SGI Members in Africa and Romania Celebrate Soka Gakkai's Anniversary
SGI members held joyful gatherings to celebrate May 3rd, Soka Gakkai's anniversary, in their respective countries:.
SGI-Romania members met in Bucharest, Romania's capital, on May 6, together with SGI-Europe Vice Chair Peter Kuehn. In June 1983, SGI President Daisaku Ikeda visited Romania and lectured at the University of Bucharest. Following the 1989 revolutions that marked the fall of Communism in Europe, Romania suffered from unending political, economic and upheaval. During such turbulent times, SGI-Romania members have continued to pray and contribute to creating a genuine happy society. Paolo Dall'Ara, who was introduced to Nichiren Buddhism in Italy, moved to Romania and began a wine-related business. Lending an ear to their problems and concerns, he has continued to encourage and inspire his fellow members to challenge their lives with the philosophy of Nichiren Buddhism. He travels 350 kilometers to meet with those living in outlying areas. Through his efforts, the handful of members has grown steadily. Doina Gheorghe, a mathematics professor, joined the group last year, drawn to the idea of "human revolution," an inner-directed positive transformation through the creation of value. Tanu Patnaik, an active women's division member, moved to Romania from India as a result of her husband's work. Mr. Kuehn praised SGI members in Romania for their growth and for their being on good terms with one another. Their meetings have a family-like atmosphere and guests are drawn to the warmth.
SGI-South Africa leaders met from April 29 through May 1 in Capetown. SGI members from neighboring Namibia joined their South African counterparts from Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, Mpumalanga and Capetown for a leadership training session titled, "Leading from the Inside Out," that focused on challenging to make positive, inner-directed transformation that reflects in external relationships. The group studied "The Heritage of the Ultimate Law of Life" from The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, with presentations by the youth. They also shared activity reports and discussed requisite qualities for leaders.
On May 7, eight SGI-Tanzania members and three guests met in Dar es Salaam, where they studied Soka Gakkai's history and shared experiences of practicing Nichiren Buddhism. A couple who attended the meeting said they responded positively to the sonorous sound of chanting "Nam-myoho-renge-kyo," which inspired hope and courage.
On May 7, SGI members in Uganda also celebrated May 3rd in Kampala, Uganda's capital. Some 26 people, including guests, held meaningful and cheerful discussions on Buddhist philosophy, as well as studied Soka Gakkai's history. The participants each made a fresh determination to contribute to lasting peace and happiness in their country.