Rapping Korean nuns fire up prayer competition in effort to attract youth
By Jung Ha-Won, AFP
July 18, 2014, 12:15 am TWN
SEOUL--South Korea's top Buddhist organization held an experimental "prayer competition" Thursday, featuring rapping nuns and singing monks in a bid to attract new, younger followers.
More than 300 monks and nuns packed a large temple in downtown Seoul to take part in the competition hosted by the Jogye Order.
Participants — mostly young monks — chanted prayers, or invocations, from classic Buddhist scriptures, as well as "freestyle" prayers they composed.
While many delivered traditional, monotone recitations, some opted for something bolder.
A group of three young nuns delivered a blistering performance of a rap song derived from The Heart Sutra — one of the most popular Buddhist scriptures — and using their own lyrics promoting love and harmony.
"Great wisdom, perfect wisdom. Buddha's teachings that show you the way!" Hye-Kang bellowed loudly out to cheers from hundreds of excited followers and monks.