Wesak 2013 ‘Dhamma Appreciation Night’

The ‘Wayang Kulit’ (shadow-play) is a traditional performance using puppet-shadow movements and voice to tell a story.  The performance was perfectly executed with a fine display of showmanship by Nalandians.

A most inspiring ‘Dhamma Appreciation Night’ was recently held on 24 May to celebrate the Wesak full-moon Buddha Day. The dynamic performances that evening delighted the audience with its youthful zest and brilliant comedic effects. The night’s 3 performances were specially presented by a team of dedicated young Nalandians, who were ably guided by Nalanda Institute’s Director, Mr. Vijaya Samarawickrama. 

Story-telling by Nalanda Dharma School students, with Sis. Rachel (left) as the narrator. The students are (from right) Yuan Zhan, Chan Yu, Jie Sheng, and Yi Kang.

The evening’s performance began with a sit-in, story-telling session using only voice intonations, followed by a more dramatic second performance – the “Reader’s Theatre” – where more emphasis was placed on facial expressions and physical gestures.

Nalanda Youths decked-out in costumes and full of vibrance! (From right) LeiKen, Celestine, Sumana, Karuna, Qi Hua, and Stanley in the “Reader’s Theatre” Performance.

The night’s highlight was undoubtedly the ‘Wayang Kulit’ (shadow-play) performance, in which the figurines and props were painstakingly hand-crafted by Nalandians. The story and ‘cast’ were superbly brought to life in a brilliant and virtuoso display by young skilful performers. The audience was completely captivated by the dazzling show, and their loud applause and cheers indicated their utmost marvel and approval!

The talented people behind the screen – (from right) Sis. Ai Ai, Bro. Choong Li, Sis. Chooi, and Bro. Ajita. Thank you for the wonderful and truly unforgetable performance!

These comedic, unique and highly innovative performances also evoked much laughter and appreciation from the audience. It was gratifying to witness talented youths of Nalanda, guided by their experienced teachers, bringing such liveliness and creativity to share Dhamma on stage. Credit must be given to all our prodigious performers, teachers, and mentors, for giving us such an invaluable experience to cherish. Maha Sadhu!