Back to listApr 10, 2011

SGI-Europe Youth Members Commemorate 50th Anniversary

Young women at SGI-UK’s Taplow Court Grand Culture CentreSGI-Ireland youth members in Dublin (March 12)

The year 2011 marks the 50th anniversary of SGI President Daisaku Ikeda's first visit to Europe in 1961.

On March 12, SGI-Ireland youth members gathered in Dublin to commemorate March 16--an historic day for SGI on which young people reaffirm a sense of responsibility for creating lasting world peace. Some 90 people attended from around the country, including 20 guests.

At the meeting's outset, participants offered prayers for the victims of the March 11 earthquake and subsequent tsunamis in Japan.

SGI-Ireland Young Women's Leader Sinead Lynch shared a passage from Nichiren's writing "On Establishing the Correct Teaching for the Peace of the Land," which provides insight into how to overcome great hardships. Ms. Lynch encouraged participants to create a century of hope and happiness through dialogue based on respect for the dignity of all life.

Young women at SGI-UK’s Taplow Court Grand Culture CentreSGI-Sweden youth members in Gothenburg

In Sweden, youth members held a commemorative training session in Gothenburg from March 19-20. Some traveled from as far away as Gotland Island. SGI-Sweden General Director Fredrick Hultman highlighted the history of March 16, the development of SGI-Europe and SGI President Daisaku Ikeda's activities to promote peace and cultural understanding. The following day, break out discussion sessions on how to transform oneself and better society based on Buddhist practice were held. 

On March 20, a meeting of SGI-Norway members in Bergen included folk song performances and members' experiences about how their Buddhist practice has enabled them to better their lives.  

On April 10, SGI-UK national and regional youth leaders gathered at the SGI-UK Taplow Court Grand Culture Centre in Berkshire. SGI-UK youth leaders encouraged participants to win victory in their lives in this year of the 50th anniversary of SGI-Europe. SGI-Europe Vice Women's Leader Suzanne Pritchard lectured on The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin. She encouraged members to actualize their dreams and to establish a solid sense of self through their Buddhist practice.

Other commemorative meetings in March took place in Switzerland in Geneva, Zurich, Bern and Lugano.  

[Adapted from an article in the May 11, 2011, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photos courtesy of Seikyo Shimbun]