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Sunday, 13 November 2016 00:00

Graduates of PCBC Celebrate Growth and Fulfilment

Written by  Tan Boon Hua, Shah Alam / Translated by Chew Chiau Ping

At the PCBC graduation ceremony for participants from Shah Alam zone, volunteers prepared pots of ladies’ slipper sapling for each pair of parent-child, hoping that they could nurture the plants together. [Photograph by Chan Tuck Meng]

On November 13, 2016, the last Parent-Child Bonding Class (PCBC) and graduation ceremony for participants from Shah Alam zone was held at Tzu Chi Kota Kemuning Community Centre. The opening ceremony featured a lively sign language performance by the children to the song, “Children of the Earth”.


This year, Tzu Chi Shah Alam witnessed its second batch of PCBC graduates, which began in March when 33 pairs of participants embarked on a journey of growth. They had completed a total of seven classroom’s lessons and four outdoor lessons.

During the ceremony, footages of their learning journey took the audience down memory lane as they recalled the lessons learnt and growth observed in each individual for the past one year.

Positive change after attending PCBC

“We had the pleasure to volunteer thanks to the parents who signed up for the class,” expressed volunteer Chen Wen Yen, who started to get involved in Tzu Chi after her child was enrolled in the PCBC. For her, family and community involvement are equally important in education. Hence, Tzu Chi’s PCBC is the perfect fit.

In 2008, Wen Yen and her child signed up for the class. After attending a series of lessons, she began volunteering with Tzu Chi. Now, she continues to contribute to the PCBC, hoping that her affinity with Tzu Chi will last. She hoped that the parents and children could continue to partake in Tzu Chi’s activities too although the classes has come to an end.

During her first PCBC session, Lee Kuan Yem, a mother, was moved to see the volunteers’ dedication as they sacrificed their rest period to prepare for lessons. She said, “I am grateful to have my husband and both children joining the class. For the past one year, not only my children but I myself have changed for the better. At one of the lessons, a footage about animal slaughtering had ignited my children’s empathy so much that they decided to join me in becoming vegetarians.”

For Liu Su Ling, changes were similarly observed in her daughter. Although both of them only enrolled in June, her daughter has learnt to help out with house chores. During a family’s birthday party, she even surprised her father by helping out with table setup and cleaning. Su Ling admitted, “Before this, I tend to nag terribly at her. Now, I have refrained from doing so, to give her ample space to grow.”

After joining the PCBC and getting to know Tzu Chi’s Four Major Missions and Eight Footprints better, she was inspired to join Tzu Chi’s big family and follow Master Cheng Yen on the Bodhisattva Path.

Worked hand-in-hand to pass on Great Love

“Oops, it fell. Let’s try again.”
“Take it easy. Go lower so we can pass the ball.”

During a game that signified a relay of love, the participants had to carefully transfer a ping-pong ball from one end to the other. This simple game had tested their teamwork and made them reflect upon themselves as to whether they could calmly examine the problems to find solutions. When someone experienced a setback, did the rest cheer him/her on? Could parents put themselves in their child’s shoes and listen to their thoughts?

In addition to fostering a closer relationship between the parents and children, the teachings of Jing Si Aphorisms have also been incorporated in the lessons to nurture the children’s mind and character. In the last lesson, a session was included to test the participants on their memory of the Jing Si Aphorisms and to prompt them to reflect whether they have practised the teachings in their daily life.

The ceremony continued with volunteers presenting a sign language performance to a song entitled, “Gratitude, Respect and Love”. It was an expression of their heartfelt appreciation to the parents and children, and to encourage everyone to practise mutual respect and love.

Tzu Chi fosters stronger family ties

Volunteer Siow Lee Kien used to endure a bitter relationship with her mother-in-law with no end in sight. Fortunately, a Da Ai TV drama had inspired her to take a new turn in life and walk the path of Tzu Chi. Therefore, her invaluable sharing marked another highlight of the ceremony.

Lee Kien met her husband, Tan Soon Hock, in university, and both started a family eventually. However, her marriage was not a bed of roses. Immediately after their marriage registration in the morning, Soon Hock had to travel overseas for work. Once, she even had to drive to the hospital to deliver.

Her life was turned upside down when her mother-in-law moved in with them. Their differences had led to countless confrontations, while her efforts to mend their relationship were all in vain. Lee Kien could barely breathe amid mounting pressure.

“I chose to avoid any conversations with my mother-in-law. That’s an action I regretted deeply as ignorance hurt more than anything else. Eventually, my mother-in-law found the silent treatment unbearable, and moved back to Penang. That incident had caused a drift between my husband and me.” She added, “I later regretted the way I had treated my mother-in-law, and pleaded with my husband to bring me to Penang to see her. Luckily, she accepted my apology.”

She also repented for treating her mother-in-law like an outsider, after learning the sign language interpretation of the song, “We Are Family”. With a change in mind-set, she strived to mend their broken relationship for the better. The couple also began to treat their in-laws like their own parents, instead of addressing them as “your” parents or “my” parents.

Since the character in the Da Ai TV drama shared the same fate as her, she decided to install Da Ai TV channel at home.

Thanks to Tzu Chi, the seeds of love had blossomed and flourished in their family, and even extended to others. In 2010, the couple returned to Taiwan to be commissioned, and that trip had paved the way for their lifelong commitment as Living Bodhisattvas.

Lee Kien’s sharing had moved many to tears, as they realized that nothing in life should be taken for granted. We ought to do the right thing in a timely manner.



To impart the virtues of filial piety and doing good deeds, a group of four volunteers of different age groups performed a musical drama to the song, “The Kneeling Lamb”. Next was the much-anticipated foot-bathing session that served as an expression of filial appreciation towards the parents. Each child carried a basin of water and knelt down before their parents. Then, under the emcee’s guidance, they carefully folded up the bottom of their parents’ pants, removed their socks, and bathed and dried their feet before putting on the socks again. Such simple gestures moved many parents to tears.

Educating a child is similar to cultivating a tree. Therefore, volunteers prepared pots of ladies’ slipper saplings planted in PET bottles for each pair of parent-child. Hopefully, the parents and children could nurture the plant to grow luxuriantly, just like nurturing a child’s development and growth.

Within a year, the participants have seen positive changes both mentally and spiritually. Their bonds are stronger and family ties have strengthened. Although the PCBC has come to an end, we hope everyone could thrive further in Tzu Chi’s big family.

 

The opening ceremony featured a lively sign language performance by the children to the song, “Children of the Earth”. [Photograph by Chan Tuck Meng]   Although the PCBC has come to an end, Chen Wen Yen encouraged the participants to continue their journeys with Tzu Chi’s big family. [Photograph by Ng Shie Yuh]

The opening ceremony featured a lively sign language performance by the children to the song, “Children of the Earth”. [Photograph by Chan Tuck Meng]
 
Although the PCBC has come to an end, Chen Wen Yen encouraged the participants to continue their journeys with Tzu Chi’s big family. [Photograph by Ng Shie Yuh]
 
The PCBC has taught Lee Kuan Yem, a mother, to put herself in her son’s shoes and listen to his thoughts. Their relationship has since improved tremendously. [Photograph by Ng Shie Yuh]   Thanks to the PCBC, Liu Su Ling has come to know Tzu Chi’s Four Major Missions and Eight Footprints better, while her daughter helps out with house chores. [Photograph by Chan Tuck Meng]

The PCBC has taught Lee Kuan Yem, a mother, to put herself in her son’s shoes and listen to his thoughts. Their relationship has since improved tremendously. [Photograph by Ng Shie Yuh]
 
 
Thanks to the PCBC, Liu Su Ling has come to know Tzu Chi’s Four Major Missions and Eight Footprints better, while her daughter helps out with house chores. [Photograph by Chan Tuck Meng]
 
In a game that signified a relay of love, the participants had to carefully transfer a ping-pong ball from one end to the other. [Photograph by Chan Tuck Meng]   A Da Ai TV drama prompted Siow Lee Kien to install the TV channel at home, and it has fostered family values and strengthened her family ties. [Photograph by Ng Shie Yuh]

In a game that signified a relay of love, the participants had to carefully transfer a ping-pong ball from one end to the other. [Photograph by Chan Tuck Meng]
 
 
A Da Ai TV drama prompted Siow Lee Kien to install the TV channel at home, and it has fostered family values and strengthened her family ties. [Photograph by Ng Shie Yuh]
 
Volunteers performed a musical drama to the song, “The Kneeling Lamb”, to impart the virtues of filial piety and doing good deeds. [Photograph by Chan Tuck Meng]   The foot-bathing session that served as an expression of filial appreciation towards the parents moved many to tears. [Photograph by Chan Tuck Meng]

Volunteers performed a musical drama to the song, “The Kneeling Lamb”, to impart the virtues of filial piety and doing good deeds. [Photograph by Chan Tuck Meng]
 
 
The foot-bathing session that served as an expression of filial appreciation towards the parents moved many to tears. [Photograph by Chan Tuck Meng]