Children's camp at local temple

Thirty children from local families studied tai chi, boxing, calligraphy, ink painting and even meditation at the city's Jade Buddha Temple.
Jade Buddha Temple / Ti Gong

Children study calligraphy and painting from senior monks at the Jade Buddha Temple at a five-day summer camp that finished on Saturday.

Over 30 local children attended a summer camp at the Jade Buddha Temple over the weekend to study traditional Chinese cultures and experience the life of monks.

The children from local families studied Chinese martial arts, calligraphy and ink painting with senior monks of the temple during the five-day camp.

"The camp aims to let the children get interested in Chinese cultures as well as have good habits like obeying rules and cherishing food," said senior monk Hui Jue, secretary general of the temple's non-profit Juequn cultural and educational fund, which assisted the camp.

A monk paints cinnabar on a child's forehead in a traditional ritual to bless peace and good luck.

The children got up around 5am every day with their monk mentors to begin practicing boxing and martial arts such as tai chi. During the vegetarian meals, they were not allowed to talk or waste any food. They also studied calligraphy, painting or transcribed sutras to help them calm down.

They were asked to learn to meditate before sleeping every night to help them to focus and control their tempers throughout their lives.

The temple began offering local children such camp activities in 2015 in a bid to promote traditional and Buddhism cultures among the young generation. Over 1,000 children have taken part in the camps, according to the temple.

Children experience the daily life of monks in the temple.

Meanwhile, the temple presented a total of 4,500 packs of its traditional vegetarian mooncakes to seniors and orphans at local welfare institutions over the weekend.

The abbot of the temple Jue Xing and other senior monks blessed the traditional Mid Autumn Festival food before sending them to the Shanghai Charity Foundation, Putuo District welfare institution, and the Shanghai Children's Home.

The temple has a 30-year tradition of making mooncakes for the Mid Autumn Festival, which falls on October 4 this year. Some 150 senior cooks make about 70,000 mooncakes in over 20 flavors every day. The traditional Suzhou and Cantonese style mooncakes cannot be produced by machines, said Chen Ming, an official who is in charge of the mooncake production.

The mooncake from the temple is especially popular among overseas Chinese and foreign visitors who buy them at the temple on Jiangning Road in Putuo District. The temple said it receives millions of foreign tourists every year.

The abbot of the Jade Buddha Temple Jue Xing and other senior monks blessed the traditional Mid-autumn Festival food before presenting them to seniors and orphans at local welfare institutions.

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