The Words of the Lau Family

Filial Piety Festival

Eve Lau
May 2009
Hong Kong, China

On April 18, Hong Kong FFWPU held Filial Piety Festival 2009, which comprised a Chinese language essay contest with the theme, "Sibling Love," a service project involving children and elderly people, a bus parade and awards for three-generational families that were presented at the same time as those for the essay contest.

This is the fourth annual festival and essay contest we've sponsored. The essay contestants came from secondary schools throughout Hong Kong and Macau. We believe it is a valuable opportunity for students to reflect on how much they love and respect their parents and siblings. This year, about thirty university students voluntarily screened out the best forty of the more than six hundred submitted essays for final judgment. The writing quality was unexpectedly high. Two professors, one from Hong Kong Shue Yan University and the other from Hong Kong Institute of Education, both ambassadors for peace, made the final evaluation and decided the winners.

Filial Piety Festival 2009 also attracted university students who desire to serve the community. World CARP at Hong Kong University (WCARP-HK) organized three service projects in the days leading up to Filial Piety Festival 2009. The WCARP-HK executive committee recruited almost a hundred university student participants. On March 16, they visited Ebenezer School and Home for the Visually Impaired, played with the children and helped them create Easter cards for elderly people. Near the end of March, they went to another kindergarten and helped those children prepare more cards. On April 11, they went first to a fruit market and solicited donations of fruit for the elderly. They then visited a Christian center for the elderly with all the cards and gifts they'd collected. They spent three hours with the elderly people, who especially appreciated the three-generation concept and the cards the children had prepared.

Stirring the heart of Hong Kong

In the early afternoon of the main day, April 18, we had the Filial Piety Bus Parade. We had originally prepared two open-top, double-decker buses with bright, lively decorations promoting filial piety and ideal families. Overwhelmed by the number of people who registered for the parade, we added another three buses to accommodate all the participants. The Hong Kong government's Leisure and Culture Department approved our use of Chater Garden, one of the most famous parks in Hong Kong, for the kick-off ceremony, which drew more than three hundred people. As if to demonstrate the veracity of the Chinese saying, "Filial piety moves Heaven," just as the ceremony started, it poured with rain. This inspired and excited the participants.

Regional President Otsuka Katsumi and his wife Taeko hosted the festival. Prof. Thomas Hwang, our FFWPU chairman, also played an active role, as did Miss Choy So-yuk, a deputy to the National People's Congress.

The whole park was filled with the uplifting sounds of such expressions as "I love my family, "I love my mom and dad" and "I love my city." The Hong Kong Shaolin Wushu Association performed a martial arts routine. After a ribbon cutting, everyone marched to the buses.

The buses toured the whole city of Hong Kong. From the upper deck of the buses, our guests continued the loud expressions of love that had filled the park. This drew the attention of passerby in the streets of the areas the buses passed through. Many pedestrians became excited and returned similar sentiments to those riding on the buses. We saw parents stop suddenly to use the opportunity to explain to their children what was happening. In this way, we elicited the participation of many Hong Kong citizens throughout the city. The policemen who helped smooth the way of the parade were also all inspired.

The parade ended at the Hong Kong Institute of Education, where we had our main event to conclude Filial Piety Festival 2009. More than seven hundred people, who came mostly in family groups, filled the hall, which was designed to hold six hundred. Everyone who came had received a gift bag with books, pens and a drink provided by various sponsors.

Miss Choy So-yuk hosted the main event with the assistance or more than twenty distinguished guests, including Dr. Wu Kwok-yin of the Confucian Academy, who represented the academy's president, Dr. Tong Yun-kai; Dr. Tong Ho-kin, a professor at the Hong Kong Institute of Education and Dr. Tommy Wan, a businessman and philanthropist. In addition, FFWPU leaders and other members from Korea, Japan, Taiwan and mainland China had come to bless the event with their support.

The highlights were the presentation of the awards for the Chinese language essay contest and the awards to acknowledge exemplary three- generational families. The winners were all elated and the audience was also uplifted.

In his opening remarks, Prof. Hwang declared that our campaign to recognize and revive the beautiful Chinese culture of filial piety begins here today at the Hong Kong Institute of Education. He emphasized that it is a noble concept and a core family value we cherish deeply in our hearts. It makes us happy and allows us to feel at home in the world.

Miss Choy expressed her respect for FFWPU-HK, a non-profit organization, for unconditionally organizing activities to remind us of, strengthen and advocate filial piety in society. Especially in this materialistic, modern world, she said, people neglect the practice of filial piety, and the term has almost vanished from our vocabulary.

After two and a half hours, the main event drew to a joyous conclusion. A strong point of this event was that it was a cooperative endeavor between FFWPU-HK, our related organizations and the local community. We discovered that our efforts to serve the community are appreciated. Many people are not only willing but eager to work with us to promote strong family values, including filial piety and pure love. We plan to continue to expand this event in the years to come, to remind the Chinese people that the precious concept of filial piety is essential to a happy family.

Seeing the response to this campaign -- the importance placed on reviving this vanishing quality -- leaves us feeling grateful that True Parents have taught us to be true pro-family people who have conviction and confidence. 

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