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Author Jogye On10-03-18 15:19 Views16,460 Comments0

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Buddhist Saturday Programs for Youth

 

Korean society has changed from a 6-day work week to a five-day work week. Likewise, Korean governments Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development has reduced the six-day school week to a five-day school (every other week) since 2005 to allow for more weekend activities and field trips. The Jogye Order has many Saturday programs (e.g. seonmudo <Korean chigong>, tea ceremony, field trips to historic sites) for elementary, junior high, and high school students to give them a sense of identity as Buddhists, further their education, and develop human values. Temples and the Korean Buddhist culture, which perfectly preserve Korean traditional culture, can be invaluable resources of learning.

 

Hongbeupsa Temple (Ven. Shimsan abbot) in Busan is leading the way with diverse Saturday programs for the youth. Because of the popularity of their SaturdaySchool in the Woods, many temples have followed their example and started similar programs. HongbeupsaTemples programs include: English play, science class, horticulture class, reading club, paper folding, seonmudo, dying with natural dyes, and cooking class.

 

Ven. Shimsan said, Weve made programs according to the interests of the students. Weve had more and more students come to the programs. If we can develop the programs to fulfill the role of the temples, it would help in dharma propagation and increase involvement of the temple members.

 

The director of the Buddhist Central Museum Ven. Beomha is teaching the youth Buddhist culture through tea ceremony. The youth learn proper salutation, tea story, names of the tea paraphernalia, setting up the tea set, and serving tea to parent in the first level class. In the second level class, they learn how to wear Korean traditional clothes (hanbok), bowing, tea etiquette, learning the reason and order of serving tea, and matching the seasonal treats and rice cakes.

 

Busans YangjeongActivityCenter for Teenagers (Ven. Beomsan, director) has the following programs: science box, futuristic robot class, English class, history class, and so forth. These programs are not just one time lectures, but they continue for an extended period of time to the approval of parents. On the last weekend of each month, the youth take a field trip to BeomeosaTemple or its museum for a experiential education.

 

Seouls YeoksamActivityCenter for Teenagers (Ven. Jukyeong, director) also has diverse programs such as: Korean history class, with actual visits to palaces and museums and Owl Camp, which advises teens on job choices.


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