Hsi Lai Girl Scouts Creatively Celebrate World Thinking Day by Showcasing Japan

Girl Scouts united together to embrace perspectives different from their own, to learn and experience various cultures, and to gather new insights to help create a world filled with peace and harmony. On March 2, 2024, the Buddha's Light Hsi Lai Girl Scouts joined approximately 170 members from seven neighboring Girl Scout troops at the St. Mark's Lutheran School in Hacienda Heights, Los Angeles, USA, to celebrate World Thinking Day. The day promoted thinking BIG—what are small things one can do that could make a big impact on the world—and supported the theme for 2024: “Our World, Our Thriving Future: The Environment and Global Poverty.” Buddha's Light Hsi Lai Girl Scouts chose Japan as their exploration country this year, delving into Japanese history, geography, culture, customs, flag, attire, cuisine, and dances. Sixteen girls adorned themselves in traditional Japanese yukata (a lightweight kimono), reflecting Japanese tradition's elegance.

World Thinking Day, observed annually on February 22nd, has been celebrated by Girl Scout troops from 150 countries and regions worldwide since 1926—nearly 10 million Girl Scouts commemorate the day globally. This year, Buddha’s Light Hsi Lai Girl Scouts handcrafted 170 beautiful Japanese origami cherry blossoms to symbolize their goodwill and elegant integration of Japanese traditional culture, which seemed to receive accolades from everyone. They, along with all the other Girl Scout Troops, exhibited a friendly and enthusiastic demeanor, fully embodying the essence of their represented countries.

The Girl Scouts meticulously created vibrant decorations, posters, costumes, performances, and food, representing the unique flair of seven countries—Greece, Brazil, Mexico, South Korea, Fiji, Ireland, and England.

Meaningful group performances were presented with culturally distinctive dances from their respective countries, each earning enthusiastic applause and the delighted audience's approval. Girl Scouts collected their travel passports to visit each "country" booth and received a stamp confirming their "visit" and signifying their new understanding and appreciation of the differing cultures. Participants also immersed themselves into each culture by tasting various traditional foods, such as English afternoon tea, muffins, and gingerbread cookies; Irish Dublin cream scones; Fijian tropical fruit cups; Korean dumplings; chocolate pies; and Greek hummus dips. By exchanging gifts-of-appreciation with one another, they took home special mementos—bracelets, wristbands, masks, and other treasures.

Annie Yang, attending the event for the first time, expressed her fascination with Japanese attire and dressing techniques. Molly Huang, with multiple event experiences, emphasized the happiness she feels when providing newer Girl Scouts with more practical opportunities and collaboratively completing activities after numerous communications. The World Thinking Day event not only allowed participants to experience joy but encouraged them to contemplate upon those still facing challenges and hardships, urging every Girl Scout to take action, utilizing their influence and creativity to make the world a better place.

(Photos provided by Buddha's Light Hsi Lai Girl Scouts)