Religious Forum Special / News

Students discover enlightenment at Nanhai Buddhism Academy

By SONG MENGXING |  China Daily |  Updated:2024-04-02

Overseas students at Nanhai Buddhism Academy have said they have fallen in love with Chinese culture and enjoyed studying and living there.

Sok Raseak from Cambodia said it was a great honor for him to be selected to study for one year at the academy in Sanya city, Hainan province in September. The 24-year-old said he has developed a deeper understanding of traditional Chinese culture and found that there are some cultural differences between his country and China, especially in the lifestyle of monks.

"I really enjoy the living environment here because the people are very friendly and often help me. I also love the (natural) environment here; the scenery of the academy is pleasant, with mountains in the front and the sea at the back. This quiet and comfortable environment brings me great joy," Sok said.

Other than Chinese language and Buddhism studies, his favorite class teaches students how to brew tea. Before coming to China, he loved coffee, but now he has developed an appreciation for drinking tea. "In tea, I can feel the strength of tranquility, which coffee doesn't provide," he said.

Sok said he will share Chinese culture with more monks when he is back in Cambodia and ask them to visit China.

Abiskar Karki from Nepal's Lumbini, birthplace of the Buddha, said friendly exchanges between Nepal and China have continued for more than 2,000 years. Despite the world's highest Himalayan mountain range once being a natural barrier between them, today, with the development of air travel, the mountain range can no longer hinder the exchange of envoys from the two countries, he said.

"I experienced Chinese New Year culture for the first time. The streets and houses were decorated in bright red and gold colors. There were also dragon and lion dances, which left me deeply impressed. Of course, the happiest part was receiving hongbao, red envelopes containing cash gifts, and many blessings," he said.

Karki said he really likes China and would love to continue to study the Chinese language and stay in the country to continue with graduate studies or work.

After finishing her junior courses, Shova Bhandari, 21, went to the academy in September to learn the Chinese language and deepen her understanding of Chinese Buddhism.

"In the three-plus months at the academy, I have gained a lot. The study atmosphere here is strong, and people are friendly and willing to help. Whenever we encounter difficulties, our classmates and teachers are always enthusiastic to lend a hand. The natural environment here also brings us joy, with pleasant mountains and seas," Shova said.

Her favorite course is calligraphy and she works hard to learn Chinese characters, which are complex. Shova was also very happy to take part in Nepalese dances in ethnic costumes with her classmates at the academy's evening party.

After passing a Chinese language exam this year, she began an internship in March. "I like my work as many people speak Chinese with me every day and I help them with worshiping the Buddha," she said.

The Nanhai Buddhism Academy enrolled its first students in 2017. The total number of students in the school is more than 600, with 72 faculty and staff members. The curriculum for international students is divided into three parts — Buddhist studies, the Chinese language and traditional Chinese culture.


From left: Guests visit Nanhai Buddhism Academy. Overseas students display their calligraphy works. CHINA DAILY

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349