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Burmese Buddhist monastery opens in Finland

by Yee May Aung, DVB, Jan 5, 2009

Kuopio, Finland -- The first Burmese Buddhist monastery in Finland was officially consecrated in Kuopio on 3 January by five monks led by Penang abbot U Pannya Wuntha and abbot U Uttara of London’s Sasana Ramsi Vihara.

The Buddha Dhamma Ramsi monastery was set up by Burmese Buddhists living in Finland with the help of the abbots, according to monastery secretary Kyaw Htay.

"A monk who is currently serving in London will come to reside here and we are expecting another from the foreign missionary board,” he said.

“We have agreed to see to their material needs."

Kyaw Htay said around 300 people took part in the ceremony, which marked the culmination of more than three years’ work.

"The effort to set up a monastery in Finland started in 2005 when U Pannya Wuntha visited the country,” Kyaw Htay said.

“He provided us with the basic capital and we saved our hard-earned money to make it happen."

Finland is one of several countries to which Burmese refugees have been resettled since 2005.

Finnish law requires refugees to study or work, which has made it difficult for Burmese Buddhist monks to continue in their vocation.


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