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Buddhism

Back to listNov 17, 2013

SGI-Netherlands Holds Soka Peace Festival

The Grand FinaleThe event's grand finale

On November 17, in commemoration of the founding of the Soka Gakkai (on November 18, 1930), SGI-Netherlands held a peace festival at the World Forum International conference center in The Hague. Some 1,600 people participated.

The festival included a youth dance performance, a presentation on the history of SGI-Netherlands, and individual experiences about how practicing Buddhism has helped people overcome their struggles in life. SGI President Daisaku Ikeda sent a congratulatory message to the meeting. 

Ruud Lubbers Guest speaker Ruud Lubbers addressing the meeting

Special guest Ruud Lubbers, former prime minister of the Netherlands, applauded the involvement of SGI youth in efforts to abolish nuclear weapons, saying that youth becoming part of this movement is of crucial importance, even if the goal may seem difficult to achieve. With reference to the challenge of transcending difference, he stressed a unique characteristic of the SGI as follows: "Very often people say that life is so complicated. Here, you of the Soka movement are already clearly showing that this is not true. What is needed is for us to together sow the seeds of peace, happiness and trust."

Many friends of SGI-Netherlands and official guests joined the meeting, including representatives of UNESCO-Netherlands and Radboud University Nijmegen.

[Adapted from reports from SGI-Netherlands and an article in the December 6, 2013, issue of Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photos courtesy of Seikyo Shimbun and Vinita Salome]