This is a guest post by Su. Before reading this, I just want you to know that this is not a technical article. This is nothing related to .NET or Silverlight that I used to post in my blog. But As I’m a Buddhist and currently staying in S’pore, I think I should probably post her feedback here. Thanks for sending this post to me, Su!
~ Michael Sync
To whom it may concern, especially Dr Lam and Claire Huang,
I am referring to the article “Doctor with a heart for charitable causes, Page no. A4, My Paper, 26 Mar 2008“. First of all thanks to Dr Lam for his contribution and donation to Myanmar. The level of health condition in Myanmar is low due to low food hygiene standard and people need helping hand like what Dr Lam did. I do appreciate it.
However in the article, Huang quoted “I thought monks, being on a vegetarian diet, should not have coronary heart disease, but I was so shocked to see so many of them with severe coronary heart disease”.
I was originally from Myanmar and lived there since from 1980 to 2001. As a Buddhism. I would like to highlight that most of the Myanmar monks are not vegetarians, not like Chinese monks. To be a Buddhist monk, it is not necessary to be a vegetarian. I don’t think that Buddha himself was a vegetarian. He never set the rule to be a vegetarian in order to be a Buddhist. Some people choose to be vegetarians which came from Hindu. Therefore, vegetarian is “a choice”, not “a must” to a Buddhist.
I would like to ask Dr Lam, why was he so shocked? In fact, they were Myanmar monks and not Chinese monks. Did he ask the monks, who he referred, whether they are vegetarians or not? Were they from vegetarian monastery? What did he mean in that phrase? Why did he choose to put his surprise on Monk, why not Myanmar people?
I was confused after reading that paragraph and worried that it may create misunderstanding about Buddhism in Myanmar and Myanmar Monks to Singaporeans and Non-Buddhists due to tradition and culture difference between Myanmar and Chinese Monks. He may have seen vegetarian monks but they could not represent for whole Myanmar Monk, not vegetarians in majority, although he mentioned “so many of them”.
I would like to request that please leave the perception in Singapore before you comment about other countries.