Wonderful Okinawa

By | Nov 20, 2017 | Views: 434

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(By Tsem Rinpoche and Pastor Adeline)

 

Introduction

When the word ‘Japan’ comes to mind, people will usually think about Hokkaido, Tokyo, or Osaka, as these prefectures are the most popular tourist destinations. Another prefecture that should not be left out on any trip to Japan, one that is distinct from mainland Japan with its similarly ancient culture, different languages, art and distinct cuisine, is Okinawa.

 

History

The prefecture of Okinawa consists of a long stretch of islands situated between four main islands: Okinawa Shoto, Okinawa Honto, Miyako Island, and Yaegama Retto. These four are known as the Ryukyu Islands connecting Japan to Taiwan near the East China Sea. The residents of Okinawa call themselves the Uchinanchu (sea people) and gave their island prefecture the moniker of ‘The rope in the open sea’ because the chain of islands resembles a rope.

Being situated in a strategic location in the centre of the East China Sea, the Ryukyu Kingdom was a wealthy trading nation that connected Japan, China, and Southeast Asia. It was during the 15th Century that King Satto formed a tributary relationship between Japan and China, which profoundly accelerated Ryukyu’s culture and politics.

In 1609 the Ryukyu Kingdom was forced to form another tributary relationship with shogunates of the Satsuma and Tokugawa clans, in which the Satsuma clan received small tax profits from the Ryukyu Kingdom’s trade with China. However, the Satsuma clan’s authority over the islands allowed a degree of domestic freedom in terms of politics for more than two centuries.

The Ryukyu Kingdom was finally disbanded in 1872 during the Meiji Restoration initiated by the Japanese government. It was renamed to Ryukyu-han, and then again to the Okinawa Prefecture of Japan in 1879. During World War II, approximately 120,000 Okinawans, or a quarter of their population, perished in the Battle of Okinawa. The battle also devastated the many historical and cultural remnants of the Ryukyu Kingdom. Okinawa remained under United States occupation until 1972.

A number of historical sites did survive the War, such as the newly-rebuilt Shuri Castle located in Naha, and the tiny village of Taketomi in the southern parts of Yeagama Islands. World War II landmarks found in the main island of Okinawa include the Peace Memorial Park in Naha, the Himeyuri Monument, as well as other war-related locations, such as several American military bases.

 

Location

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Population

Okinawa covers 1,206.96 square kilometres (466.01 square miles) with an estimated population of 1.4 million people.

Contacts for Emergencies and Unexpected Incidents
110- Calls the police to report an accident or crime.
119- Calls an ambulance or fire engine in case of injury, illness or fire.
118- Reports an accident in the sea.

 

Climate and What to Wear

Summer may be long in Okinawa, but there is a significant difference in temperature between day and night, so it is best to prepare suitable clothing based on the time of year you are planning to visit.

SPRING

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SUMMER

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AUTUMN

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WINTER

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When to Visit

Avoid visiting Okinawa during mid-May to mid-June, as the rainy season might ruin your outdoor plans. If you are interested in water sports such as scuba-diving or snorkeling, it is recommended to visit during July-October since the water temperature will be around 25°C–28°C (77°F–82°F).

Please note that July and September is also typhoon season, so you might experience several days of heavy rain and strong winds. If you are interested in festivals or Okinawan culture, you can visit on New Year’s Day for the Shuri Castle Festival, March for the dragon boat races, August for the Eisa Festival or Naha Festival, and October for Tug of War. Please be aware that crowds may be especially heavy during these times so accommodation may be limited.

 

Long-Lived Okinawans

There is a famous proverb in Okinawa that goes:

“At 70, you are a child. At 80, you are merely a youth. And at 90, if the ancestors invite you to heaven, ask them to wait until you are 100, and then you might consider it.”

Okinawa is home to some of the longest-living people in the world. Residents have an average life expectancy rate of 86 years for women and 78 years for men.

The ancient Chinese used to call Okinawa ‘the land of immortals’. Unlike other countries, common illnesses like heart diseases, strokes, and high cholesterol are very rare here. This is likely due to Okinawans having very social, active lives; low stress levels, and a tradition of keeping fit through a lot of exercise. They also have a very healthy diet, which is very low in calories and salt, but high in nutrition and antioxidants.

Okinawans also practice hare haru bu, which means only eating until they are 80 percent full. The average calorie intake for elderly Okinawans is only 1,800cal per day compared to a 2,500cal per day diet for the average Western male.

 

Food

Okinawa is known for its delicious and unique food culture. Due to its location, most of the food in Okinawa is influenced by Chinese culture. Even so, authentic Japanese elements and flavours in their food still remain.

The food varies from sweet to savory, and below are seven must-try local Okinawan dishes.

 

1. Goya Champurū

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‘Champuru’ means ‘something mixed, while ‘goya’ means bitter gourd, which is included in the dish along with tofu, eggs, pork, and vegetables such as soy sprouts, carrots, mung bean sprouts, and sweet potato slices. It is a healthy dish loaded with Vitamin C, and champuru Goya is prized for its restorative effects, especially during the humid summer season.

 

2. Sea Grapes

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Also referred to as umi budo, this dish is known as the caviar of Okinawa. To fully enjoy its unique flavour, dip it into ponzu (citrus vinegar) before taking a bite. It is also served as a garnish for sashimi (raw fish), or as a main topping for a bowl of rice.

 

3. Mozuku Seaweed

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Mozuku seaweed can only be harvested in the oceans of Okinawa, as the temperature of the waters around the islands gives it its characteristic thickness. This seaweed has a distinct sour taste, is low in calories, and rich in fucoidan, making it a healthy snack. Aside from its taste, mozuku seaweed is also enjoyed for its antibacterial functions, strengthening of the immune system, improvement to lifestyle-related diseases, and for its reputed cancer preventative effects.

 

4. Rafute

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Rafute, or what the locals call buta no kakuni (braised pork belly), is similar to the Chinese-style stewed pork ribs/belly which is known as dong po rou. This dish contains succulent slabs of pork belly cooked in soy sauce, brown sugar and sometimes awamori (Okinawa’s alcohol). This dish is said to prolong one’s lifespan.

 

5. Peanut-flavoured Tofu

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This dessert is also known as ‘jimmy-tofu’, and it has a texture denser than regular tofu. Peanuts are squeezed for their liquid which is then mixed with potato starch to create this dessert. You can eat it on its own, or add grated ginger or brown sugar syrup for extra flavour.

 

6. Sata Andagi

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Okinawans call this snack the ‘local donut’, as it is shaped like a donut and made out of flour, sugar and eggs. It has a crispy exterior, but is soft on the inside, and it is best eaten when warm. It can be served with fresh fruits or a scoop of ice cream. Some restaurants also serve them together with savoury vegetables.

 

7. Shikuwasa

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This extremely sour citrus fruit is commonly known as the Taiwanese tangerine. It is loved for its low sugar content and sourness, and is used to produce juices, jams and used as a garnish to dishes. Shikuwasa juice can be made into a sorbet, and it serves well as a refreshing dessert during the hot Okinawan summer.

 

Places to Go and Things to Do in Okinawa

 

1. Okinawa World

There are many attractions in Okinawa World, such as the Okinawa Craft Village and the Abu Park, where visitors can discover the secrets of the Habu, a highly poisonous snake.

However, the main attraction of this park is the 300,000-year old Gyokusendo Cave, which is open to visitors to explore.

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Gyokusendo Cave, which was discovered in 1967,  is the perfect place for those who need a break from the heat and sunshine, as the cave system has a year-round temperature of 21°C. The cave is filled with thousands of stalagmites and pools of crystal-clear water. It is a peaceful and quiet place that lends itself well to contemplation; all that can be heard throughout the cave is the sound of gently trickling water.

Address: 1336, Tamagusuku, Maekawa, Nanjo-shi, Okinawa, 901-0616
Telephone: 098-949-7421
Hours: 09:00 to 18:00
Admission:

Adult Child
Open Greeting Pass (Cave, Kingdom Village, and Abu Museum) 1,650 yen 830 yen
Cave and Kingdom Village 1,240 yen 620 yen
Kingdom Village 620 yen 310 yen
Habu Museum 620 yen 310 yen

 

Accommodation

These are the recommended hotels near Okinawa World. It is recommended that you do further research to select a hotel that best suits your needs and budget.

1. Hyakunagaran Hotel
Address: 1229-1 Hyakuna Yamashitahara Tamagusuku-Aza, Nanjo 901-0603, Okinawa Prefecture
Phone: 0081-98-949-1011
Website: http://www.hyakunagaran.com/English/

2. Southern Beach Hotel & Resort Okinawa
Address: 1-6-1 Nishizakicho, Itoman 901-0306, Okinawa Prefecture
Phone: +81 98-992-7500
Website: http://www.southernbeach-okinawa.com/

 

2. Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium

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‘Chura’ means ‘beautiful’ in the Okinawan dialect, while ‘umi’ means the sea. At the Churaumi Aquarium, visitors have the opportunity to explore the mysteries of the deep blue Okinawa Sea. Filled with mystical and rare creatures, one of the aquarium’s main features is huge water tank called ‘the Sea of Kuroshio Current’ where you can observe one of the world’s largest fish, the whale shark. It is a must-visit place for fish or aquarium lovers.

Address: 424 Ishikawa, Motobu, Kunigami District, Okinawa Prefecture 905-0206, Japan
Telephone: +81-980-48-3748
Hours: 10:00 to 19:00
Admission:

  • GENERAL
    1,850 yen (Adults)
    1,230 yen (High School students)
    610 yen (Elementary and junior high school students)
    Free (Children under six)
  • GROUPS (of more than 20)
    1,480 yen (Adults)
    980 yen (High School students)
    490 yen (Elementary and junior high school students)
    Free (Children under six)
  • ANNUAL PASSPORT HOLDERS
    3,700 yen (Adults)
    2,460 yen (High School students)
    1,220 yen (Elementary and junior high school students)
    Free (Children under six)

 

Accommodation

These are the recommended hotels near the aquarium. It is recommended that you do further research to select a hotel that best suits your needs and budget.

1. Okinawa Motobu Guesthouse
Address: 905-0205 Okinawa, Motobu, Yamakawa 571, Japan
Phone: +81 90-9074-0328
Website: https://okinawamotobuguesthouse.jimdo.com/

2. Hotel Orion Motobu Resort and Spa
Address: 905-0207 Okinawa, Motobu, Bise 148-1, Japan
Phone: +81 980-51-7300
Website: http://www.okinawaresort-orion.com/

 

3. Futenma Shrine

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This shrine was built 500 years ago, and visitors and locals go there to pray for good fortune or to enjoy its serenity. Visitors can purchase an omikuji, a strip of paper containing a random fortune, or an ema, a wooden wishing plaque where you can write your prayers or wishes and hang them on the shrine.

There is an underground cave within the temple grounds. To get there, head to the shop next to the main hall and ask the staff for access. Visitors are limited to a maximum 30 minutes each to visit the shrine in the cave. Legend has it that the cave was once home to a lady of unrivalled beauty, who later transcended into a goddess.

Address: Fatima, Ginowan-City, Okinawa Prefecture
Telephone: 098-892-3344
Hours: 10:00 to 17:00
Admission: Free

 

Accommodation

These are the recommended hotels near Futenma Shrine. It is recommended that you do further research to select a hotel that best suits your needs and budget. Laguna Garden Hotel is a 10-minute drive from the shrine, offers a lot of fun activities, and has a beach nearby.

1. Hotel Southern Village Okinawa
Address: 1359-1 Adaniya | Okinawa, Kitanakagusuku-son, Nakagami-gun 901-2316, Okinawa Prefecture
Telephone: +81 98-935-3030
Website: http://southern-village.okinawa/

2. Laguna Garden Hotel
Address: 4-1-1 Mashiki, Ginowan 901-2224, Okinawa Prefecture
Telephone: +81 98-897-2121
Website: http://www.laguna-garden.jp/

 

4. War Memorials

Near the end of World War II, Okinawa Honto became the site of one of the war’s bloodiest battles. Over 200,000 people lost their lives during the battle, including more than 100,000 civilians and 12,500 Americans.  The devastating effects of the war made a huge impact on the Okinawans and as a result, there are many monuments and museums scattered throughout Okinawa Hondo.

The main memorial to the Battle of Okinawa is the Peace Memorial Park, which has its own museum. At the museum, visitors will gain an overview of the lead-up to the battle, learn about the battle itself, and discover how Okinawa was reconstructed. There are monuments in the park such as the ‘Cornerstone of Peace’, a collection of large stone plates with the names of all fallen soldiers and civilians.

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A few kilometres west of the Peace Park stands the Himeyuri Monument, also known as the Himeyuri no To, which commemorates the fate of the female high school students who worked under harsh conditions in the army field hospitals.

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Another place related to the Battle of Okinawa is the Former Navy Underground Headquarters, which consists of underground corridors and rooms that were once used as the Japanese navy’s headquarters during the war.

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  • Peace Memorial Park
    Address: Mabuni, Itoman 901-0333, Okinawa Prefecture
    Telephone: 098-997-3844
    Hours: 09:00 to 17:00
    Admission: 300 yen (Adults), 150 yen (children)
  • Himeyuri Monument
    Address: 671-1 Ibara, Itoman-shi, Okinawa
    Telephone: 098-997-2100
    Hours: 09:00 to 17:30
    Admission: 310 yen (Adults), 210 yen (High school), 110 yen (Junior high and elementary)
  • Former Navy Underground
    Address: 236 Tomigusuku, Okinawa Prefecture 901-0241, Japan
    Telephone: 098-850-4055
    Hours: 08:30 to 17:00 (October to June)
    08:30 to 17:00 (July to September)
    Admission: 440 yen (Adult), 220 yen (Children)

 

Accommodation

The following hotels are a 12 to 24-minute drive to the Peace Memorial Park or Himeyuri Monument. It is recommended that you do further research to select a hotel that best suits your needs and budget.

1. Southern Beach Hotel & Resort Okinawa
Address: 1-6-1 Nishizakicho, Itoman 901-0306, Okinawa Prefecture
Phone: +81 98-992-7500
Website: http://www.southernbeach-okinawa.com/

2. Hyakunagaran Hotel
Address: 1229-1 Hyakuna Yamashitahara Tamagusuku-Aza, Nanjo 901-0603, Okinawa Prefecture
Phone: 0081-98-949-1011
Website: http://www.hyakunagaran.com/English/

The following hotels are near the Former Navy Underground. We recommend that you do further research to choose a hotel that suits your needs.

3. Hotel Gran View Okinawa
Address: 2 Chome-3-2 Akamine, Naha-shi, Okinawa-ken 901-0154, Japan
Phone: +81 98-859-4890
Website: granview.co.jp

4. Mecure Okinawa Naha
Address: 3-3-19 Tsubogawa, Naha, 3 Chome Tsubogawa, Okinawa, 900-0025, Japan
Phone: +81 98-855-7111
Website: accorhotels.com

 

5. Makishi Public Market

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The Makishi Public Market, also known as ‘the kitchen of the people’ in Okinawa, was established in 1972. There are more than 150 stalls that sell Okinawan products, covering a huge variety of produce from fresh vegetables and fruits, to fresh meat and seafood. A hugely popular tourist destination, the market is always crowded and busy with many tourists coming to get a taste of the local dishes while locals do their daily grocery shopping.

The first floor is mainly for leisure shopping; on this floor, you will find perishables, souvenirs and even cosmetics. Make sure to shop wisely and to compare prices as they may differ between stores.

After exploring the first floor, you can head to the second floor where you will find approximately 10 restaurants. If you are not interested in eating seafood (which is the speciality of most restaurants), then Kiraku offers a variety of 120 dishes to choose from.

Address: 2-10-1, Matsuo, Naha-City, Okinawa Prefecture
Telephone: +81 98-867-6560
Hours: Varies by shops

Accommodation

The following hotels are near the Makishi Public Market. It is recommended that you do further research to select a hotel that best suits your needs and budget.

1. Hyatt Regency Naha
Address: 3 Chome-6-20 Makishi, Naha-shi, Okinawa-ken 900-0013, Japan
Phone: +81 98-866-8888
Website: naha.regency.hyatt.com

2. Crowne Plaza ANA Okinawa Haborview
Address: 2 Chome-46 Izumizaki, Naha, Okinawa Prefecture 900-0021, Japan
Phone: +81 98-853-2111
Website: ihg.com

 

6. Cape Manzamo

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The name ‘Manzamo’, which means ‘ten thousand men sitting on the grassland’, was given by the Ryukyu King Sho Kei. He was so impressed with the wide space that he named it ‘Man’ (10,000), ‘Za’ (to sit), ‘Mo’ (field). Facing the East China Sea, this cape has an interesting shape – that of an elephant. You can see its ‘trunk’ (zoe no hanna) dipping into the ocean.

Address: Onna-Village, Okinawa Prefecture

Accommodation

The following hotels are near Cape Manzamo. It is recommended that you do further research to select a hotel that best suits your needs and budget.

1. ANA InterContinental Manza Beach Resort
Address: 2260 Serakaki, Onna-son, Kunigami-gun, Okinawa-ken 904-0404, Japan
Phone: +81 98-966-1211
Website: anaintercontinental-manza.jp

2. Sheraton Okinawa Sun Marina Resort
Address: Japan, 〒904-0494 JP-47Kunigami-gun, Kunigami-gun Fuchaku, 66-1 Aza Fuchaku, Onna-son
Phone: +81 98-965-2222
Website: starwoodhotels.com

 

7. Shuri Castle

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Named after the capital of the Ryukyu Kingdom, this castle served as the administrative centre and home for several centuries of Ryukyu kings until Okinawa became a Japanese prefecture in 1879. Some buildings are replicas of the original which had been badly damaged during the war; reconstruction efforts took place in the late 1980s.

Located high on a hill, the castle is covered with dragons, the symbol of the Ryukyuan King. You can easily spot them on the roof and pillars before entering the Main Hall (Seiden). With its ancient architecture, the castle transports you back to a different time and place, and is well-worth a visit if you are curious about the Ryukyu Kings and Okinawan history.

Address: 1 chome-2 Shurikinjocho, Naha, Okinawa Prefecture 903-0815, Japan
Telephone: +81 98-886-2020
Hours:

  • 08:00 to 19:30 (April – June, October – December)
  • 08:00 to 20:30 (July – September)
  • 08:00 to 18:30 (December – March)

Closed on the first Wednesday and Thursday of July
Admission: 820 yen (Adult), 310 yen (Child)

Accommodation

The following hotels are near Shuri Castle. It is recommended that you do further research to select a hotel that best suits your needs and budget.

1. DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Naha Shuri Castle
Address: Japan, 〒903-8601 Okinawa, Naha-shi, 1 Chome-132-1 Shuriyamagawachō
Phone: +81 98-886-5454
Website: doubletree3.hilton.com

2. Okinawa Island Hotel
Address: Japan, 〒902-0066 Okinawa-ken, Naha-shi, 35 Daidō
Phone: +81 98-884-3191
Website: okinawahotel.co.jp

 

8. Blue Cave

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The Blue Cave, so named because of the blue lights which vary in hue and shade according to the time of day, is one of the most famous snorkeling and diving spots on the main island of Okinawa. At this popular underwater destination, not only can you marvel the changing lights but you can also see friendly fishes, some of whom are so used to visitors that you can even catch some of them sleeping!

Those who are not certified divers can also snorkel under the guidance of experts, in order to enjoy the underwater delights. Since the Blue Cave is a famous attraction, it is recommended to reserve the first tour in the morning to try and avoid the underwater crowds.

Address: Cape Maeda, Onna-son, Kunigami-gun 904-0417, Okinawa Prefecture
Telephone: +81 98-963-0166

Accommodation

The following hotels are near the Blue Cave. It is recommended that you do further research to select a hotel that best suits your needs and budget.

1. Hotel Nakadoma Inn
Address: 258 Maeganeku, Onna-son, Kunigami-gun, Okinawa-ken 904-0414, Japan
Phone: +81 98-982-5337
Website: nakainn.com

2. Renaissance Okinawa Resort
Address: Japan, 〒904-0416 Okinawa-ken, Kunigami-gun, Onna-son, Yamada, 3425-2
Phone: +81 98-965-0707
Website: http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/okarn-renaissance-okinawa-resort/

 

9. Katsuren Castle Ruins

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If you are interested in historical sites, the Katsuren Castle Ruins is the place for you. It was once the seat of Lord Amawari in the 15th Century. According to legend, Lord Amawari was left in the mountains to die because he was a very sickly child. However, the child grew into a powerful leader who took over the Katsuren Castle. He later died during a failed attempt to take over Shuri Castle. Today, only a few stone walls remain of the formerly majestic castle.

Address: Kudeken Chinen Nanjo, Okinawa prefecture 901-1511
Telephone: +81-98-949-1899
Hours: 09:00 to 18:00
Admission: 200 yen (Adults), 100 yen (Children)

Accommodation

The following hotels are a 16 to 20-minute drive away from the Katsuren Castle Ruins. It is recommended that you do further research to select a hotel that best suits your needs and budget.

1. Okinawa Grand Mer Resort
Address: 〒904-2174 Okinawa-ken, Okinawa-shi, Yogi, 2 chome 8-1
Phone: +81 98-931-1500
Website: www.okinawa-grandmer.com

2. Hotel Southern Village Okinawa
Address: 1359-1 Adaniya | Okinawa, Kitanakagusuku-son, Nakagami-gun 901-2316, Okinawa Prefecture
Phone: +81 98-935-3030
Website: http://southern-village.okinawa/

 

Festivals in Okinawa

Okinawa is well-known for its cultural festivals, such as the Eisa Dance Festival, Shuri Castle Festival, Hari Festival, Yaeyama Beach Opening Festival, Naha Tug-of-War Festival, and the Pantu Festival of Miyakojima.

 

1. Eisa Dance Festival

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The Eisa Dance Festival was originally a dance performed during O-Bon, when synchronised drumbeats bade farewell to the visiting spirits of ancestors. The Eisa dance has since evolved into an entirely different kind of performance, characterised by colourful costumes, coordinated movements and a large number of dancers.

While Eisa performances are held all around Okinawa for various occasions, by far the largest and most spectacular Eisa event is the annual All-Okinawa Eisa Festival staged in Okinawa City every August or September. Combining folk music, traditional food and fireworks, the Eisa Festival is immensely popular amongst tourists and locals alike, drawing crowds of more than 200,000 spectators to the Okinawa Koza City Sports Park and Goya Crossing.

Since the end of World War II, the outer islands such as Ishigaki and Miyakojima have assimilated Eisa dancing into their annual calendar due to its growing popularity. Each of them hold their own Eisa festivals and put their own local spin on the dance. Attendance to this festival is free as it is meant for everyone to have fun and enjoy the culture of Japan.

 

2. Shuri Castle Festival

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Every year, the splendour of the Ryukyu Kingdom is brought to life during the Shuri Castle Festival. Taking place over three days near the end of October, the Okinawa Festival features classical Ryukyu music, dance and parades as well as a reenactment of the coronation of the first Ryukyu king.

One highlight of this festival is the Sapposhi Parade between Shureimon and Hoshinmon Gates, during which a procession of people dressed in Ryukyu-era garb traverse a historic route taken by imperial envoys in the days when the tiny kingdom paid tribute to the Chinese throne.

A second grand parade commemorates the rituals of the royal court along Kokusai Street. The third parade held on the final day of the festival retraces the route taken by the king and queen as they visited the magnificent temples which once stood around Shuri.

As the festival is held only once a year, it is easy to miss it but you can still participate in the daily Ukejo ceremony, at 8:25am every morning when the main gates of the castle are opened with great pomp and pageantry.

 

3. Hari Festival

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‘Hari’ are the traditional Okinawan dragon boat races that take place on various dates all over the islands. Of these, by far the most historical and possibly largest race is that in Itoman, held annually around the beginning of June. Immersed with religious ceremonial trappings that date back to the original races held by the king of Nanzan in 1403, the Itoman race is thought to be a ritual to invite bountiful catches by the local Uminchu (fishermen).

Less traditional but equally exciting is the Naha Hari, which features the same colourful boats (called sabani in the local language) as the Itoman race, without quite as much ceremony. What all the races have in common is delicious local food, a festive atmosphere, and dazzling fireworks to cap off a fun-filled day. The race takes place at Tomari Port, which is a fishing port near the Tomarin ferry terminal in Naha City.

 

4. Yaeyama Beach Opening Festival

An annual event held on Kurojima, about half an hour boat ride from Ishigaki, the festival has the distinction of being the first of such festivals to take place every year in Japan. Travelers can sample the ever-popular Ishigaki beef, meet Miss Yaeyama, and dance kachashi-style to the accompaniment of a sanshin band, as residents and tourists alike celebrate on Miyazato Beach.

After a formal proclamation is delivered with traditional and religious undertones, everyone races into the clear sub-tropical waters for a refreshing swim.

 

5. Pantu Festival of Miyakojima

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Rather than sampling local food, listening to folk music, or watching traditional performances, travellers venturing to Miyakojima during the Pantu Festival will more likely find themselves being chased by mud-slinging demons dressed in leaves and wearing fearsome masks.

Also called ‘Pantupunaha’, this festival has its roots in ancient times. Locals in those times believed that on a special day every year, three demons (called pantu in the unique Miyakojima language) formed from a patch of sacred soil. According to local folklore, the pantu emerge from a famous spring near the village of Shimajiri and the three demons – Uya (‘Parent’), Naka (‘Middle’) and Zur (‘Child’) – race through the town rubbing mud on all who cannot get away fast enough.

Perhaps ironically, getting rubbed by the sanctified mud drawn from that ancient spring is thought to be an omen of good fortune, which is why parents and grandparents often put their reluctant children in the path of the volunteers chosen by local priestesses to play the role of the pantu. It takes place in Miyako Island, in early October, with free admission.

 

6. Naha Tug-of-War Festival

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With a 560-year history, this is one of the most anticipated festivals in Okinawa. The Naha Tug-of-War Festival takes place every October. The origin of this tradition dates back to 17th Century competitions between the eastern and the western rulers of Naha. In modern times, this custom is still performed to bring prosperity to Okinawa.

The giant 172-meter long, 32-tonne rope used during the Naha Great Tug-of-War was registered in the 1995 and 1996 Guinness World Records as the largest rope made of rice straw. Thousands of people of all ages, gender and nationalities participate in this festival each year. Admission is free to this festival which also features performances such as lion dancing, fan dancing and martial arts.

 

Travel Guides on Okinawa

Before travelling to Okinawa, it is advisable to read up on some travel books, or search online to help you plan your trip better. The book and app below are recommended to help you plan your trip.

 

1. Okinawa and the Ryukyu Islands

Okinawa Cvr V2.indd

This convenient travel guide written by experienced traveller Robert Walker includes comprehensive information of the 150 Ryukyu Islands, highlighting interesting vacation spots, such as active volcanoes, hot springs, white sand beaches and surf spots, home-grown cuisine, ferry and flight schedules, lodgings, hiking trails and nature walks, family and children-oriented sights, and historical and cultural landmarks.

The guide is illustrated with over 200 colour photos, contains 40 maps, including a large fold-out map of Okinawa and the Ryukyu Islands with insets for major cities, and also provides practical tips to help you avoid costly mistakes.

 

2. Okinawa Guide NAVITIME Travel App

image-44a

NAVITIME Travel is a Japanese website with more than 20,000 articles on Okinawa tourist information, such as beaches, foods, souvenirs and accommodations. The Travel App will be very useful for planning your trip and calling up information on the spot.
References:

  • http://www.ladyironchef.com/2017/02/okinawa-food/
  • http://www.visitokinawa.jp/category/destinations
  • http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e7105.html
  • http://www.fodors.com/world/asia/japan/okinawa/travel-tips/when-to-go-106418100
  • http://thesmartlocal.com/read/things-to-do-okinawa
  • http://factsanddetails.com/japan/cat18/sub119/item637.html
  • http://wikitravel.org/en/Okinawa
  • https://www.nanseirakuen.com/en/blog/okinawa-food.html5-okinawa-festivals

For more interesting information:

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About Pastor Adeline Woon

Adeline Woon is a Buddhist Pastor and a Sangha-to-be in Kechara who enjoys learning and sharing the Dharma with others. Due to her deep interest in Buddhism from a young age, Adeline enrolled herself into the Dharma Drum University in Taiwan, where she graduated with a Master in Religious Studies in 2012.
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6 Responses to Wonderful Okinawa

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  1. Wai Meng Wan on Aug 5, 2018 at 3:05 pm

    Okinawa sounds like a cool place to go with for a spot of holiday, having quaint type of festivals, with its food influenced by the China, due to its relative proximity to Chinese Mainland and also Taiwan. A spot of Japan with plenty of sun, if that is your kind of fun.

  2. Stella Cheang on Dec 10, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    Thank you for this interesting sharing. The people of Okinawa sounds like they really know how to have fun. The yearly Naha Tug-of-War Festival and the Pantu Festival are really fun! It will be a destination that i will love to visit.

  3. Irene Lim on Dec 7, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    Thank you for sharing the interesting information on Okinawa. I would surely love to visit this destination in future.

  4. Fong on Dec 7, 2017 at 9:12 am

    Okinawa sounds like a destination unto itself and not just a part of Japan. The beautiful photos serves as a lure for one to sample the life and scenery of Okinawa.

    There are always stories of the long-lived Okinawans and many have attributed that to the climate and their diet. The one that really interested me is the sea grapes. I have seen these in the villages near Sarasin Bridge in Phuket. I thought it was uniquely Thai until now. What a small world.

    Overall, the life in Okinawa seems idyllic and a great place to recharge and learn something new.

  5. Anne Ong on Dec 5, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    Another beautiful place in Japan. Beautiful pictures Okinawa such as, 1. Goya Champurū, 7. Shuri Castle, 9. Katsuren Castle Ruins. And Interesting food like, 2. Sea Grapes, 1. Goya Champurū, 3. Mozuku Seaweed. Thank you very much Rinpoche and Pastor Adeline for this wonderful post. 🙏😘

  6. Samfoonheei on Nov 30, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    Wow…..Japan seem to be a never ending place of interest for one to visit. Now we have Okinawa a much sort place to visit and explore. A land of beauty of the rising sun. I have not been to any where in Japan yet. What I know that it’s a land of many beautiful shrines , ancient and historical sites , forests and the cherry blosome. Great to read abou these article as it will help me or any other travellers much easier. There are many interesting festivals to see and learn their cultures too. Wow…..Okinawa do have delicious and unique food cultures for visitors to try out. There are a number of place of interest to explore and discover in Okinawa,Japan.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Adeline for these details writeup.

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  • Sofi
    Sunday, Aug 18. 2019 11:04 PM
    Venerable Geshe Rabten Rinpoche known as Milarepa

    As is clearly seen in Helmut Gassner’s account, two of the most influential and trailblazing Tibetan lamas who taught in the West both practised Dorje Shugden and held him in high regard. His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, was not only once the Abbot of Gaden Shartse Monastery but was a well-known meditator, debator, tantric adept and teacher of thousands of monks and laypeople all over the world.

    Find out more of this great monk: http://bit.ly/2SRJrHB
  • Sofi
    Sunday, Aug 18. 2019 10:52 PM
    Growing up with Rinpoche: You’ve got mail

    Rinpoche, if people take the time to write and express their thoughts and feelings, that is something that should be appreciated and respected. And if people confide in Rinpoche, that information is always treated as sacred because it is not always easy for people to trust someone else enough to open up to them.

    Read more of Rinpoche’s kindness and care: http://bit.ly/2SNcf3O
  • Chris
    Sunday, Aug 18. 2019 05:21 PM
    China is one of the most powerful countries in the world nowadays and many countries had chosen to be in China’s good books. It is only a matter of time where all the Tibetan government’s supporter will stop supporting them and be on China’s side.

    Let’s face it. The struggle for Tibet’s independence has been on-going for 60 years but there is no progress at all. Now, even His Holiness the Dalai Lama is telling the Tibetans to go for Umaylam instead of Rangzen. However, Umaylam requires their cooperation with the Chinese government.

    It is good for Tibetans or Tibetan government to befriend China because they will need their mercy to get back to Tibet because China has all the reasons for not letting the Tibetans go back to Tibet. They certainly do not need Tibetans.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/the-importance-of-tibet-befriending-china.html
  • Yee Yin
    Sunday, Aug 18. 2019 05:15 PM
    This is something I don’t understand. In the beginning, the 14th Dalai Lama was practising Dorje Shugden and he did not say anything about Dorje Shugden. Suddenly in 1996, he banned everyone from practising Dorje Shugden saying Dorje Shugden is an evil spirit.

    Dorje Shugden is a practice given to the Dalai Lama by his teacher, Trijang Rinpoche. Trijang Rinpoche would never harm the Dalai Lama by giving the Dalai Lama the practice of an evil spirit. This does not make sense at all. Is the Dalai Lama implying his teacher was not good and wanted to harm him when he said Dorje Shugden is an evil spirit?

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/the-14th-dalai-lamas-prayer-to-dorje-shugden.html
  • Sofi
    Sunday, Aug 18. 2019 01:49 PM
    Voyage to the Colossus of Rhodes

    In school, I remember we had a competition to make anything we wanted with the sole condition that it had to use LED lights. It was around the time that out of all the various figures of ancient Greek mythology, my fascination with Medusa was at its highest. Her story is an interesting one. She was once a beautiful maiden who, cursed by the goddess Athena, was made to look so terrible that the mere sight of her would turn anyone to stone. Over time her anger overtook her and she became a scourge, plaguing mankind. The demi-god Perseus slayed her and used her dreadful head to turn to stone monsters, beasts and other men alike in his self-serving yet glorified journey which ended with the founding of the ancient city-state Mycenae.

    Journey with Pastor Niral as he travel the the country rich in mythology: http://bit.ly/2LMkhJA
  • Sofi
    Sunday, Aug 18. 2019 01:42 PM
    Growing up with Rinpoche: Putting down roots

    Rinpoche is never interested in secular activities just for the sake of it, but always uses his knowledge, interest and experience to see how he can improve the lives of those around him and how he can bring Kechara Forest Retreat (KFR) to the next level in terms of serving others. So for Rinpoche, a vegetable farm is not just a vegetable farm, but an activity that can bring Dharma to others.

    Find out what exciting plans that Rinpoche has: http://bit.ly/32NjBsV
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Aug 18. 2019 01:29 PM
    Over the years reading Rinpoche blog’s post , I have come across many true stories of how Rinpoche has helped countless of students and people in their career, sickness, business and so forth. Reading this post story is really amazing how relying on Setrap Protector and having trust and faith in our Guru has help Dato Eric Tan in his business . Dato’ Eric Tan’s achievements today is truly amazing all due his trust and never give up what ever happened.
    Thank you Pastor Loh Seng Piow for this sharing. May more people read this post and be inspired.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/behind-the-scenes/miracles-of-tsem-rinpoche-6.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Aug 18. 2019 01:28 PM
    Heartfelt watching the beginning of the video. Could imagine the fear the furry Edie encountered, so much so hiding at the corner. Edie was so scared and just needed is a hug and pad from some kind soul . Bronwyne Mirkovich is so compassionate , kind for saving Edie’s life. Thank you too Edie Gobbie from the American Maltese Association for helping with this wonderful project to rescue animals. Life is so precious nor matter what it is , it is still a life……human or doggie. Dogs are our best friends, never harm, abuse or hurt them.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this wonderful sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/all-she-needed-was-a-hug.html
  • Chris
    Saturday, Aug 17. 2019 07:47 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche and blog team for sharing this auspicious post with us. It is amazing that Kechara has the chance to make such offerings to the high lamas and monks in the monastery. This is a clear example of the generosity of Rinpoche that wishes each and every one of us to adopt.

    Making offerings to the sangha is very meritorious and we can collect a lot of merit with such actions because we are directly supporting the growth of Dharma and those high lamas are Buddhas. Seeing such pictures warms my heart and I rejoice to see those happy faces of those monks who received those very much needed offerings.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/students-friends/making-offerings-to-the-monastery.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Aug 17. 2019 07:29 PM
    Wow ….. there have been so many UFO sightings in so many different countries. There are altogether eight UFO sightings within 10 days witnessed by people across the globe. They saw shiny unidentified flying objects flying past in the sky as reported. Very interesting….. strange object sparked theories of possible extra terrestrial sightings and they do definitely exist after all. Many UFO sightings have been reported in the last decades yet scientist or researchers yet to confirm the details or evidence to proof it. But the strange sightings in different countries at the same month could not be wrong as we know “they’ have been watching at the earth from some where up there.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing …..simple amazing caught on camera by those eye witness.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/ufo-ufo-everywhere.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Aug 17. 2019 07:27 PM
    There may have been a chance for a civilization to start billions of years before life began on Earth as discovered by scientists. Several discoveries and theories from some of the greatest minds in science point to the likelihood that there is something beyond out there in the universe. I do believe that we are not alone in the universe. Well, there many on going research that has taken place to look for signs of extra terrestrial life such as aliens. Scientist have been using telescope and specimen data to radios to detect and send communication signals. Currently, scientist do not have any evidence to support that aliens exist but the research work still going on with the discovery of a varieties of beings in the universal . Stories of the sighting of aliens and other species by eye witnesses yet to proof their existence. Researcher and scientists have not given up hope to research for evidence. Interesting read .
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/mysteries-surrounding-ancient-aliens.html
  • Yee Yin
    Saturday, Aug 17. 2019 04:32 PM
    Buddha Manjushri is very compassionate. He will manifest in the forms that can benefit us. In this case, he manifested as an enlightened Dharma protector to help us remove our obstacles so we can practise and have realiation on Buddha’s teachings.

    I have read many stories about how Dorje Shugden has helped people including Tsem Rinpoche. Kechara is growing and flourishing because of the assistance from Dorje Shugden. As long as our motivation is right, Dorje Shugden will provide a conducive environment to fulfil our wishes.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/dorje-shugden.html
  • Sofi
    Friday, Aug 16. 2019 10:47 PM
    A Personal Account of Events with My Teacher – Honouring the Potential in All Sentient Beings

    Rinpoche’s bond with animals is even more palpable. Abandoned dogs find not only shelter but a loving home wherever Rinpoche is. Injured and unwanted birds find healing and a safe haven created to resemble their natural habitat. Fish are given clean, pure water and plenty of food. Even insects are not forgotten. Most important of all, their surroundings are designed to leave positive Dharma imprints in their mind streams and help them gain good rebirths.

    Read more here: http://bit.ly/2y5PyP1
  • Sofi
    Friday, Aug 16. 2019 10:41 PM
    My mother’s White Tara

    The previous Telo Rinpoche had lived in Mongolia and during the Communist upheaval in his country, he was imprisoned along with many other monks and religious figures. Telo Rinpoche prayed to this image of White Tara, which he had with him and in the middle of the night, his cell doors miraculously swung open and he was able to just walk out. Later, with the help of some American scientists, he escaped and travelled to the United States where he connected with the Mongolian-Kalmyk community there, which included my parents.

    Read here: http://bit.ly/2Me6Sd3
  • Sofi
    Friday, Aug 16. 2019 10:35 PM
    Stories from a Chela – Real Transformation

    “Rinpoche’s drive to create a lasting mental change in a person’s life is nothing but pure compassion. Rinpoche certainly doesn’t get anything out of the person changing to become a better person, in fact, it often takes an emotional and physical toll on Rinpoche himself. Yet, Rinpoche goes out of his way to help his students and others to the best of his ability. Rinpoche does this in a number of ways, I’ll only touch on a few” ~ Pastor Niral Patel

    Learn more from Pastor Niral why he said that: http://bit.ly/2K3DmUj

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

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The Unknown

The Known and unknown are both feared,
Known is being comfortable and stagnant,
The unknown may be growth and opportunities,
One shall never know if one fears the unknown more than the known.
Who says the unknown would be worse than the known?
But then again, the unknown is sometimes worse than the known. In the end nothing is known unless we endeavour,
So go pursue all the way with the unknown,
because all unknown with familiarity becomes the known.
~Tsem Rinpoche

Photos On The Go

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Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
4 weeks ago
Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
4 weeks ago
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
4 weeks ago
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
The first title published by Kechara Comics is Karuna Finds A Way. It tells the tale of high-school sweethearts Karuna and Adam who had what some would call the dream life. Everything was going great for them until one day when reality came knocking on their door. Caught in a surprise swindle, this loving family who never harmed anyone found themselves out of luck and down on their fortune. Determined to save her family, Karuna goes all out to find a solution. See what she does- https://bit.ly/2LSKuWo
1 month ago
The first title published by Kechara Comics is Karuna Finds A Way. It tells the tale of high-school sweethearts Karuna and Adam who had what some would call the dream life. Everything was going great for them until one day when reality came knocking on their door. Caught in a surprise swindle, this loving family who never harmed anyone found themselves out of luck and down on their fortune. Determined to save her family, Karuna goes all out to find a solution. See what she does- https://bit.ly/2LSKuWo
Very powerful story! Tibetan Resistance group Chushi Gangdruk reveals how Dalai Lama escaped in 1959- https://bit.ly/2S9VMGX
1 month ago
Very powerful story! Tibetan Resistance group Chushi Gangdruk reveals how Dalai Lama escaped in 1959- https://bit.ly/2S9VMGX
At Kechara Forest Retreat land we have nice fresh spinach growing free of chemicals and pesticides. Yes!
1 month ago
At Kechara Forest Retreat land we have nice fresh spinach growing free of chemicals and pesticides. Yes!
See beautiful pictures of Manjushri Guest House here- https://bit.ly/2WGo0ti
2 months ago
See beautiful pictures of Manjushri Guest House here- https://bit.ly/2WGo0ti
Beginner’s Introduction to Dorje Shugden~Very good overview https://bit.ly/2QQNfYv
2 months ago
Beginner’s Introduction to Dorje Shugden~Very good overview https://bit.ly/2QQNfYv
Fresh eggplants grown on Kechara Forest Retreat\'s land here in Malaysia
2 months ago
Fresh eggplants grown on Kechara Forest Retreat's land here in Malaysia
Most Venerable Uppalavanna – The Chief Female Disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni - She exhibited many supernatural abilities gained from meditation and proved to the world females and males are equal in spirituality- https://bit.ly/31d9Rat
2 months ago
Most Venerable Uppalavanna – The Chief Female Disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni - She exhibited many supernatural abilities gained from meditation and proved to the world females and males are equal in spirituality- https://bit.ly/31d9Rat
Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns~ https://bit.ly/2Z1C02m
2 months ago
Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns~ https://bit.ly/2Z1C02m
Mahapajapati Gotami – the first Buddhist nun ordained by Lord Buddha- https://bit.ly/2IjD8ru
2 months ago
Mahapajapati Gotami – the first Buddhist nun ordained by Lord Buddha- https://bit.ly/2IjD8ru
The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像- https://bit.ly/2Wpclni
2 months ago
The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像- https://bit.ly/2Wpclni
Sacred Vajra Yogini
3 months ago
Sacred Vajra Yogini
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
3 months ago
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
3 months ago
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha. She was his step-mother and aunt. Buddha\'s mother had passed away at his birth so he was raised by Gotami.
3 months ago
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha. She was his step-mother and aunt. Buddha's mother had passed away at his birth so he was raised by Gotami.
Another nun disciple of Lord Buddha\'s. She had achieved great spiritual abilities and high attainments. She would be a proper object of refuge. This image of the eminent bhikkhuni (nun) disciple of the Buddha, Uppalavanna Theri.
3 months ago
Another nun disciple of Lord Buddha's. She had achieved great spiritual abilities and high attainments. She would be a proper object of refuge. This image of the eminent bhikkhuni (nun) disciple of the Buddha, Uppalavanna Theri.
Wandering Ascetic Painting by Nirdesha Munasinghe
3 months ago
Wandering Ascetic Painting by Nirdesha Munasinghe
High Sri Lankan monks visit Kechara to bless our land, temple, Buddha and Dorje Shugden images. They were very kind-see pictures- https://bit.ly/2HQie2M
3 months ago
High Sri Lankan monks visit Kechara to bless our land, temple, Buddha and Dorje Shugden images. They were very kind-see pictures- https://bit.ly/2HQie2M
This is pretty amazing!

First Sri Lankan Buddhist temple opened in Dubai!!!
3 months ago
This is pretty amazing! First Sri Lankan Buddhist temple opened in Dubai!!!
My Dharma boy (left) and Oser girl loves to laze around on the veranda in the mornings. They enjoy all the trees, grass and relaxing under the hot sun. Sunbathing is a favorite daily activity. I care about these two doggies of mine very much and I enjoy seeing them happy. They are with me always. Tsem Rinpoche

Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
3 months ago
My Dharma boy (left) and Oser girl loves to laze around on the veranda in the mornings. They enjoy all the trees, grass and relaxing under the hot sun. Sunbathing is a favorite daily activity. I care about these two doggies of mine very much and I enjoy seeing them happy. They are with me always. Tsem Rinpoche Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can\'t stop thinking of you and I can\'t forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can't stop thinking of you and I can't forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
3 months ago
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
3 months ago
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
3 months ago
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
3 months ago
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
3 months ago
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
3 months ago
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
3 months ago
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
3 months ago
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
DON\'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
3 months ago
DON'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
3 months ago
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
3 months ago
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
3 months ago
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
3 months ago
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
3 months ago
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
4 months ago
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
Silver Manjusri figure from Ngemplak Semongan (Indonesia). Apparently during the Shailendra Dynasty, Mahayana Buddhism was very strong in Indonesia. This Dynasty promoted Mahayana Buddhism and Manjushri was a principal Buddha of worship.
4 months ago
Silver Manjusri figure from Ngemplak Semongan (Indonesia). Apparently during the Shailendra Dynasty, Mahayana Buddhism was very strong in Indonesia. This Dynasty promoted Mahayana Buddhism and Manjushri was a principal Buddha of worship.
In Buddhism: The Importance of Having a Clean Room- https://bit.ly/2ZgrbKS
4 months ago
In Buddhism: The Importance of Having a Clean Room- https://bit.ly/2ZgrbKS
There is an area near Lumbini, Nepal, they have sightings of Yeti for hundreds of years. So they have signages in the area with Yeti artwork to highlight this. Interesting. TR
4 months ago
There is an area near Lumbini, Nepal, they have sightings of Yeti for hundreds of years. So they have signages in the area with Yeti artwork to highlight this. Interesting. TR
Photos of footprints (Yeti) are from a high altitude pass (Darwa Pass) connecting Gangotri valley to Yamunotri valley through old pilgrim route.
4 months ago
Photos of footprints (Yeti) are from a high altitude pass (Darwa Pass) connecting Gangotri valley to Yamunotri valley through old pilgrim route.
Beautiful picture. Rare. Three holy beings.
4 months ago
Beautiful picture. Rare. Three holy beings.
May 1, 2019-I really enjoy this picture of these visitors visiting Dorje Shugden\'s grotto in Kechara Forest Retreat today. They look happy, light and blessed after doing their prayers to Dorje Shugden. I wanted to share this picture.- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
4 months ago
May 1, 2019-I really enjoy this picture of these visitors visiting Dorje Shugden's grotto in Kechara Forest Retreat today. They look happy, light and blessed after doing their prayers to Dorje Shugden. I wanted to share this picture.- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
A postcard of my great grand aunt Princess Nirgidma of Torghut-Tsem Rinpoche
4 months ago
A postcard of my great grand aunt Princess Nirgidma of Torghut-Tsem Rinpoche
Rei Kawakubo – Grand Dame of ‘Hiroshima Chic’- https://bit.ly/2Vz4N06
4 months ago
Rei Kawakubo – Grand Dame of ‘Hiroshima Chic’- https://bit.ly/2Vz4N06
Just now, this beautiful grape and orange infused water drink with a blue glass was brought in for me. I was amazed at the colors. Tsem Rinpoche
4 months ago
Just now, this beautiful grape and orange infused water drink with a blue glass was brought in for me. I was amazed at the colors. Tsem Rinpoche
We have to look in and change from within to find the way out of all that makes us unhappy.~Tsem Rinpoche 

www.tsemrinpoche.com
4 months ago
We have to look in and change from within to find the way out of all that makes us unhappy.~Tsem Rinpoche http://www.tsemrinpoche.com
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Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • Always be kind to animals-They deserve to live just like us.
    1 month ago
    Always be kind to animals-They deserve to live just like us.
    Whales and dolphins playing with each other in the Pacific sea. Nature is truly incredible!
  • Bodha stupa July 2019-
    1 month ago
    Bodha stupa July 2019-
    Rainy period
  • Cute Tara girl having a snack. She is one of Kechara Forest Retreat’s resident doggies.
    2 months ago
    Cute Tara girl having a snack. She is one of Kechara Forest Retreat’s resident doggies.
  • Your Next Meal!
    2 months ago
    Your Next Meal!
    Yummy? Tasty? Behind the scenes of the meat on your plates. Meat is a killing industry.
  • This is Daw
    2 months ago
    This is Daw
    This is what they do to get meat on tables, and to produce belts and jackets. Think twice before your next purchase.
  • Don’t Take My Mummy Away!
    2 months ago
    Don’t Take My Mummy Away!
    Look at the poor baby chasing after the mother. Why do we do that to them? It's time to seriously think about our choices in life and how they affect others. Be kind. Don't break up families.
  • They do this every day!
    2 months ago
    They do this every day!
    This is how they are being treated every day of their lives. Please do something to stop the brutality. Listen to their cries for help!
  • What happened at Fair Oaks Farm?
    2 months ago
    What happened at Fair Oaks Farm?
    The largest undercover dairy investigation of all time. See what they found out at Fair Oaks Farm.
  • She’s going to spend her whole life here without being able to move correctly. Like a machine. They are the slaves of the people and are viewed as a product. It’s immoral. Billions of terrestrial animals die annually. Billions. You can’t even imagine it. And all that because people don’t want to give up meat, even though there are so many alternatives. ~ Gabriel Azimov
    2 months ago
    She’s going to spend her whole life here without being able to move correctly. Like a machine. They are the slaves of the people and are viewed as a product. It’s immoral. Billions of terrestrial animals die annually. Billions. You can’t even imagine it. And all that because people don’t want to give up meat, even though there are so many alternatives. ~ Gabriel Azimov
  • Our Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir speaks so well, logically and regarding our country’s collaboration with China for growth. It is refreshing to listen to Dr. Mahathir’s thoughts. He said our country can look to China for many more things such as technology and so on. Tsem Rinpoche
    4 months ago
    Our Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir speaks so well, logically and regarding our country’s collaboration with China for growth. It is refreshing to listen to Dr. Mahathir’s thoughts. He said our country can look to China for many more things such as technology and so on. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This is the first time His Holiness Dalai Lama mentions he had some very serious illness. Very worrying. This video is captured April 2019.
    4 months ago
    This is the first time His Holiness Dalai Lama mentions he had some very serious illness. Very worrying. This video is captured April 2019.
  • Beautiful Monastery in Hong Kong
    4 months ago
    Beautiful Monastery in Hong Kong
  • This dog thanks his hero in such a touching way. Tsem Rinpoche
    4 months ago
    This dog thanks his hero in such a touching way. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Join Tsem Rinpoche in prayer for H.H. Dalai Lama’s long life~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYy7JcveikU&feature=youtu.be
    4 months ago
    Join Tsem Rinpoche in prayer for H.H. Dalai Lama’s long life~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYy7JcveikU&feature=youtu.be
  • These people going on pilgrimage to a holy mountain and prostrating out of devotion and for pilgrimage in Tibet. Such determination for spiritual practice. Tsem Rinpoche
    4 months ago
    These people going on pilgrimage to a holy mountain and prostrating out of devotion and for pilgrimage in Tibet. Such determination for spiritual practice. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Beautiful new casing in Kechara for Vajra Yogini. Tsem Rinpoche
    5 months ago
    Beautiful new casing in Kechara for Vajra Yogini. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Get ready to laugh real hard. This is Kechara’s version of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane!” We have some real talents in this video clip.
    5 months ago
    Get ready to laugh real hard. This is Kechara’s version of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane!” We have some real talents in this video clip.
  • Recitation of Dorje Dermo‘s mantra or the Dharani of Glorious Vajra Claws. This powerful mantra is meant to destroy all obstacles that come in our way. Beneficial to play this mantra in our environments.
    5 months ago
    Recitation of Dorje Dermo‘s mantra or the Dharani of Glorious Vajra Claws. This powerful mantra is meant to destroy all obstacles that come in our way. Beneficial to play this mantra in our environments.
  • Beautiful
    5 months ago
    Beautiful
    Beautiful sacred Severed Head Vajra Yogini from Tsem Rinpoche's personal shrine.
  • My little monster cute babies Dharma and Oser. Take a look and get a cute attack for the day! Tsem Rinpoche
    5 months ago
    My little monster cute babies Dharma and Oser. Take a look and get a cute attack for the day! Tsem Rinpoche
  • Plse watch this short video and see how all sentient beings are capable of tenderness and love. We should never hurt animals nor should we eat them. Tsem Rinpoche
    5 months ago
    Plse watch this short video and see how all sentient beings are capable of tenderness and love. We should never hurt animals nor should we eat them. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Cruelty of some people have no limits and it’s heartbreaking. Being kind cost nothing. Tsem Rinpoche
    6 months ago
    Cruelty of some people have no limits and it’s heartbreaking. Being kind cost nothing. Tsem Rinpoche
  • SUPER ADORABLE and must see
    7 months ago
    SUPER ADORABLE and must see
    Tsem Rinpoche's dog Oser girl enjoying her snack in her play pen.
  • Cute!
    7 months ago
    Cute!
    Oser girl loves the balcony so much. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTcoWpKJm2c
  • Uncle Wong
    7 months ago
    Uncle Wong
    We were told by Uncle Wong he is very faithful toward Dorje Shugden. Dorje Shugden has extended help to him on several occasions and now Uncle Wong comes daily to make incense offerings to Dorje Shugden. He is grateful towards the help he was given.
  • Tsem Rinpoche’s Schnauzer Dharma boy fights Robot sphere from Arkonide!
    7 months ago
    Tsem Rinpoche’s Schnauzer Dharma boy fights Robot sphere from Arkonide!
  • Cute baby owl found and rescued
    8 months ago
    Cute baby owl found and rescued
    We rescued a lost baby owl in Kechara Forest Retreat.
  • Nice cups from Kechara!!
    8 months ago
    Nice cups from Kechara!!
    Dorje Shugden people's lives matter!
  • Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
    8 months ago
    Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
    Chirping birds and other forest animals create a joyful melody at the Vajrayogini stupa in Kechara Forest Retreat (Bentong, Malaysia).
  • His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche makes offering of khata to Dorje Shugden.
    8 months ago
    His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche makes offering of khata to Dorje Shugden.
    Trijang Rinpoche never gave up his devotion to Dorje Shugden no matter how much Tibetan government in exile pressured him to give up. He stayed loyal inspiring so many of us.
  • This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    2 yearss ago
    This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    This video is thought-provoking and very interesting. Watch! Thanks so much to our friends at LIVEKINDLY.
  • Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
    2 yearss ago
    Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
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    BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
    2 yearss ago
    Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
  • Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
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    Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
  • Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
    Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    2 yearss ago
    This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    she received “one last visit from an old friend” 💔💔
  • Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
    2 yearss ago
    Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
  • Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
    2 yearss ago
    Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
  • Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant  Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
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    Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
  • Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
    2 yearss ago
    Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
  • Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
    Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
  • What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    2 yearss ago
    What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    Sick animals are more profitable... farms calculate how close to death they can keep animals without killing them. That's the business model. How quickly they can be made to grow, how tightly they can be packed, how much or how little can they eat, how sick they can get without dying... We live in a world in which it's conventional to treat an animal like a block of wood. ~ Jonathan Safran Foer
  • This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
    2 yearss ago
    This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
  • SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    2 yearss ago
    SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    This happens daily in slaughterhouse so you can get your pork and Bak ku teh. Stop eating meat.

ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

A section for you to clarify your Dharma questions with Kechara’s esteemed pastors.

Just post your name and your question below and one of our pastors will provide you with an answer.

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CHAT PICTURES

Children recite Migtsema and Manjushri mantra before the start of dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
yesterday
Children recite Migtsema and Manjushri mantra before the start of dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
Student do full prostration before the start of dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
yesterday
Student do full prostration before the start of dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
Wen Yue led students to do key chain as part of art and craft activity. Lin Mun KSDS
yesterday
Wen Yue led students to do key chain as part of art and craft activity. Lin Mun KSDS
Teacher Kien shared some photos of sangha members. Lin Mun KSDS
yesterday
Teacher Kien shared some photos of sangha members. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback- close bonding during WOAH camp. Lin Mun KSDS
yesterday
Throwback- close bonding during WOAH camp. Lin Mun KSDS
Teenage dharma class in Kechara House . Lin Mun KSDS
yesterday
Teenage dharma class in Kechara House . Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback- Chinese New Year activity, calligraphy with best wishes words. Lin Mun KSDS
yesterday
Throwback- Chinese New Year activity, calligraphy with best wishes words. Lin Mun KSDS
KISG has been performing White Tara and Dorje Shugden puja for 4 consecutive nights. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
3 days ago
KISG has been performing White Tara and Dorje Shugden puja for 4 consecutive nights. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
KISG members travelled to KFR for Ullambana today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
1 week ago
KISG members travelled to KFR for Ullambana today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
After the Bird Liberation, we proceeded with Dorje Shugden puja. Just before we started our puja, Pastor Patsy gave us a short Dharma Sharing. Pastor spoke about Dharma practice in these days and reminded us to always keep our samaya with Guru intact. To honour our promises, reduce our worldly activities and practice Dharma strongly. Thank you Pastor for the valuable advice~Jacinta, KPSG
1 week ago
After the Bird Liberation, we proceeded with Dorje Shugden puja. Just before we started our puja, Pastor Patsy gave us a short Dharma Sharing. Pastor spoke about Dharma practice in these days and reminded us to always keep our samaya with Guru intact. To honour our promises, reduce our worldly activities and practice Dharma strongly. Thank you Pastor for the valuable advice~Jacinta, KPSG
We chanted Medicine Buddha's mantra before we blessed them. May they be connected with Buddha always. ~Jacinta , monthly Bird Liberation Kechara Penang Study Group
1 week ago
We chanted Medicine Buddha's mantra before we blessed them. May they be connected with Buddha always. ~Jacinta , monthly Bird Liberation Kechara Penang Study Group
Special thanks to Linny Neoh and her friend for joining our Kechara Penang Study Group Bird Liberation. ~Jacinta, KPSG
1 week ago
Special thanks to Linny Neoh and her friend for joining our Kechara Penang Study Group Bird Liberation. ~Jacinta, KPSG
Birds were blessed before their departure to freedom. They deserved love & freedom too ~Jacinta,KPSG
1 week ago
Birds were blessed before their departure to freedom. They deserved love & freedom too ~Jacinta,KPSG
Pastor Patsy giving explanation during Bird Liberation event. Kechara Penang Study Group's monthly bird liberation - Jacinta
1 week ago
Pastor Patsy giving explanation during Bird Liberation event. Kechara Penang Study Group's monthly bird liberation - Jacinta
Re: Kechara Sunday Dharma Class every Sunday morning, Teachers and students start dharma learning at this blissful morning ~By KSDS Jayce Goh
2 weeks ago
Re: Kechara Sunday Dharma Class every Sunday morning, Teachers and students start dharma learning at this blissful morning ~By KSDS Jayce Goh
Kechara Sunday Dharma Class every Sunday morning, Teacher Lin Mun start class with Manjusri prayers after prostration ~By KSDS Jayce Goh
2 weeks ago
Kechara Sunday Dharma Class every Sunday morning, Teacher Lin Mun start class with Manjusri prayers after prostration ~By KSDS Jayce Goh
Mdm Glian Sim offered Serkym on behalf of KISG today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
2 weeks ago
Mdm Glian Sim offered Serkym on behalf of KISG today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Janice So offered water to Lama Tsongkhapa, Mother Tara, Dorje Shugden and all Buddhas. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
2 weeks ago
Janice So offered water to Lama Tsongkhapa, Mother Tara, Dorje Shugden and all Buddhas. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Ms. Leow offered lights and incense prior to the prayer session in Ipoh today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
2 weeks ago
Ms. Leow offered lights and incense prior to the prayer session in Ipoh today. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
KISG has carried out a session of 21 Praises to Taras prayer recitations today in Ipoh. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
2 weeks ago
KISG has carried out a session of 21 Praises to Taras prayer recitations today in Ipoh. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Children were very excited to participate in the quiz. Lin Mun KSDS
2 weeks ago
Children were very excited to participate in the quiz. Lin Mun KSDS
We will do dedication before we end the dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
2 weeks ago
We will do dedication before we end the dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
It’s wonderful for parents and children to attend animal liberation together and recite mantra before releasing the birds. Lin Mun KSDS
2 weeks ago
It’s wonderful for parents and children to attend animal liberation together and recite mantra before releasing the birds. Lin Mun KSDS
Bigfoot cafe in Bentong. Lin Mun KSDS
2 weeks ago
Bigfoot cafe in Bentong. Lin Mun KSDS
Rejoice ! Children getting blessing from pastor on Wesak Day. Lin Mun KSDS
2 weeks ago
Rejoice ! Children getting blessing from pastor on Wesak Day. Lin Mun KSDS
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Dorje Shugden
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