Albert Lin, The Merit Times staff writer
September 23, 2023
The eighth Asia Festival and Dragon Boat Race, organized by Asian Focus, took place on September 16th at the theater by Symphony Lake in Cary, North Carolina. Buddha's Light International Association (BLIA) North Carolina participated in this event, setting up two booths to promote vegetarian culture and introduce the I.B.P.S. North Carolina to the public. One of the booths is for vegetarian food charity sales and the other for cultural promotion.
At the cultural promotion booth, BLIA North Carolina provided booklets in both Chinese and English to help develop affinity with the public. They also designed a game called "Answer and Win" where participants could learn about Fo Guang Shan Monastery, BLIA, Fo Guang Shan's Four Objectives, and recent activities organized by the association through simple Q&A. Participants who answered questions correctly could play the "Poke and Win" game to win surprise prizes. Over 700 people, both adults and children, participated and had a great time. Additionally, the BLIA North Carolina distributed "Three Acts of Goodness" hand fans to help people stay cool while promoting awareness of the "Three Acts of Goodness" principles.
A child tried to find the correct answer. photo／The Life News Agency
Many attendees expressed that they were previously unaware of the spacious Chinese Buddhist temple in Raleigh, North Carolina. Some Buddhists inquired about details regarding the temple's cultivation activities. Additionally, young individuals were interested in using Buddhism to address challenges in their lives and work. The cultural group's senior members not only provided them with Fo Guang booklets but also encouraged them to visit the temple for guidance from the venerables. Some individuals even visited I.B.P.S. North Carolina right after participating in the Asia Festival and some parents brought their children to the Three Acts of Goodness Children Class the following day.
Participants who answered questions correctly could play the "Poke and Win" game to win surprise prizes. photo／The Life News Agency
Venerable Miao Zhou, the Guiding Venerable of BLIA North Carolina, was not physically present at the event that day. However, she encouraged everyone through video from Taiwan, saying, "Do things joyfully and create affinities happily. Observe more and be ready to adapt at any time."
BLIA North Carolina President Chen Mei Feng led a team of over 30 volunteers in organizing this event. Elder Advisors Chen Wei Zhong said, "This event was very successful, well-prepared, and everyone worked joyfully with seamless cooperation. I am delighted to see so many people coming to develop affinity with us and learn about Humanistic Buddhism." Director Liu Hai Feng shared, "This is the event where I've developed most affinities among all the events I've participated in. With this experience, we will do even better next time."
The children tried to solve the puzzles. photo／The Life News Agency
The Dragon Boat Race at the Asia Festival had 30 teams participating, along with Asian cultural performances, Asian cuisine, booth displays, free medical consultations, and more. It attracts tens of thousands of visitors every year.