On June 2, 2017, the study tour of "Re-walking the Maritime Silk Road" has lasted for 15 days and is close to the ending. To celebrate the success of this study tour, the Bee Low See Buddhist Temple of Singapore specially held a cultural exchange party with the topic of "Belt and Road to Spread Harmony". The Most Ven. Zewu (the Vice-President of the Buddhist Association of China, the President of the Buddhist Association of Xiamen, the Abbot of Nanputuo Monastery and the Rector of the Buddhist College of Minnan), the Most Ven. Kwang Pin (the President of the Singapore Buddhist Federation and President of the Management Council of the Bee Low See Buddhist Temple) and the Most Ven. Huixiong (the Abbot of the Bee Low See Buddhist Temple) attended this party and gave speeches, blessings and encouragement to our students.
At 7 p.m. in the Bee Low See Buddhist Temple, the party commenced with the dragon dance and sound of drums. First of all, the Most Ven. Kwang Pin on behalf of the Bee Low See Buddhist Temple gave a speech. He said, "Singapore is your last station on this study tour. I hope all of you could achieve something here and have a nice memory. Singapore and Fujian have a profound and historically important relationship in Buddhism. Many masters in early Singapore are from Fujian and most of them are from Minnan (South Fujian area). Thus the characteristics of the Singapore Buddhism bear some relationship to those of Minnan Buddhism. For instance, Shuang-Lin Monastery has a profound Minnan style on its buildings¡ªit was one of national monument place and listed as the world historic site. Many masters such as the Most Ven. Huiquan, Most Ven. Hongchuan and Most Ven. Yanpei came here to promote the Buddhism by bringing in lots of concepts, theories and arts of Buddhism, which promoted local development of Buddhism and set up a strong base for today's Singapore Buddhism. Nowadays, the Buddhist College of Minnan (BCM) will set an international foreign language class on Buddhism, which is a great standard for the future. I believe this will help promote the exchange and communication between Chinese Buddhism and overseas Buddhism while serving the 'Belt and Road' strategy as well as other channels of exchange better."
Later, the Most Ven. Zewu said, "In this study tour, our delegation which is made up of the BCM and BAXM with a total of 138 persons, visited 5 nations in half a month with a rich agenda covering different areas like education, culture, exchange, Dharma promotion, cooperation and so on. Our study tour also received much support from both religious and political realms as well as social parties, while we established deep friendships during the tour. The tour is very successful and tonight is a great moment for us filled with joy, achievement and many complements. In this party, the Bee Low See Buddhist Temple invited many masters from local temples in Mahayana, Tibetan Buddhism and Theravada sects to enjoy this happy event with our delegation together. Therefore, I express my sincere gratitude to the Most Ven. Huixiong for his careful arrangements. Singapore Buddhism and Fujian Buddhism have a profound relationship and common inheritance. Many predecessors played an important role in this friendship and set up a good bridge and base for our exchange. We came here to worship those predecessors and inherit their spirit. I hope both of us would enhance the friendship and contribute to world peace and people's wellbeing by further cooperation."
The Most Ven. Zewu also summarized his feelings about this tour. He said, "First of all, in this tour which has such a large scale, long period and many destinations, we visited so many temples and institutions and understood their ideas of cultivating the Sangha, which will be beneficial to the development of Sangha education at BCM, and also to its teaching system and manpower organization in the future. We also made some agreements on the cultivation of talented Buddhists with the organizations we visited in the 5 nations. Moreover, we organized this tour in response to the 'Belt and Road' strategy, to promote traditional Chinese culture, inherit the spirit of our masters and predecessors, spread the concepts of Mahayana (especially the Humanistic Buddhism), and unite the overseas alumni to benefit the people. This tour gained our students' experience and expanded their horizons. In addition, our celebration of the Vesak Festival, the establishment of BCMAA overseas branches, the signing of documents with the Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University and University of Peradeniya, made this tour successful with specific achievements. These outcomes also enhanced our students' confidence and belief on Dharma promotion. Last but not least, this tour not only expanded the BCM's influence but also expanded the Mahayana's influence in the world. In this tour, we also inherit our predecessors' spirit and willingness, harmonize multi cultures and cooperate with different parties to develop Buddhism."
The Most Ven. Huixiong said, "In past years, the Most Ven. Hongchuan and the Most Ven. Guangqia came here frequently for the promotion of Buddhism. When I was young, I followed the Most Ven. Hongchuan. He always taught us that talented Sangha was highly important to Buddhism. Thus he devoted himself to founding a Buddhist college in Taiwan and cultivating many excellent Sangha for Dharma promotion over the world. As a result of this study tour, I hope all of you could remember the past and look forward to the future. Buddhism needs talented Sangha memebers and you should all be dedicated to the residents of your temple and to Buddhism. By inheriting the spirit of Mahayana and integrating the needs of current society into your practice, you should undertake the duty to better develop the Buddhism. Finally, I welcome you all to visit Singapore again and wish you all be happy and healthy."
Eventually, with happy songs and dances, the 2-hour party completed in the chorus of Ode to the Triple Gem.