Finally! The day the kids and kids-at-heart were looking forward to arrived, the Kechara Family Day, jointly organised by the Manjushri Kids’ Class (MKC) and Kechara Care (KC). Four generations of Kechara House members and friends woke up bright and early, and came together to greet the morning at the green and scenic Kepong Metropolitan Park. They were set to enjoy the exciting programme lined up for the day, as well as take in the clean fresh air and lovely views of the distant hills.
It was a Sunday, and definitely a Fun-Day! Some even flew in from other countries like Indonesia to participate in the event. The day kicked off with a telematch where three teams, Setrap (Red), Tsongkhapa (Yellow) and Tara (Green) had fun in the sun while vying for exciting prizes. The games were organised by Alex Tan, who teaches at MKC. The adults of each team (parents and teachers) had to organise their charges, pit the right players for the right game, coax and encourage those who were shy, and cheer their teams on. It was quality bonding time between the kids, their parents and teachers, with lots of laughs and sweat thrown in. Finally Team Tsongkhapa scored the most cumulative points followed by Team Tara and then Team Setrap.
Before noon, everyone made a beeline for the jetty overlooking the expansive clear-water lake to participate in the liberation of live fishes. Chef Au of Kechara Oasis (KO) arranged to purchase live catfish (that were reared in fresh-water farms) from the wholesale market that would have headed for the dinner table. The prayer and recitation of the Medicine Buddha mantra was led by Bryan Ho of KC to bless the fishes in dedication to their better future rebirth. Kids and adults alike fed the fish in the lake with blessed fish pellets after which the Completion Dedication was recited.
Everyone then adjourned to a clump of shady trees by the lake where we enjoyed a simple but nice picnic lunch (courtesy of Kechara Oasis). While people were chomping on corn-on-the-cob and KOC (Kechara Oasis Chicken – as good as the real thing!) presents were given to all the kids who participated in the telematch. Datuk May Phng (President of Kechara House and Liaison to His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche) who gave away the presents, also presented prizes to the winning team, the Yellow Hat Tsongkhapa Team. Bravo team!
As it was after all a family day, we didn’t forget young Pavara (Kechara’s aspiring Liaison-to-be!) whose birthday fell on that day. We celebrated his birthday with a cake together with all other members who were also August-babies. The young chap was so happy, he was grinning from ear to ear and we could barely see his eyes for a while.
We soon called it a day as midday was approaching, and the sunshine was becoming too intense (and the heat too sweltering!) to be outdoors.
It was great fun to be doing all this amongst family (that includes our Spiritual Family). It helped build closer friendships and promoted bonding. It also was a great opportunity to teach the kids teamwork, cooperation, winning and losing, leadership, stewardship of the environment, picking up after ourselves and being responsible for ourselves and for each other. At the very least, some of us city-weary folks who had never heard of the Kepong Metropolitan Park or been there, would have just discovered a wonderful geen-lung picnic spot well within reach in Kuala Lumpur. Located in Jinjang Utara, the 117-ha gazetted park has a gargantuan 57-ha lake (with lots of space for the fish), car park, children’s playground, reflexology facilities, toilets, a fountain, a boat house, a pavilion, an observation tower, jogging and cycling tracks, shelters and plenty of space for kite-flying activities, not to mention verdant greens and shady trees.
There’s no doubt – some of us will surely be heading there again with our jogging shoes, and colourful kites and Waus (traditional moon-kite of Kelantan state). Do visit Malaysia and besides visiting Kechara House, we’ll Wow you with our tropical weather and typical Malaysian hospitality, not to mention great food!