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Loh Gaik Wah

The celebration of the 18th Graduation and Annual Concert for Tadika Than Hsiang and the 4th for Taska Than Hsiang Sungai Ara was held on Saturday, 14 November 2009. It was certainly an exciting day, especially for the 105 children from Tadika Than Hsiang and 28 ‘graduates’ from Taska Than Hsiang Sungai Ara; as well as the little starlets of the day.

As early as 11am, kindergarten classrooms were already abuzz with activities; as the children gathered to have their make-up and hairdo done; and to get dressed up for the concert. By 1pm, all the award winners were ready and waiting anxiously and patiently to receive their awards. By then, the seats at the Multi Purpose Hall were fully taken up by proud parents with beaming faces and grandparents too; as well as guests; and reporters and photographers.

At 2pm, the grand ceremony began and it started with the playing of the National Anthem followed by the Triple Gem hymn. Then Venerable Zhen Xin was invited to deliver a speech. Venerable Zhen Xin addressed that Than Hsiang Kindergarten was established in 1991 and over the last 4 years , branches in Sungai Ara, Sungai Petani, Kedah; Bukit Mertajam and Simpang Ampat were established . In the academic year of 2010, three more, before and after school day care centres will be servicing Primary 1 to Primary 6 students at Jalan Mandalay (opposite SRJ Union); Prima View (near to SRJ Kwang Hwa and SRJ Shih Chung) and Bandar Seri Astana in Kedah.

Based on the conviction of creating a stimulating and holistic child-centre learning environment for ‘The Young to Learn’ and ‘The Strong and Healthy to Serve’; Than Hsiang Kindergartens’ teachers are continuously upgrading their knowledge in teaching skills and methods in order to render the best to the children.

Venerable Zhen Xin also stressed that it must be the good karma of the children to be able to receive their early childhood education in Than Hsiang kindergartens whereby they are not only taught to read and write; but to learn the Buddha’s Teachings of the Ten Good Deeds; and to cultivate good moral values and basic living skills.

And Venerable Zhen Xin also hope that one day, these children would return to serve at Than Hsiang. With that, Venerable wished everyone good health and happiness.

After that, the Principal of Than Hsiang Kindergarten, Madam Tan Kim Nai, was invited to deliver her speech too. In her speech, Madam Tan sincerely hoped that the pre-school children would not only do well in their studies in their formal schools, but continue to practice the values of filial piety and respect for their elders that they learnt from the Buddhist teachings of the Ten Good Deeds.

Madam Tan, further stressed that the curriculum of Than Hsiang Kindergarten is base on the guidelines from the Ministry of Education using the Thematic Approach. Components like physical education, creativity in Music and Movement; and Art and Craft are also integrated in the programme; and Than Hsiang Kindergarten will always continue to review the education system and upgrade the facilities for the children’s overall balanced development

She voiced her appreciation of the selfless group of Ai Xin Mama for their invaluable help during birthday celebration, tanglung festival, holiday camp, graduation and concert are carried out timely.

In conclusion, Madam Tan, thanked everyone for the help rendered to make the occasion a success.

The prize giving ceremony was next in line. Prizes were presented to the winners for Best Performance in class from various grades; Best Award winner in coloring; and Best Award winner in singing. Then certificates were presented to all the 135 graduating students. Then all the graduating children graduated with the Graduation Song.

After the graduation ceremony, came the highlight of the afternoon; that was the concert event. There were twelve varieties of lovely dances performed by the children; all wearing colorful and specially designed costumes. The spectacular dances which ranged from religious, to cultural and even pop dancing were all very well choreographed by the teachers and well performed by the children; so much so that parents and even grandparents were kept entertained throughout.

The grand finale, the ”Passing on the Lights” ceremony, was led by the Sangha members of Than Hsiang Temple. All the teachers and students went on stage each carrying a LED candle, followed by everyone in the hall. The swaying of the lighted LED candles in tune to the “Passing On The Lights” hymn; was a very harmonious sight indeed.

May the Light of Dharma keep on shining and never fade away.