SGI-Austria Celebrates 30th Anniversary
On June 25, SGI-Austria held a Friendship Meeting at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, in celebration of the 30th anniversary of SGI-Austria's formation. Guests included Austrian Buddhist Society President Gerhard Weißgrab and his wife, as well as SGI members from Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia and 11 other countries and territories. In total, over 1,200 attended.
With the theme "Winter Always Turns to Spring," the meeting touched upon topics such as the recent economic depression in Europe and the fragmentation of human relationships in modern-day society and offered insight into how to reveal one's inherent potential in order to overcome obstacles.
The meeting included a performance directed by Reto Nickler, who has worked at the Vienna State Opera, and actress Elisabeth Augustin. There was also a performance from Richard Wagner's Die Walküre by an opera singer and pianist. Other performances included jazz, classical Japanese dance and hip hop.
In addition, two women read SGI President Daisaku Ikeda's photo essay Travels Around the Globe: My Home Is the World--Austria: A Musical Genius in the Vienna Woods.
At another 30th anniversary meeting held at the SGI-Austria Culture Center on June 26, SGI President Daisaku Ikeda sent a message in which he explained that the purpose of faith is to help one become strong and live cheerfully and that it is a source of hope and courage. He also called on everyone to win in life through embodying a youthful spirit.
At the same meeting, Valerie Lebaux-Williams was appointed SGI-Austria Women's Leader. Ms. Lebaux-Williams shared her determination to raise capable youth who will take the lead in SGI's movement for world peace.
[Adapted from an article in the July 5, 2011, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photos courtesy of Seikyo Shimbun]