SGI-Romania Established as Chapter
On June 23, a meeting of SGI-Romania members was held in Bucharest to commemorate its establishment as a chapter, following its formation as a district in 2007.
In a message sent to the meeting, SGI President Daisaku Ikeda recalled his first visit to the former People's Republic of Romania in 1983, when he gave a lecture at Bucharest University titled "Standing at the Crossroads of Civilizations." Romania, at the time, was under communist rule and did not allow its citizens freedom to practice religion. On that visit, Mr. Ikeda encouraged his audience, saying that no matter what kind of difficulties one may face, the first step is to plant the seed of friendship and dialogue.
To the current members of SGI-Romania, Mr. Ikeda conveyed his hope that each and every one of them would be citizens who, grounded in their Buddhist practice, can contribute to the well-being of society and those around them.
At the commemorative meeting one woman spoke about how she first encountered Nichiren Buddhism in Italy and through her practice was able to continue pursuing her dream of becoming a massage therapist, despite harsh circumstances. Eventually, she succeeded in realizing her goal.
SGI-Romania's Women's Chapter Leader Rika Sato also urged members to embody the never-give-up spirit and, together, create a wonderful history for the country. Lastly, SGI-Europe Chair Hideaki Takahashi gave final words of encouragement.
[Adapted from an article in the July 6, 2012, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photo courtesy of Seikyo Shimbun]