Soc Trang Province Secures and Supports Dignitaries and Believers
Some include kicking off the new school year for the monks at the Southern Pali Culture Supplement School, instructing pagodas to open classes, organizing Pali, Vini, and Khmer elementary exams, and teaching culture for monks and children of Buddhists. Besides, religious festivals, activities, and practices are organized on a larger and more solemn scale in Soc Trang.
Utilizing resources to participate in charity and humanitarian activities
In the early days of June, we visited Kh'Leang pagoda in Ton Duc Thang Street, cluster No. 5, ward No. 6, Soc Trang city. The pagoda is peacefully located in the center of the city in a large campus covered with ancient trees.
Here, we met Mr. Huynh Sa Oat (74 years old, living in District 4, Soc Trang City) who is rearranging tables and chairs and cleaning in the reception room of the pagoda. He said that he goes to the pagoda four times a month on the 8th, 23rd, 15th, and 30th. He usually cleans, arranges furniture and takes care of trees here. Joining him are about 10 people around the area to do meritorious deeds and assist at the pagoda.
|Mr. Huynh Sa Oat (left) cleans up at Kh'Leang Pagoda on the morning of June 7. (Photo: Thoi Dai)|
"I am a Buddhist and I go to the pagoda to receive blessings. I pray for the health and happiness of my family. People in the area come here to pray for blessings, strengthen solidarity, and to help the community and their children to understand the culture of the Khmer. I hope the pagoda will maintain its stability and credibility so that the children can study well and live a peaceful life", said Oat.
Also located in Soc Trang city is a renowned pagoda with a giant lying Buddha statue, also known as the Botum Vong Sa Som Rong. This pagoda attracts thousands of tourists and locals with its unique Khmer architecture. Trieu Thi So Rum (57 years old, living in ward 5, Soc Trang city) spent much time at the Botum Vong Sa Som Rong pagoda since her childhood days.
According to Rum, the pagoda has many attractive landscapes, but the special highlight is the huge statue of Buddha entering nirvana that visitors can see from afar. The statue is 63m long and 22.5m high and is considered one of the largest Buddha statues in lying pose in Vietnam.
“In the past, the pagoda was small, only 1/10 compared to the size in present, and was surrounded by fields and gardens. The pagoda now has a new tower, a flagpole, and a Buddha statue in lying pose. It not only attracts locals but also visitors from Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh city and some other northern provinces. On weekends or holidays, hundreds and even thousands of people come here to worship”, said Rum.
|The pagoda has a giant reclining Buddha (Bôtum Vong Sa Som Rong) which attracts thousands of tourists and locals by its unique Khmer architecture. (Photo: Thoi Dai)|
According to a report of the People's Committee of Soc Trang province, in recent years, the activities and practices of religions in the locality have witnessed positive changes. Religious festivals are held on a larger and more solemn scale, attracting the participation of many followers. These activities have encouraged religious organizations and individuals to utilize their resources to participate in charity, humanitarian, social, health care and educational activities, contributing to the socio-economic development of the province.
|Soc Trang is a province located in the Mekong Delta region with a total area of 3,223 km2 and a population of 1.2 million. In the province, there are nine legally recognized religions with more than 635,297 dignitaries and followers and 734 worship establishments. Most Khmer ethnic people have traditionally followed Theravada Buddhism. The province now has a total of 92 pagodas and more than 350,000 Buddhists.|
Improving the life of religious followers
Religious organizations focus on consolidating their organization, opening catechism classes, giving lectures, legalizing land use right certificates, building and repairing worship facilities... Most of the dignitaries and believers are excited by the achievements of the country and the province, taking care of socio-economic development, hunger eradication and poverty alleviation, charity activities, building cultural life in residential areas... contributing significantly to the implementation of socio-economic development programs in the locality.
The material and spiritual life of most religious people has been improved, political security, social order and safety in religious areas have been enhanced, the trust of dignitaries and followers has been strengthened.
|Primary Pali class in Soc Trang. (Photo: Thoi Dai)|
In Soc Trang province, the Association for Patriotic Monks Solidarity well performs its function of guiding religious activities in accordance with regulations, coordinating with functional branches to propagate and mobilize dignitaries and Buddhists to participate in social movements in the locality, well observe the guidelines of the Party, policies and laws of the State.
In the past years, the Association has cooperated with the Department of Education and Training, the Board of Directors of the Buddhist Intermediate School to kick off a new school year for the monks at the Southern Pali Culture Supplement School, and at the same time guide the pagodas to open classes and organize the Pali, Vini, Khmer elementary exams and supplement the culture for monks and children of the Buddhist.
According to Deputy Director of the Department of Home Affairs of Soc Trang Pham Minh Man, the Department cooperates with relevant units to advise the Provincial People's Committee to well implement religious policies.
“The province also creates favorable conditions for the construction and repair of religious worship facilities to meet the needs of religious and belief activities according to regulations, in accordance with the provisions of the law, creating peace of mind and excitement among dignitaries, civil servants and fellow Buddhists", said Man.
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