Why Do We Teach Buddhism in English?

Many people ask us why, in a country like Sri Lanka, we teach Buddhism in English. The answer is very simple. It is for the people here now who cannot learn as easily in Sinhala. We do this without judgment and only so they can begin to practice the Supreme Buddha’s Dhamma immediately.

There are a few different groups of people we help:

  • Sinhala children returning from overseas. Many families who moved abroad are returning to Sri Lanka to raise their children. Although these families may speak Sinhala at home, the children’s Sinhala skill is not high enough for them to benefit from attending Dhamma School in Sinhala right now.
  • Tourists and visitors to Sri Lanka. Naturally we would like visitors to our country to be able to learn the authentic teachings of the Supreme Buddha. It’s an added bonus that they can learn side by side with Sinhala people
  • Children in Sri Lanka who’s education is taking place exclusively in English medium. Parents know the abilities and nature of their children best. Many of them feel that in order for their kids to learn Buddhism quickly and effectively, they should be learning in the same medium the rest of their education is happening in. We give them that choice.
  • Anyone who’s English is stronger than their Sinhala. Colombo is a growing global community with a diversity of residents. With English being an international language, we make sure that no one looses out on the chance to learn and practice the liberating teachings of the Supreme Buddha.

When we consider the future spread of Buddhism around the world, we know that today’s English Medium students are tomorrow’s global citizens. Although they will bring many skills with them as they live and travel abroad, the most important thing for them to share with the world is the teachings of the Supreme Buddha. Having a fluent education in Buddhism in the English language, this will allow them to spread these teachings to interested people where ever they go.

Of course, Mahamevnawa Buddhist Monastey has an over 20 year history of spreading the Supreme Buddha’s teachings in Sri Lanka and around the world in Sinhala, through their monasteries, books, magazine, television station, and radio station. English medium programs are just one more facet to this meritorious project.

If you have more questions about our activities, please contact us.