For those of you who attended this year’s Grand Setrap and Dzambala Puja (GSDP), would you not agree that it has so far been the highlight of your New Year? And for those who could not be there, worry not as here we are with highlights of the event to share with you!
Kechara Discovery and Kechara Saraswati Arts
Pendants designed and produced by Kechara Discovery (KD) were selling like hot cakes during the event, with all pendants on sale with a 40% discount. This special promotion attracted a lot of visitors and newcomers, as well as Kechara’s own staff and volunteers…of course no one could resist such a good offer!
Although there was a steady flow of people at the KD’s booth through the two days, the KD team and their volunteers were all very professional in serving the customers. Equipped with their extensive knowledge, they patiently explained to customers the different types of pendants, to teach them what suits them the best.
Nearby, Kechara Saraswati Arts (KSA) was bursting with activities suitable for adults and children alike. Even Raymond Chu, a Kechara member and father of two grown children, could not help but to join in the fun. He was spotted painting stone figures alongside the children!
Whether or not you are artistic, skilful or creative, as long as you are young at heart, KSA is the place for you to enjoy spirituality through arts and crafts.
The moment visitors stepped into Kechara InMotion‘s (KIM) booth, they would have no doubt felt the heat, both from the sun and the spotlights used for the team’s innovative fundraising efforts. Although the heat was near-stifling, with their green screen and special effects, KIM’s booth was still very popular with people from all walks of life, as everyone was eager to take a photo with the Buddha of their choice.
Some even took the opportunity to customise their photos very creatively. Ten years from today, those who took photos with KIM will be reminiscing of the good times they had at GSDP.
Kechara Animal Sanctuary
One of the most popular booths of the weekend was none other than Kechara Animal Sanctuary (KAS). With their petting zone, there were many people at the booth playing with the animals, donating money for the welfare of the animals or simply indulging in ice-creams at the booth! Those who donated a minimum of RM10 to KAS were thanked with an ice-cream of their choice for free! Well, it was not entirely free but it was all towards a good cause and the cool ice was a welcome relief from the heat.
KAS managed to raise a substantial sum of money over the weekend by selling specially-designed T-shirts, pillows and many other items. The adoption drive by KAS was also successful as a few puppies were adopted by very loving people.
Kechara House, Kechara Earth Project and Kechara Chinese Division
It was only natural for the Kechara Earth Project (KEP) to combine with Kechara House‘s (KH) booth, as KEP is the recycling unit of Kechara. Along with the Kechara Chinese Division, the group’s entire booth was decorated creatively according to the green theme.
The KH section sold herbal tea eggs and handmade soaps to raise funds towards the maintenance of the gompa. The herbal tea eggs were so popular that on Saturday, many people who took their time dropping by the booth to buy some had to leave empty-handed as the eggs were sold off very quickly. The handmade soaps were also very popular as there were many exotic fragrances to choose from, for example chocolate…who would have known you could both eat and bathe in the stuff!
At the other side of the booth, the Chinese Division was selling blessed rice to raise funds for their activities. Sales (not very surprisingly!) was very good as everybody wants to be blessed. Next to the Chinese Division was KEP who, besides collecting recyclable items throughout the event, also played environmental videos to raise awareness about the benefits of recycling to preserve our environment.
One of the grandest booths of the weekend was definitely Tsem Ladrang‘s, gloriously decorated with Kechara’s purple and white. Led by Liaison JP Thong, the Ladrang team spoke hard and fast all day, explaining to visitors the various functions of a Ladrang. At their booth, the Ladrang team also had rice blessed by Lord Setrap through an oracle, and they spoke about the ever-popular Yangchen Rilbu pills, which they had for sale. Made from a combination of herbs prescribed by traditional scriptures, Yangchen Rilbu pills improve the consumer’s memory and intelligence through the blessings of Saraswati, who is consort to Manjushri (the Buddha of Wisdom).
For all of the talking that he did, JP was newly-christened ‘The Talking Machine’ by Datuk May Phng, President of Kechara House, as he never stopped talking and explaining throughout the two days.
While many were under the hot sun, Kechara Paradise (KP) employees were fortunate enough to enjoy the cool comforts of the gompa‘s souvenir shop.
Used to dealing with crowds (and helped along by the air-conditioning!), the team did not feel the heat as they dealt with countless people visiting the souvenir shop to invite home Buddha statues, stupas, incense and many more items. There was a 20% discount on all items in the shop, attracting both old and new faces. In fact, as many of those visiting were new to Kechara and Tibetan Buddhism, KP’s staff were patient in explaining the functions of the items available.
And lest anyone forgets, to fill up the souvenir shop with so many beautiful items, KP staff had to unpack and pack countless packages and parcels of many different sizes, so that many wonderful Buddhas could be brought specially to the visitors at GSDP. It was not easy but the team were very professional and with so many smiling faces leaving the gompa that day, it would appear that their work paid off very well.
The flea market booth was strategically located next to the registration counter so that everybody who attended the event could see it. Many items, both pre-loved and new, were on sale throughout the weekend. Clothing, shoes, branded handbags, books and CDs found themselves exceptionally popular with visitors, who could not have been any happier to buy everything at a low price as well as shop for a good cause…well, maybe just a little bit happier when they found out that Kechara has a flea market stall every weekend anyway, at Amcorp Mall!
Kechara World Peace Centre
For all of the departments we have brought to you here, and for all of the departments on display during the two-day event, everyone was there and working towards one goal, Kechara World Peace Centre (KWPC). 13 departments, two days, all for one goal – that is why no one should doubt the importance of the KWPC booth. During the weekend, staff and volunteers led their conversations on to the ultimate goal, KWPC, to explain His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche’s vision for Kechara’s future. There was even a 3D model of KWPC displayed at the booth for visitors to better visualise what might at the moment seem like a far-fetched dream to them!
And yes, all 13 departments were there over the weekend but clearly, not all 13 have been mentioned here…just watch and wait for our next installment of Kechara’s 2011 GSDP highlights, for a different perspective of the event!