Saturday, Oct 21st

Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Sunday, 10 May 2015 15:20

Nepalese Workers’ Blessings for their Homeland

Written by  Koh Poo Leng & Low Hai Loon, KL & Selangor / Translated by Tan Heang Shin


Nepalese Om Bahokluzkumar, who came to the ceremony with colleagues, folded his palms and prayed reverently for the affected ones in his home country. [Photograph by Lim Chin Shein]

On May 10, 2015, Tzu Chi KL & Selangor held a joint celebration of Buddha’s Day, Mother’s Day and Tzu Chi Day. This year, 86 Nepalese workers had attended the ceremony. Through the Buddha Bathing Ceremony, they felt the great compassion of the Buddha, and offered their blessings to their affected countrymen.


The lights in the Gratitude Hall of KL Tzu-Chi Jing Si Hall were dimmed as a video clip was being aired. The scenes shown was so familiar, but what seemed unfamiliar were the beautiful homes that had once stood and were now in ruins with figures of “blue angels” sighted, making their way among the ruins.

Eighty-six Nepalese factory workers had participated in this event; and they watched the footage in silence. Scenes of disaster relief from the recent Nepal earthquake to the Malaysian flood that occurred end of last year, had deeply touched the hearts of these foreign workers. At the end of the programme, they responded enthusiastically to the fundraising campaign, with many adopting bamboo banks to develop a kind thought every day.

Relieved to hear from loved ones

Twenty-one-year-old Suman Bhujal and twenty-three-year-old Nabin Mangrati caught the eyes of many with their stylish punk hair-do. Both of them are working in a furniture factory and have been in Malaysia for less than two years.

When they learnt about the earthquake back home, they were extremely worried. Suman called home immediately and he almost cried when the first call did not get through. Luckily he managed to contact his family on the third attempt. Although countless homes had collapsed, both their family members are safe; and that was the greatest news for them.

Although Nepal is known as an ancient Buddhist country, majority of the people are Hindus. Despite this, the Nepalese workers were at ease participating in the Buddha Bathing Ceremony. Nabin was deeply moved seeing how his native land was aided from the video clip. During the fundraising session, he donated willingly to send his love to his fellow countrymen.

Binod Limbu had returned to Nepal to get a replacement for his lost identity card. Just as he was about to leave for Malaysia, a powerful earthquake shook Nepal. While stranded at the airport, his employer, Koh Guat Kim had taken the initiative to contact him and brought the latest news to the Nepalese workers in the factory.

Binod’s colleague, Kurna Khatiny, thought of returning home when he found out that his home in Nepal was destroyed. But later, he decided to stay put to earn more money for reconstruction. With guidance from volunteers, he bowed low to touch the Buddha’s feet, and as he did so, his mind was filled with the sincerest blessings for his home country.

Joyful with first Buddha bathing experience

Outside the Gratitude Hall, volunteers encouraged participants to offer their blessings on post-it notes and stick them onto the board. The board soon became colourful with the increase in blessings; and each simple message has endless love for the affected ones in Nepal.

Wang Sheng Mei, a Tzu Chi donating member informed, “When the workers heard about the disaster, they asked me to take them for prayers. Just then, a volunteer invited me to the Buddha Bathing Ceremony. So I thought, why not bring these workers over.” This was his first participation in the ceremony, and he had turned the opportunity into great affinity.

He brought 12 Nepalese workers to the solemn ceremony, including 35-year-old Om Bahokluzkumar. To the latter, this was his first visit to Jing Si Hall and his first attendance at a Buddha Bathing Ceremony. In relating his first impression of Tzu Chi, he spoke in his limited Malay, “When I bent to touch the Buddha’s feet, good thoughts arose in my mind. I feel calm being here; I do not feel strange at all. You have all been so kind!”

Led by volunteers on a tour of the Jing Si Hall, the workers were taken aback by a sudden shriek. Apparently it was a group of kids from the Parent-child Bonding Class appealing to the public to send their love to Nepal. Without hesitation, the workers dropped their kindness into the box. “Even though my house is not affected, this money could be channelled to others!” Om Bahokluzkumar said emotionally.

Comforted grieving hearts of employees

Guat Kim followed her Nepalese workers and listened to the volunteer guide giving explanations on the origin of Tzu Chi and its events. She would chip in with further clarifications when unclear, making it interesting for the staff. She and her husband have treated the workers like family and have actively inspired the kindness in them. Most of them are monthly donating members now.

When the disaster struck the employees’ homeland, Guat Kim and her husband had felt for them. Not only did they launch a donation drive in the factory, but they are also keeping the workers informed about the relief efforts brought to Nepal through Da Ai News to give them moral support. Even though they could return home if they had wanted to, they had instead chosen to continue working in order to save more money for the reconstruction of their homes.

“I was shocked with their decision. Although the houses were destroyed, their family is safe and sound, and they could start all over again,” expressed Guat Kim, who was touched by their spirit. After learning about the Buddha Bathing Ceremony, she and her husband invited their Nepalese workers to attend and even stopped the production line for one day. A total of 35 workers turned up at the Jing Si Hall, including a staff on night shift who finished his work at 3 am.

Guat Kim felt the peaceful atmosphere at the ceremony could help soothe the aching hearts, and allow the workers to better understand Tzu Chi through the aid provided to their motherland. She said smilingly, “After the Buddha bathing, they have all praised it. Their indescribable happiness made it all worthwhile.”



Earth-shattering disasters bring about world-changing realizations that every day does not come easily. This is truly felt by the Nepalese workers, who have come from afar to work in Malaysia. Let us offer our endless love and blessings, and face the misfortune with the unfortunate ones.

 

Some factories had arranged for their Nepalese workers to attend the ceremony. They had prayed for a world free from disasters. [Photograph by Wong Poh Fatt]   Suman Bhujal (left) and Nabin Mangrati followed the emcee’s instructions and piously prayed for the safety of their loved ones in Nepal. [Photograph by Ng Su Lim]

Some factories had arranged for their Nepalese workers to attend the ceremony. They had prayed for a world free from disasters. [Photograph by Wong Poh Fatt]
 
Suman Bhujal (left) and Nabin Mangrati followed the emcee’s instructions and piously prayed for the safety of their loved ones in Nepal. [Photograph by Ng Su Lim]
 
Kurna Khatiny’s home in Nepal was damaged in the earthquake. Although panic-stricken, he chose to continue working in Malaysia to save enough money to rebuild his home. [Photograph by Ng Su Lim]   Suman Bhujal (left) and Nabin Mangrati followed the emcee’s instructions and piously prayed for the safety of their loved ones in Nepal. [Photograph by Ng Su Lim]

Kurna Khatiny’s home in Nepal was damaged in the earthquake. Although panic-stricken, he chose to continue working in Malaysia to save enough money to rebuild his home. [Photograph by Ng Su Lim]
 
 
Suman Bhujal (left) and Nabin Mangrati followed the emcee’s instructions and piously prayed for the safety of their loved ones in Nepal. [Photograph by Ng Su Lim]
 
Nepalese workers happily displayed the souvenirs received. Earth-shattering disasters bring about realizations that being at peace is the greatest blessing. [Photograph by Thin Ket Yong]   Outside the Gratitude Hall, a corner was set up for public members to send their love and blessings to Nepal. [Photograph by Ng Min Hui]

Nepalese workers happily displayed the souvenirs received. Earth-shattering disasters bring about realizations that being at peace is the greatest blessing. [Photograph by Thin Ket Yong]
 
 
Outside the Gratitude Hall, a corner was set up for public members to send their love and blessings to Nepal. [Photograph by Ng Min Hui]
 
To enable Nepalese in the factory to participate in the solemn ceremony, volunteer Koh Guat Kim decided to stop the production line for one day. Her selfless love is truly admired. [Photograph by Ng Su Lim]  

To enable Nepalese in the factory to participate in the solemn ceremony, volunteer Koh Guat Kim decided to stop the production line for one day. Her selfless love is truly admired. [Photograph by Ng Su Lim]