With Vietnam’s increasing integration with the outside world, young Hanoians are getting a taste of the stresses associated with a modern economy.
Children and teenagers attend a Buddhism class to seek sense of calm and peace in mind
They have begun to explore ways to ease the stress, including attending Buddhism classes.
In the past, few went to pagodas. Even those who did go were often sent by their parents to keep them away from trouble.
But more and more youngsters are now turning to Buddhism. The Buddhist Youth Union’s 12 clubs had 20 members in 2005 and this has risen to 300.
At the clubs, they chant and meditate, read books on Buddhism, listen to prayers, and participate in social activities.
Thu Phuong, a student of the Hanoi University of Culture, said: “[When I] listen to Buddhism lessons at pagodas, I really feel a sense of calm and inner peace.”
Nguyen Hai Van of Cau Giay District said: “I send my three sons to pagodas during weekends to learn Buddhism to not only seek peace of mind but also curb their aggressive instincts.”
Tran Thanh, a new convert, said: “I find the Buddhism lessons very interesting though I have just started attending.”
Buddhism, one of the world’s major religions, was founded around 2,500 years ago in India by Siddhartha Gautama who was contemplating about how to bring happiness to the world.
Youths practise meditation in pagoda