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Jakarta Post

Waisak celebrations run safely, peacefully in Medan

  • Apriadi Gunawan

    The Jakarta Post

Medan, North Sumatra   /   Thu, May 11, 2017   /   09:50 pm
Waisak celebrations run safely, peacefully in Medan Enlightenment: Shoppers admire a statue of Buddha set up at a shopping mall on the eve of Waisak in Surabaya on May 10. Indonesian people celebrate Waisak, which commemorates the birth and enlightenment of Buddha. The holiday is also observed by Buddhists all over the world. (AFP/Juni Kriswanto)

Thousands of Buddhists celebrated Waisak, or Gautama Buddha's Day of Enlightenment, in Medan, North Sumatra, on Thursday, hoping this year’s celebration would bring blessings, peace and happiness to all those living in Indonesia.

The celebrations ran safely and peacefully under the security of police personnel. Buddhist followers packed Buddhist temples, or vihara, including Borobudur Vihara on Jl. Imam Bonjol in Medan to pray and participate in various activities.

Borobudur Vihara spokesperson Adi Yanto said a string of activities to celebrate Waisak were conducted over a three-day stretch starting from Tuesday. During the activities, the organizing committee provided vegan food to all those participating in the celebration at the vihara, he went on.

“The Waisak Day celebration peaked today [Thursday]. All activities ran smoothly and safely,” Adi told The Jakarta Post on the sidelines of the event on Thursday.

Waisak emphasizes three important events in Buddha’s life: his birth, enlightenment and perfect liberation.

“Understanding diversity within unity," Adi said, was picked as the theme of this year’s Waisak celebration, given the sociopolitical issues Indonesian people were currently facing.

North Sumatra Police chief Insp. Gen. Rycko Amelza Dahniel also highlighted the need to maintain harmony in his remarks in front of Buddhist followers celebrating Waisak at Sinar Budhi Vihara in Medan.

“There will be peace and security in the country, especially in North Sumatra, if all people can guard and protect the diversity,” Rycko said. (mos/ebf)