Sunday Dhamma School
Ketumati Buddhist Vihara - Sunday Dhamma School
At each stage, children learn different subjects such as Jataka Tales, short Buddhist chantings, writings, rules, and the life story of Buddha, his enlightenment, and Dhamma teachings like the Four Noble Truths and the Eight-Fold Path. Parents often teach younger classes, while the priests of the temple teach older students as they approach their exams. At the end of each year, every child sits an exam and receives a certificate recognizing their achievements.
Dhamma School is not only about teaching Buddhism. The children also participate in many of the temple’s religious festivals, giving them the opportunity to “live and learn” Buddhist ways of life. During these festivals, children put on small performances for parents and attendees. Katina celebrations feature a sermon from monks from neighboring cities, and a Thevara (a monk’s robe) is presented to one of the monks.
The Sri Lankan New Year, celebrated on 14th April, is one of the main cultural celebrations at the temple. The festivities include traditional dances, songs, acting, and readings. Children of all ages are welcome to join in the dances, either in groups led by parents or teachers or in groups without adult assistance. At the end of the performances, there are fun games organized for both children and adults, with prizes awarded to the winners. The celebration is a non-competitive event and serves as a fun end-of-year gathering for the community. It’s also when the children receive their certificates congratulating them on their exams.