Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Taiwan's Mother Teresa, Master Cheng Yen

Framed by the Darth Vader style sculpture of Manolo Valdes in Civic Center Plaza...

...a small crowd was holding a Tzu Chi Festival last Saturday honoring three important dates: Mother's Day, Buddha's Birthday, and Global Tzu Chi Day.

Tzu Chi is a movement started by the Taiwanese Buddhist nun Master Cheng Yen in 1966, focused on performing good works and disaster relief (click here for a fairly extensive Wikipedia entry).

A friend who had passed by earlier in the day reported hearing someone singing Puccini's "Nessun Dorma" from the stage, which he found exceedingly odd.

By the end of the afternoon, the crowd was assembled around a table invoking a prayer, presumably for all the people needing relief in China and Burma.

It was rather sweet and strange at the same time. If you're interested in reading more about the group, click here for their website.

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