The Peaceful Bamboo Family spreading seeds of Happiness in Saïgon, Exhibition March 2019
From March 18th to 24th a team of volunteers and Eurasia friends from Giao Duc Cam Xuc set up an exhibition and workshop to present the work of the Peaceful Bamboo Family=Tinh Truc Gia in Ho Chi Minh City.
Here is an account by Eurasia/ELI team member Ngan who attended the event yesterday :
« I have had the chance to be at the exhibition of TTG (Tinh Truc Gia=The Peaceful Bamboo Family) in Saigon with co-worker and educator Miss Trang, and with one of our youngsters Thao Vy and felt deeply touched by my experience.
During the workshop and exhibition, some key practices of TTG were presented for the visitors to experiment. For example, after they finished their drink, they were invited to clean their cup using the 3-step process that we traditionally use in The Peaceful Bamboo Family=Tinh Truc Gia. Every evening is hosted a sharing circle, as we have a sharing Circle in The Peaceful Bamboo Family every Thursday night. During the exhibition this lasts 30-60 minutes.
In the corner was placed a gratitude tree, with some gratitude notes written by our Tinh Truc Gia (==The Peaceful Bamboo Family) youngsters, and with guidelines for participants as to how to make their own gratitude notes.
With these practices (and more!), the exhibition this year is not only a gallery of artworks made by our youngsters in the lacque workshop, but is an interactive space.
During the opening night, the organizing team shared how this year’s exhibition has been different with the two previous years. What I found interesting is they talked about their own inner transformation, and how it has shaped the way they want to present Tinh Truc Gia (=The Peaceful Bamboo Family) to the public : Thanh Phuong, the lead organizer, shared that she was letting herself be more relaxed and not attached to a certain plan. During the team collaboration, they practiced mindfulness, active listening and treated each other like brothers and sisters.
I was very impressed by the volunteer team, as they carried the giftivism spirit inside them, working without counting the hours. One volunteer in charge of the the corner of Tinh Truc Gia paper bags, aware of how the youngsters in the Tinh Truc Gia bakery workshop make these bags, was instructing the visitors with calmness and enthusiasm.
While Thao Vy, one of the Tinh Truc Gia youngsters introduced herself in the opening moment, I felt a little bit strange : her sharing is different from everyone else standing there, because it is spoken not using complete sentences but separate words, and due to her Hue accent, spoken in a very soft joyful voice, but also because what she shared is so unique. Thao Vy described what makes her happy : cleaning the toilet every day, walking in silence every Tuesday & Friday, working in the jam workshop with Miss Xuan (one of the Tinh Truc Gia educators) and other youngsters… finishing every single sentence with the word “vui” which means « happy ».
Through her sharing, I feel like the visitors are able to grasp everything we would want to transmit about community life. Thao Vy also sang the song that she sings every day in the adolescent class of Tinh Truc Gia : “Whenever I wake up, I feel happy. Aware of my eyes, I feel happy…” and Miss Vy, a fellow educator invited everyone to sing this song altogether.
The sharing circle held on the opening night surprisingly lasted for 1,5 hours. There were around 20 people. At first, no one seemed ready to open themselves up. But as more and more participants started to share, everyone felt safer and more in touch with their inner space. Eventually, almost everyone had the opportunity to share, even though many of them were seeing each other for the first time. In this circle, I could feel the spirit of Tinh Truc Gia very strongly, the sharing circle creates the space for each individual to feel safe and truly let thing emerge the way they are.
Miss Trang, youngster Thao Vy and myself were so grateful to get a chance to look at Tinh Truc Gia with new eyes, to share Tinh Truc Gia stories with people who share our values deeply.
I cannot find words to express how touched we were by the companionship of Hang Mai, by the thoughtful and comprehensive view of TTG the organizing team is carrying. Miss Trang, fellow educator from Tinh Truc Gia did a great job telling stories about Tinh Truc Gia – everything spoken is spoken dearly from her heart and I know how much Miss Trang has prepared to be there to present TTG.