Here’s an update from Nhu Ho of Vietnam about their participation at the Live Simple Day of action in Ho Chi Minh City where Buddhist leader  His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa 12th, join climate groups in calling for urgent actions by individuals and governments to protect the planet


On Sunday October 4th, 2015, more than 400 young people gathered at Vinh Nghiem Temple, Ho Chi Minh City from 7:00 AM to join the Day of Action that concludes the Live Simple campaign that CHANGE/350 Vietnam had coordinated in association with YDA (Young Drukpa Association) Vietnam. The campaign was on the occasion of the official visit of His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa 12th (*) to Vietnam, to pray for peace and prosperity and call on urgent actions to protect the planet.

Live Simple campaign promotes low impact lifestyles that every person should adopt to reduce impacts on the planet, including simple actions such as recycling, riding bikes, saving energy, using household renewable energy, planting trees, going vegetarian etc. Live Simple inspires people to live in harmony with nature, appreciate and protect natural resources and species, for their own as well as the planet’s well-being. Vietnamese celebrities joined this campaign, leading by examples, and helping to spread the word wide and far. During the campaign week, young people were encouraged to take pictures of their low impact lifestyles for sharing on CHANGE/350 Vietnam’s social media.

The Day of Action was an opportunity for the participants to learn more about the climate crisis that the humans are facing, to understand the reasons behind the Live Simple campaign. Five interactive areas, named “Climate Corner”, “Solar Corner”, “Recycle Corner”, “Organics Corner’ and “Tree Planting Corner” were set up at the event to educate and engage the participants in the activities. At the Climate Corner, people had opportunities to learn about climate change and how the earth was being destroyed by human activities, through video clips, banners and pictures. Artivism activities, including a “coal meal”, “coal tea“, “coal statues” helped to raise the awareness about the negative impacts of coal on the environment and human health. At the other corners, visitors found out about the simple things they could do to contribute to solutions to the climate crisis, such as using renewable energy for household appliances at the Solar Corner, recycling throw-away stuffs into useful stuffs at the Recycle Corner, using bio-degradable materials or choosing natural ingredients at the Organics Corner, and planting trees in recycled containers to bring home at the Tree Planting Corner.

Participating in the event were also Vietnamese celebrities including singer-musician Ha Okio and the Nam Dong Ke Band, whose performances brought even more excitement to the atmosphere. These celebrities shared their thoughts on living simply and being vegetarians themselves to minimize impacts on the environment.
After getting engaged in the activities at the action corner, the participants had a special opportunity to attend the talk by His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa. His Holliness shared about his passion on making the planet a better place, by inspiring people to reduce their impacts through living simply, adopting good habits, such as turning off the lights, using less water, saving energy… “We all come from nature and are part of it,” he said, “Everyone should stop over consuming the resources of the planet, to keep it alive for the future generations”. In an effort to create even bigger changes, His Holiness joined the participants in sending a strong message to the world leaders who will gather at COP21 in Paris in coming December, to demand them to take urgent and bold actions to protect the planet from the devastating climate catastrophes.
“It is a wonderful Sunday as it not only helps me understand more about climate change and the environment, but also shows the simple way how I can be part of the solution. Now I realize that protecting the planet is everyone’s responsibility and every small action and every small voice can really make a change.” – said Kim Nhi, a student from Agriculture & Forestry University.
Live Simple is a campaign that has kick-started a series of climate actions that 350 Vietnam is going to coordinate in the country in the coming year, including ones around COP21.

(*): His Holiness is recognized by people in many Himalayan countries as the authentic manifestation of Avalokiteshvara and reincarnation of renowned enlightened masters such as Naropa and Gampopa. He is an educator, an international activist, and the spiritual leader of the Drukpa Lineage of Mahayana – Vajrayana Buddhism, which originated 1,000 years ago in India, and nowadays have practitioners and followers in many countries across the world.
In addition to being responsible for leading a system of thousands of monasteries, millions of monks and nuns and followers, His Holiness has also been honored as an international activist in education and environment with many prestigious recognition such as the Green Hero award, the Glory of India Award; he was also named “The Guardian of the Himalayas” by the Waterkeeper Alliance, and most notably awarded with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Honor. One of His Holiness’s projects was the Druk White Lotus School in Ladakh, India, which has received international awards for its sustainable design, including the ‘Inspiring Design – International’ award from the British Council for School. 

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