October 24, 2013

Students Delve into Taiwanese Culture at Fo Guang Shan Temple

In early October, the NSLI-Y iEARN Taiwan students ventured outside of the city to Fo Guang Shan Temple for their first cultural excursion. Upon arrival, they met Venerable Hue Shou, a monk of Austrian descent who served as a tour guide for the weekend. The students’ first activity was sitting in a vast dining hall with room for 3500 people. There, after chanting, they ate a vegetarian meal amongst monks in silence. Afterwards, the students practiced calligraphy and toured the temple complex.

The following morning the students awoke before 5:30AM to attend the morning temple chanting alongside devout monks. The remainder of the day was spent exploring various museums, watching movies about the history of the temple, and eating an array of vegetarian cuisine. The weekend at Fo Guang Shan Temple provided the students with a memorable and unique introduction to Buddhism in Taiwan.

Student Reflection:

"With the help of Hue Shou through two activity-packed days, I gained a new appreciation for, and much more knowledge about, Buddhism. I have a feeling that our cultural excursions will become one of my favorite aspects of this year."

Read more about the trip in Mandarin and English on the NSLI-Y Taiwan webiste!