SGI-UK Participates in Interfaith Events
On May 29, SGI-UK's Glorious Life Chorus performed at a Wesak event marking the 2,600th anniversary of Shakyamuni Buddha's enlightenment, held at the Hammersmith Town Hall in London. Wesak is an annual holiday traditionally observed by Buddhists in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Southeast Asian countries.
The 2600th Sambuddha Jayanthi Committee organized the Wesak event in cooperation with various Buddhist organizations in the UK. This was the first time SGI-UK was invited to take part.
The celebration started off with a flag bearer's procession, followed by lighting of a ceremonial lamp. Participants enjoyed various performances, including singing and dancing. The SGI-UK choir sang a song based on SGI President Daisaku Ikeda's poem called "Life is a Voyage." Guest speakers gave talks on present-day perspectives on Buddhism.
On June 11, SGI-UK members from Manchester represented SGI at the Manchester Buddhist Convention--an event designed to promote harmony among different Buddhist groups.
SGI-UK representatives spoke about the SGI, the practice of Nichiren Buddhism and the youth-led "Victory Over Violence" initiative to tackle youth violence, which originated in the US and has now been taken up by members in Manchester.
The convention also included a panel discussion and Q&A session with representatives from various Buddhist groups, including several SGI-UK members.
[Adapted from articles in the June 15, 2011, issue of the SGI-UK Online News Bulletin; photos courtesy of Deborah Ripley]