FGSITC Buddhism Friendship Scholarships Encourage Bilingual Learners to Translate

On December 23rd, the Fo Guang Shan International Translation Center (FGSITC) held the "FGSITC Budddism Friendship Scholarship Appreciation Party" at Hsi Lai Temple. Nearly 60 attendees—including Ven. Yi Kong, president of Fo Guang Shan Cultural Council; abbot of Hsi Lai Temple, Ven. Hui Dong; founders of the AJ Wang Foundation, Mr. JP and Alice Wang; teachers and scholarship recipients—gathered together and encouraged young bilingual learners to continue to fully step into their ‘translation shoes’ and celebrated their collective efforts in helping support the localization and globalization of Buddhism.

Ven. Yi Chao, the director of the FGSITC, introduced the honored guests and the working team, and expressed gratitude for their collective dedication in making the scholarship program so successful.

Ven. Yi Kong emphasized, "Without the translation of classics, there is no Chinese Buddhism," stressing the pivotal role of translators in the future of American Buddhism. She encouraged learners to use their bilingual abilities to drive the localization of Buddhism—starting from Hsi Lai Temple and then extending out into the other continents. Mr. JP and Alice Wang—acknowledged scholarship providers and co-founders of Golden Star Technology (GST), were honored with the prestigious Taiwan 2023 National Award of Outstanding SMEs and have been consecutively recognized by the Los Angeles Times as the "Best Work Environment" company, in the Greater Los Angeles area, for several years. Their inspirational, successful careers truly embody Venerable Master's passion to compassionately foster others’ talents with educational and cultural support.

Abbot Ven. Hui Dong encouraged learners to face all their challenging circumstances with the Buddha’s teachings—never forgetting their own initial vows, always striving to become better individuals, so they can touch the hearts and minds of many.

Mr. JP, once a beneficiary of scholarships himself as a youth, was inspired by Venerable Master Hsing Yun's own story as a youth, at age 17, he fell very ill and received a half bowl of pickles—during a time when food was extremely scarce—from his master. Venerable Master Hsing Yun promised to never forget and to pay forward his master’s kindness, by sharing Buddhism and by ‘giving to others.’ Mr. JP expressed his commitment to ‘giving back’ to others through scholarship initiatives. Alice Wang shared how learning Buddhism has filled her life with meaning and constantly fuels her wish to spread compassion throughout the world.

The bilingual learners collectively designed a delightful venue layout and program, integrating the content and talents from this year's four study camps into various performances; such as piano and guitar recitals, chanting of the Heart Sutra, origami art, dances, martial arts, and introducing excerpts from Venerable Master Hsing Yun's book Bells, Gongs, and Wooden Fish like "The Cushion " and "Annotation," and engaging in a lively Buddhist Studies and Worldly Knowledge quiz with venerable. The audience applauded their impressive creativity and diverse skills.

Iris and Anthony Wang, both learners and performers, shared how the month-long intense planning and rehearsals taught them the importance of communication, collective creation, mutual appreciation, and how adapting to circumstances enhanced the bond among all learners—a precious experience! Kristin Chieh mentioned gaining and benefitting so much from the meditation courses and is eagerly anticipating next year’s scholarship study camp. Ryan Kuo's father, Kevin Kuo, praised the Buddhist Friendship Scholarship's excellent concept and profound significance, appreciating how it allows children to learn about Chinese culture and broaden their global-eyes.