Korean Festival Held in Iowa, USA
On May 24, 2009, more than 200 SGI-USA members and guests attended the first SGI-USA Midwest Zone Korean Festival, held at the Iowa City Public Library, Iowa, USA. Some participants drove from Michigan--three states away--while several young men and women traveled from the neighboring states of Illinois, Nebraska and Minnesota to support behind the scenes. SGI-USA's Iowa City Chapter hosted the event that celebrated Korean culture and introduced Nichiren Buddhism and its core tenet of positive inner transformation resulting in beneficial changes in one's circumstances, also called human revolution.
The festival opened with several musical performances, including a piano duet by Do Hee Kim and Yun Ha Noh, who played a piece from the opera "Aida." Elementary school students performed a lively dance. Several members also shared how they have learned to create value and progress in their daily lives through their study and practice of Nichiren Buddhism.
SGI-USA Korean Language Group Advisor Jim Nobukuni elaborated on the concept of human revolution, encouraging everyone attending to take responsibility for their own lives. "If you can change in the present moment, your future will change as well," Mr. Nobukuni said. "This is the surest way to advance in life."
The festival closed with Korean youth members from Chicago performing samul nori, a genre of traditional percussion music from Korea.
[Adapted from an article in the July 3, 2009 issue of the World Tribune, SGI-USA; photos courtesy of Terry Fowler]