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무릎 나갈 뻔한 백팔배, 졸음과 싸움 참선...
I am Santhasiri from Sri Lanka.
I have been in Korea for six years. In 2003, I met a Korean monk and went to Korea. For two and a half months,
I met and did my best to help migrant workers. When I returned to Sri Lanka in 2003, I had a deep desire to return
to Korea. On February 4th of 2004, I set off for Korea again, heart afloat. So, I went to Seoul at Paju Health Center and
Ansan and helped foreigners. In April of 2005 I moved to the Mahabuddha Center. There,
I began to work in earnest with Sri Lankan, Indonesian, Filipino, Cambodian, Vietnamese,
Pakistani and other foreigners. My primary work is to be with workers in the hospital when they are sick,
translate for them, help them get their salary, severance pay, work injury treatment, talk to the police,
Ministry of Labor, Labor Welfare Department, and other kinds of work as well. I also help women solve various issues.
Currently I’m studying child welfare in the child welfare department in university. In the future, I hope to work harder
and with great passion to care for foreign workers.
Korean Buddhist Culture
The place I would like to introduce to
foreign monks is Magok temple for a two week Korean Buddhist cultural experience. The temple,
located in Chungnam Kongju, was established during the Silla Dynasty in 640
(under the reign of Queen Seondeok) by Chajangyoolsaga.
16th Sep 2006. At the tranquil break of day at 3:30 AM all things wake up to the sound of the drum and begin their day.
Several monks gather at the main hall and after morning chant do their 108 bows in the morning and afternoon to
great discomfort. It`s a pain that anyone who has tried knows--your legs are totally stiff and calves are cramped so
that you can hardly walk. These days, however, doing this has been good for health. In the quiet morning, at breakfast,
we have four parts to our meal: rice, soup, side dishes, and water. We eat only what we need, do so quickly,
clean our bowl, and do so without being noisy. After a short break, I meditate to connect with myself, and because
I’m not from Korea sitting cross-legged is really hard for me. I focus on the topic of conversation so that I can
let go of my difficulties and leg cramps and after two weeks the experience is over and I got closer to Korean
culture and learned lots of things. These days I`m quite interested in Korean food. At first,
I wasn’t a big fan of the food here, and I admittedly suffered quite a bit. The smell of soybean soup was awful
in the beginning, but now I enjoy eating it with tofu, the spiciest green peppers, and even a well-aged
kimchi soup that also has become tasty for me. If I don’t have this even for a day I feel something’s
missing so much that I feel like I’ve become Korean.
Korean Cultural Experience
Chuseok is just around the corner. When Chuseok comes,
there are always good memories with the workers and volunteers. Everyone dresses up nicely,
we grind rice into powder, make dough, and put something delicious inside to make delicious
and beautiful Songpyeon rice cakes and eat them. We play games and sing Korean songs
cheerfully to quell our homesickness.