Xinhua, January 8, 2007
Xi'an, China -- With jobs hard to get, graduates are stalking the corridors of holy temples.
Famen Temple, one of the four most famous Buddhist Temples in ancient China, employed four graduate students and five with bachelors degrees at a job market at Northwest Agriculture & Forestry University on Sunday in Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi province.
It also hired 18 graduates from two other universities.
It is the first time the temple has been to a job market to employ university graduates, said Xiankong, an eminent monk from the temple.
"Our exchanges with the outside world are increasing each year, so we need professional personnel in fields such as publicity, reception and management", said Xiankong.
The temple planned to employ two doctors, three masters, 14 bachelors and two technical school graduates who have majored in foreign languages, art, economic management, gardening, information management and Chinese literature.
Nearly 60 students applied for the positions.
The recruitment was a success even if no doctors were hired, said Xiankong.
The employees need to sign a one-year contract and dwell in the temple. Unlike the Buddhist monks there, they are free to do what they want in the evening.
The salary for a graduate with a bachelor's degree is 700 to 1200 yuan (90 to 155 U.S. dollars) per month, which is the going rate in the province.
Salaries for students with higher degrees are negotiable, said Xiankong.
In 1987, archeologists found some human remains, together with 2,000 relics, in a 1,000-year-old underground hall in Famen temple. The remains are said to be the finger bones of Sakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism.
Since then Famen Temple, 118 kilometers from Xi'an, has become a holy place for Buddhists from all round the world.