Religious Youth Service

Tibetan Monastery Hosts Religious Youth Service Project in Nepal

Pokhara, Nepal - About 30 dynamic youths representing different faiths attended a Religious Youth Service project in Pokhara September 24 to October 1. Representatives came from the Buddhist, Baha’i, and Jain religions. The theme of this year’s project was “Togetherness in Interfaith Harmony.”

All the participants, including the staff and volunteers, were warmly welcomed by the communities of Pokhara and the host Tibetan Buddhist monastery. Ven. Kalsang Lama, one of the most revered spiritual leaders in Nepal, welcomed the people from various faith traditions.

In good RYS project form, the participants engaged in volunteer work in the community, educational activities, visits to religious and historic sites, interactive team-building exercises, cultural learning experiences and more.

Ambassadors for Peace, the City Chief, various organizational directors, religious leaders, local dignitaries, and Pokhara residents attended the opening session and the ground-breaking ceremony of the RYS Peace Gate.

Service activities included painting the wall around the peace prayer wheel and digging out an area for the wall around the monastery. Tibetan Buddhists place written prayers in prayer wheels, which when spinning have the same meritorious effect as orally reciting the prayers.

As part of the interreligious activities, we were invited to visit the Manv Mila Jain organization, the Islamic Center, a Christian church, a Buddhist temple, and a Hindu temple. This enabled participants to broaden their understanding of each other and the traditions they represent.

As part of the cultural program, our group visited the Sarankot Mountain, where they enjoyed the panoramic view of the majestic Himalayan mountains. An RYS flag was raised there in affirmation of world peace.

The Chief Government Officer from Pokhara presented certificates to the participants at the grand closing prayer ceremony, which was attended by the Tibetan Buddhist leaders and the local community.

The Peace Gate, the prayer wheel, and the wall will remain as an RYS testament of peace for many members of the local community, visiting Nepalese and foreigners, as well as the families, relatives, friends and devotees from around the world who come to the monastery, community center, and social club.

One of the most popular tourist destinations in Nepal, Pokhara is noted for its tranquil atmosphere and the beauty of the surrounding countryside. This central Nepal city of 200,000 inhabitants is 198 km west of the capital, Kathmandu. It is also a base for trekkers embarking on journeys up to 30 days in the Annapurna range. The area is easily accessible, guesthouses in the hills are plentiful, and treks offer diverse environments of high mountains and lowland villages.

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