A screenshot showing Buddhist masters and Buddhist organization employees at the closing ceremony of the Buddhist English Seminar in Putuo Temple, Zhuhai, South China’s Guangdong Province, on Monday Photo: pusa123.com

Chinese Buddhist temples held English classes to promote Chinese Buddhism culture to the world and serve the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA).

The seven-day 2019 Buddhist English Seminar which started on August 6 in the Putuo Temple English Base for Buddhist Exchange in Zhuhai, South China’s Guangdong ended on Monday, Shanghai-based Buddhism website pusa123.com reported.

Eighty Buddhist masters and organization staff members from 22 provinces and municipalities joined the seminar. 

The seminar was aimed at helping Chinese Buddhism adapt to socialist society and to expand international exchanges of Chinese Buddhism to serve the construction of the BRI and GBA, according to the website of the Guangdong Buddhist Association. 

Scholars and eminent monks from universities and institutions, including Peking University, Hong Kong University, Renmin University of China and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences gave lectures and shared their translation skills and experience in communicating with people from countries involved in BRI, according to documents of the English Base for Buddhist Exchange obtained by the Global Times on Tuesday. 

Master Ming Sheng, abbot of the Putuo Temple, said at the closing ceremony that the students should study English for Buddhism well to become the messengers of the Chinese Buddhist culture exchange in the new era and continue to write a new chapter for the globalization of traditional Chinese culture.

Wang Bangwei, a professor at the Institute of Oriental Studies of Peking University, noted that Chinese Buddhism still lack  a significant voice in world culture. 

There is still a long way to go and related people should work hard to study and translate the Buddhist scriptures to develop and bring Chinese Buddhism to the world, Wang said.

Master Zhankong, a trainee at the seminar, said that the seminar broadened his horizons and improved his communication skills.

Putuo Temple has held the seminar annually since 2017. It is not the only Buddhist English training class. The Lingyin Temple in Hangzhou, East China’s Zhejiang Province also held a half-month English seminar on Buddhist scriptures with 70 nuns in February.