Frequent visitors to Nalanda Centre would have noticed that occasionally, little coloured ribbons were tied to the door handles. The ribbons – in orange, white or black – are used to tell the occasion at Nalanda. Orange ribbons are tied during major celebrations such as ‘Buddha Day’, ‘Dhamma Day’, and on the Society’s anniversary (‘Nalanda Day’).
White ribbons are tied during Memorial Days, such as the upcoming 10th anniversary of the late Ven. K. Sri Dhammananda’s passing next Wednesday, 31 August. They are also used during special commemorative ceremonies such as blessings for the victims of MH370 and MH17, the Nepal Earthquake in 2015, and after natural disasters.
Black ribbons are used for sombre occasions such as the passing away of monks, teachers and Nalanda members. The most recent tying of black ribbons was on the passing of the late Sayadaw U Pandita of Myanmar on 16 April.
In addition, lanterns and cloth are also hung on some memorial days. The use of colour-coded ribbons fosters a ‘sense of occasion’ for Nalandians, a tradition that has been honoured since the Society’s founding.