The second day of ‘Let’s Phly’ Weekend Camp on January 21 emphasized the unique traditions around the world, and the things that bind humans together amid their differences.
The camp is a two-day activity organized by the Tzu Chi University’s (TCU) International Ambassadors. It aims to prepare the Philippine youth to become internationally competitive professionals and responsible citizens.
During the camp, participants learned a Taiwanese traditional dance called Ami’s Harvest Dance. The Ami tribe is an ethnic group native to Taiwan. Their traditional dance is their way of showing gratitude for good harvest of crops and fishes.
Camp participants got to wear the Amis’ traditional clothing and perform the harvest dance together with TCU international ambassadors and Tzu Chi volunteers.
TCU students Yeow Shu-Ting and Lun Gelo Thabete discussed the cultures in their respective countries – Malaysia and South Africa. After being colonized by different countries, Malaysia and South Africa stood firm and fought for their independence to preserve their heritage.
The discussion left many things to reflect upon about cultural preservation among the camp participants.
“I realized that our ancestors have a lot of wisdom that we can learn from and which can help improve our society,” says Chen Shu-Xin, 14.
Studying in an international school, Chen vows to treat her colleagues right, believing it will help shape the way people perceive her Chinese heritage.
Luianna Santos from Philippine Cheng Kuang High School in San Juan City learned that respecting each culture is important to avoid conflict and build good relationships between nations. “I want the world to be a colorful place to live in with different races. I don’t want the world to be just black and white because the world is made for us and every culture to live together in peace,” she says.
Such can be achieved if everyone treats each other with gratitude, love, and respect starting at home.
To remind the participants of filial piety, the organizers asked the participants to write to their parents. However, Chen opted to thank her mother in front of everyone. “We are the world to our parents, that’s why I make sure to give them hugs and kisses whenever I leave. They deserve all the love and attention after all their sacrifices for me. I love you, mom!”
Chen’s mother, Lu Xia, is proud of the change in her daughter after the two-day weekend camp. “A teenage daughter is hard to handle but in this camp, she has really grown a lot. She even wants to be a part of Tzu Chi. In just two days, she has gained a wider understanding of the world,” Lu Xia says.
People from across the world are different in many ways. In appearance, traditions, beliefs, among others. But no matter how different they are from one another, they are bound together by one duty: to respect and to love one another.
Camp participants and members of the working committee enjoy the lunch prepared by the Tzu Chi volunteers. 【Photo by Grace Limbher Daigdigan】
Luianna Santos, 16, hopes that the learning and sharing of new knowledge will continue for each of attendees after the camp. 【Photo by Grace Limbher Daigdigan】
Tzu Chi University’s international ambassadors, Tzu Chi Youth volunteers and Tzu Chi volunteers present a dance number to thank the participants for joining the weekend camp. 【Photo by Grace Limbher Daigdigan】
Some of the camp participants volunteer to wear the Amis’ traditional clothing and do their harvest dance. 【Photo by Grace Limbher Daigdigan】
Tzu Chi University’s international ambassadors demonstrate the Ami’s Harvest Dance. 【Photo by Grace Limbher Daigdigan】
Chen Shu-Xin, a student from Brent International School, shares that her relationship with her parents is the most important connection over anything else. “They deserve all the love that I can offer because they made a lot of sacrifices for me,” she says. 【Photo by Grace Limbher Daigdigan】
Participants of the Let’s Phly Weekend Camp actively join in the activities prepared by Tzu Chi University’s international ambassadors. 【Photo by Grace Limbher Daigdigan】