LUSAKA, Feb. 2 — The first-ever Shaolin Temple in Zambia held a ceremony to mark the Chinese lunar New Year or the Spring Festival.
The ceremony, held on Jan. 30, on the outskirts of Lusaka, the country’s capital, attended by the Chinese community in Zambia and some local people, was characterized by a display of Chinese Kungfu by local students and their masters.
The audience was later taken on a conducted tour of the facilities before taking part in a Buddhism ceremony. Fireworks, the burning of incense, and the ringing of the bell characterized the event.
Yan Tao, one of the masters, said the Spring Festival was an important period in the Chinese calendar as it signals the end of a year and the start of a new year.
He said the Temple decided to hold the ceremony in keeping with the Chinese tradition and as a way to appreciate the previous year and the New Year.
The Temple opened its doors to the public and started conducting its training in January, with an initial 15 local students.
Apart from teaching them Chinese Kungfu, the students are also being taught the Chinese language, culture which includes how to prepare Chinese dishes.
Victoria Nakazwe is a 22-year-old student who has decided to start learning Chinese martial arts at the Temple and is so far happy with what she is learning.
Nakazwe, who has always dreamt of learning Kungfu after watching Chinese Kungfu actors in films, said she intends to use the knowledge acquired to open her own school and impart the knowledge to others.
“I have always liked Kungfu since my childhood. Whenever I watched the movies and watched the Chinese actors, I always wanted to be like them,” she said.
She has since encouraged other young people, especially girls, to consider learning Kungfu, as it will not only help them to have self-defense but to be disciplined as well.
She further said she is enjoying the teachings on how to prepare Chinese food.
Justina Banda, 22, says she decided to join the training because she has always loved Chinese Kungfu.
Banda, who has been undertaking Chinese training for the past year, said she decided to join the training at the Temple because she wanted to perfect her skills and become a trainer for her colleagues in the future.
Construction works of the Temple started in April 2019 and were completed in July 2021. Four monks from the Shaolin Temple in China are at the Temple to conduct the teachings.
Yan Lun, the headmaster of the Temple, said the objectives of the project include teaching Shaolin Kungfu, Chinese culture, helping understand the African culture as well as enhancing the China-Africa friendship. – Xinhua