Lunar New Year Event a Soaring Success!

BY Moss Dance
Project Coordinator

On Tuesday, January 24, the Immigrant Welcome Centre’s many Multicultural Groups and Youth 4 Diversity Program teamed up to present a Lunar New Year Celebration. Participants rang in the New Year with a Buddhist ceremony, lead by visiting Reverend Monk, Sakya Phap An. Reverend Phap An brought a statement of hope and renewal to share with ceremony attendees from Venerable Thich-Thien-Nghi, rector of the Unified Vietnamese Buddhist Congregation in Canada. He urged those assembled to celebrate the New Year to leave behind old attachments and hardships as we move into the New Year:  “Buddha once said: All human beings have undergone the sufferings of daily life. To reach genuine liberation we have to forget all the afflictions and hardships of the past. Therefore, we… mourn about our misfortunes from the past and often think we [should] be able to get whatever we dream [of] in the future. These wandering thoughts are unreal and are the causes of our afflictions and depressions. They are delusion and attachment…. Without attachment, everyday would be enchantment and delight and then we [would] really obtain true happiness in this suffering world.”

The event was attended by about 200 hundred members of the Campbell River community and was co-organized by volunteers who created a huge dinner and transformed the Robron Centre Library into a Buddhist Temple. Throughout the evening, Reverend Sakya Phap An distributed “Lucky Money” to children, volunteers and many others as the evening progressed in a whirlwind of music, good food, good company and laughter.

The Lunar New Year event was co-organized with our Youth Interfaith Project through the Youth 4 Diversity Program. Youth attending the event were encouraged to take photos and write about their experience. These photos will be on display in May at the Tidemark Gallery as part of our “Diversity Lives Here” Conference on May 9 – 10, 2012. The Interfaith Project will continue into the Spring with more visits to local faith communities. Please contact Moss at moss.dance@immigrantwelcome.ca to get involved!

The Immigrant Welcome Centre would like to thank and congratulate members of our Multicultural it’s Youth, Family, Women’s and Seniors Groups, our volunteers and Reverend Sakya Phap An and his helpers for making this event so special. We are already looking forward to next year!