Overseas students gain insights into Buddhist culture
Updated: 2017-03-29

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Students listen carefully to the teacher's introduction of China's Buddhist culture during their visit to Shanghai's Jade Buddha Temple on March 17. [Photo from WeChat account NYUSH-CHIN]

A group of international students from New York University Shanghai (NYU Shanghai) took a field trip to the Jade Buddha Temple in Putuo district, Shanghai on March 17.

Founded in 1882, the temple rests quietly on the north side of Shanghai, long enjoying the reputation as one of the city’s three most renowned "Buddhist sanctuaries", along with Longhua Temple and Jing’an Temple in the downtown area.

The temple features two precious sitting and reclining jade Buddha statues; symbols of good luck and happiness, which attract many praying believers looking for predestined marriages.

Before making the trip, the students excitedly shared their impressions of traditional Chinese temples – with red lanterns, Buddha statues, monks, and of course, solemn silence – apt descriptions of the Jade Buddha Temple.

The students had a thorough visit around the temple, where they gained insights into China’s Buddhist culture, such as the Four Heavenly Kings, or Buddhist guardians, and their ritual implements; the reason why Maitreya is regarded as the Buddha of the future; and the traditional saying of "incense consecrating" instead of "incense buying".

They also tasted the temple’s most famous vegetarian noodles, fully bringing out the original flavor and fragrance of ingredients.

"This is the first time that I've felt so satisfied without eating meat," one student said.

The students felt the trip was enjoyable, both the pleasant spring day and the profound cultural background. They also looked forward to more field trips in the future.

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Overseas students from New York University Shanghai delve into China's Buddhist culture by taking a field trip to the Jade Buddha Temple in Putuo district, Shanghai on March 17. [Photo from WeChat account NYUSH-CHIN]

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