagers will learn to pay attention and practise etiquette in their daily lives.

Propriety is one’s image

There were new and old students in the class. It was both refreshing and new learning for the old students while the new students were able to learn the correct basic etiquette from the start.  Whether during interaction with the elders or in their daily life, they can practise good etiquette.

Many teenagers, when practising the etiquette of walking and dining for the first time, were both curious but serious at the same time.

Thirteen-year-old Khoo En Qi was the only one in pigtails with Tzu Chi ribbons. She appeared pretty and tidy. She had actually prepared herself to join the class since last year. With the intention to complete the full programme, she had sacrificed a networking opportunity with a Chinese orchestra group which fell on the same day.

En Qi commented, “When we have good eating etiquette, people will see our good manners and upbringing.” She was very pleased to learn how to hold the bowl between the thumb and palm, holding the chopsticks with the other hand and eating slowly and silently.

Another student, Tan Wei Sen shyly agreed that having good etiquette can project a positive impression. The beauty of a team is derived from each of its members. If everyone could dress uniformly, then the team would be very neat.

Kam Rui Min, a senior student, did not understand the purpose of attending the course when she first started. However, after four years of participation, she felt a sense of belonging. She thought the right thing to do was to respect the team rules and fulfil her duty as a senior.

She said: “Good etiquette will help us to carry ourselves with good image and right temperament.” Hence, she would alert herself not to raise her voice when talking, not to be a picky eater, and to put this into practice in her everyday life.

Good leadership brings forth relaxed and easy guidance

The event saw many senior students returning to serve by leading ice-breaking games, general etiquette in Buddhism as well as sign language sessions.

Chung Chin said: “It was good to see the seniors, but if we did not assign any duty for them, they would feel like it’s just a visit, lacking in recognition with no sense of belonging.”

There were two “old” students from the early days, who had conveyed the message in a fun filled drama, drawing a lot of laughter from the crowd. They said, “Hopefully by using examples, we can help inspire the students.”

Sei Wei Ting, a senior student, was deeply concerned over the negative effects of modern technology, for example, many teenagers and youths were addicted to the Internet and smart phones. She hopes the drama would bring forth some realizations in them.



Propriety is mankind most fundamental principle. One who is able to do so would always be able to carry himself with dignity and be a person of modern sensibility. It is hoped that everyone could take propriety to heart and improve their character. Start from home, then to society and let the world be filled with reasons and virtues.

 

Low Chung Chin mindfully designed the course programme, hoping the youngsters would pay attention to etiquette and practise it in their everyday life. [Photograph by Lin Mei Fu]   Kam Rui Min (2nd right), after four years of participation in the teenagers’ activities, agreed that good etiquette will carry one with good image and right temperament. [Photograph by Lin Mei Fu]

Low Chung Chin mindfully designed the course programme, hoping the youngsters would pay attention to etiquette and practise it in their everyday life. [Photograph by Lin Mei Fu]
 
Kam Rui Min (2nd right), after four years of participation in the teenagers’ activities, agreed that good etiquette will carry one with good image and right temperament. [Photograph by Lin Mei Fu]
 
Koo En Qi had prepared herself for this course since last year. Photo shows her helping other students with grooming. [Photograph by Lin Mei Fu]   Facilitators showing the teenagers how to hold their bowls and chopsticks. [Photograph by Lin Mei Fu]

Koo En Qi had prepared herself for this course since last year. Photo shows her helping other students with grooming. [Photograph by Lin Mei Fu]
 
Facilitators showing the teenagers how to hold their bowls and chopsticks. [Photograph by Lin Mei Fu]