Prayer Rooms in DPPOCS for Oversea Students
There are more than one thousand overseas Chinese students from more than 20 countries studying at The Division of Preparatory Programs for Overseas Chinese Students. With a view to respect different religions, the prayer room for Buddhist, Taoist, Islamist, Catholists and Christians are set up. On the evening of December 22nd, president Chang, irector Wu Chung Hsin attended the open ceremony of this prayer room with faculties. This is one of the first prayer rooms set up in Universities in Taiwan.
To build an international campus, with the new Southbound policy of the government, NTNU has been actively recruiting students from Southeast Asia, hoping to attract more overseas Chinese to come back to Taiwan. There’s nearly a thousand overseas Chinese students in DPPOCS every year, mostly from Malaysia, Hong Kong and Macao, Myanmar and Indonesia, but also some from South Africa, Malawi and Paraguay, and other countries. In recent years, Vietnamese students has increased year by year.
President Chang said that the oversea students speaks different language and they have various culture and believes. Most Indonesian are Islamists and they have to pray towards the mecca 5 times a day. Students from Myanmar mainly believe in Buddhism, and Malaysian students could be Muslims or Buddhists.
One Indonesian student said that Muslims focus on pure body and environment so that they pray every day. She said that 7 Muslims in DPPOCS are grateful that the school prepares a prayer room so they can pray inside without being interrupted. The washrooms are nearby so that they can be clean before praying.
Another Indonesian student said that Muslims don’t eat meat, and other food should be processed according to the rules, so they rarely eat meat at school. He is really glad that the cafeteria has at least 3 vegetables in a meal.
In the Buddhist prayer room, you can pray at three Buddhist gods. One Chinese student from Malaysia said that he has joined the Fo Guang Shan youth club 2 years ago. Now he studies at NTNU and is glad that he can pray on campus.
In the Christian prayer room, there are cross and bibles. Huang Yung Kang from the Christian group said that the prayer room is a place to connect sisters and brothers from around the world and talk to Jesus.
In the Catholics prayer room, there are status of Jesus and Holy Mary. In the Taoist prayer room, there are some Taiwanese gods and goddesses.