A Glimpse of a New World

Bridging the World

A Glimpse of a New World

Text & Photos by Juraj Polach (Volunteer from Slovakia)

Before starting to volunteer at the Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum in December 2023, I must admit that I had almost no knowledge of Buddhism. Sure – I did visit many Buddhist temples in Japan and Taiwan, but for someone growing up and living most of my life in Europe, many of the religious and historic subtleties were almost impossible to notice.

Juraj with fellow volunteer, Kurt at the Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum

One of my main duties at the museum, was to help with tour guiding. This meant quite a lot of research of not only Buddhism, but also history and importance of the different artefacts, relics and exhibits presented in the museum. I did like the challenge and the help from all the other volunteers and staff made the work very pleasant and fun. Particularly, I have enjoyed working on the most recent exhibition at the time: Silk Road Splendor – Dunhuang Caves Art Exhibition.


Juraj giving a tour at the Silk Road Splendor exhibition

Most recently, I have visited Borobudur temple in Indonesia. I feel that walking around the relief panels depicting the life of the Buddha was now much more meaningful, understanding the context I have learned during my time at Fo Guang Shan. I am grateful for my experience at the museum and excited to explore many more Buddhist places, such as Angkor Wat in Cambodia and learn more about Buddhism. Hopefully one day I will be able to return to Fo Guang Shan and share this knowledge with other curious visitors.

Juraj at Borobudur Temple in Indonesia

To volunteer at the Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum, please sign up at joinus.fgsbm.org