Buddhist monks in South Korea embark on matchmaking

- through Henry Oudin

Published on

From latimes.com

A recent event at Jeondeung-sa, a Buddhist temple near Seoul, brought together three monks from the Jogye order of Korean Buddhism, 20 celibate lay people and a group of journalists. The event, titled “Naneun Jeollo” or “At the Temple,” marked the third edition of a twinning initiative organized by the Korean Buddhist Foundation for Social Welfare aimed at addressing the country's demographic challenges and promoting cohesion social.

Participants were reminded of the country's aging population and declining birth rate, factors that could impact the future of the nation. The organizers stressed the importance of active participation in finding suitable partners to solve the problem of low birth rate.

An organizer, launching a computer slide show titled “Aging Society,” reminded attendees: “I'm sure you've all noticed how your neighborhood daycare once turned into a retirement home. » The slideshow indicates that South Korea's birth rate has halved over the past 20 years. “For the sake of the low birth rate,” the presenter said, “all you need to do today is to actively participate and find a good partner. » (Los Angeles Times)

From latimes.com

South Korea faces demographic challenges common to many developed countries, including a high cost of homeownership, difficult work environments and a breakdown in traditional gender roles. Today, the country has the lowest fertility rate in the world, at 0,72. The rate required to maintain a stable population is 2,1.

Inspired by a popular matchmaking reality TV series called I am alonethe event attracted considerable attention, in part due to the inclusion of Buddhist monks as hosts.

“We want to spread the message,” said Myo-jang, the monk who heads the Korean Buddhist Foundation for Social Welfare. “We hope that one day there will be an edition for every Buddhist temple in the country. » (Los Angeles Times)

Participants, carefully selected for their true intentions, engaged in various activities aimed at fostering connections and potential matches. According to Myo-jang, the most important factor for the participants was a strong desire to find love.

Throughout the event, professional host Shim Mok-min led icebreaker games and speed-dating sessions, encouraging participants to interact and make connections. Despite initial apprehensions, the atmosphere gradually transformed into one of camaraderie and enthusiasm. After dinner, participants engaged in meditative activities, reflecting the spiritual aspect of the event. Despite the positive atmosphere, some participants expressed frustration with the media presence, highlighting the challenges of balancing privacy and public attention.

From latimes.com

At the end of the event, organizers announced several successful matches, while acknowledging the current societal challenges related to marriage and family life in South Korea. Reflecting on the broader implications of such events, participants expressed skepticism about their ability to address the underlying issues causing the country's fertility crisis.

“What we really need to address is the cost of living and housing prices,” said attendee Chae-won, as those around her nodded. “Right now, I already have my hands full just taking care of myself. » Regarding the added difficulty of having a child, she adds: “I see colleagues receiving criticism because they have to take a day off because of their child. Things have apparently improved a lot in that regard, but it’s still like that.” (Los Angeles Times)

Concluding the event, the temple's abbot, Yeo-am, spoke words of encouragement, saying that relationships are not formed by burning love, but by growing affection. He reminded them that ultimately, life's greatest challenges are faced alone.

“This is something you must resolve for yourself,” said the abbot. “No other person can save you from this. » (Los Angeles Times)

See more

Inspired by reality TV, Buddhist monks become matchmakers (Los Angeles Times)

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The article South Korea's Buddhist monks embrace matchmaking appeared first on Buddhadoor Global.

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Henry Oudin

Henry Oudin is a Buddhist scholar, spiritual adventurer and journalist. He is a passionate seeker of the depths of Buddhist wisdom, and travels regularly to learn more about Buddhism and spiritual cultures. By sharing his knowledge and life experiences on Buddhist News, Henry hopes to inspire others to embrace more spiritual and mindful ways of living.

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