Back to listJul 14, 2008

Commemorative Cultural Festival Held in Indonesia; SGI Representatives Meet with Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla

Performing a traditional dance

On July 13, 2008, the "Religious Art Festival for Peace" took place at the Jakarta International Event and Convention Centre, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Indonesia and Japan. The musical extravaganza was co-organized by Soka Gakkai Indonesia (SGI-Indonesia), the Indonesian Muslim Artists and Culturalists Institute (Lesbumi) of Nahdlatul Ulama, the largest Muslim organization in Indonesia and the Indonesian National Youth Committee (KNPI), Indonesia's largest youth organization.

The event aimed to promote the spirit of brotherhood and tolerance among religions and highlight how art and culture can transcend differences. Some 350 SGI-Indonesia members presented a spectacular show for an audience of 5,000. The performances included a children's musical, a young women's flag twirling team (color guard), young men executing dynamic gymnastic feats, traditional Indonesian dance and women playing the Angklung, a traditional Indonesian bamboo instrument.

Guests included former Indonesian President KH Abdurrahman Wahid and his wife Sinta Nuriyah Wahid, State Minister of Administrative Reform Taufik Effendi, Jakarta Special Provincial Assembly Chair Ade Surapriatna and Japan's Deputy Ambassador to Indonesia Satoru Sato. SGI Vice President Hiromasa Ikeda and General Director Yoshitaka Oba, representing the SGI, also attended.

Performers are accompanied by SGI-Indonesia women playing the Angklung, a traditional Indonesian bamboo instrument

Prior to the festival, Lesbumi, which encourages local cultural activities and fosters young performing artists, honored SGI President Daisaku Ikeda for his dedicated efforts to advance education and culture leading to the creation of a peaceful society.

On July 14, 2008, an SGI delegation headed by Hiromasa Ikeda paid a courtesy call on Indonesia's Vice President Jusuf Kalla at his office in Jakarta. During their meeting, Mr. Ikeda thanked Mr. Kalla for his support of SGI activities, including the festival held on the previous day. Expressing his respect and appreciation for SGI members' grassroots efforts, Mr. Kalla stated that lasting peace can be realized through dialogue which deepens mutual understanding and goes beyond racial and religious differences. He also emphasized that working to improve social welfare based on justice and fairness is essential in maintaining peace. On behalf of the members of SGI-Indonesia members, Mr. Ikeda stated that they would continue to work as exemplary citizens, contributing to their respective communities and to the prosperity of the country as a whole. SGI General Director Yoshinori Oba, SGI-Indonesia Chair Peter Nurhanpeter and Vice Men's Leader Tetsuji Taguchi also attended.

[Adapted from articles in the July 16 and 18, 2008 issues of the Seikyo Shimbun, Japan]