Peace and Disarmament
Culture of Peace Exhibition Held in South Delhi, India
From November 21-23, 2008, the SGI's exhibition "Building a Culture of Peace for the Children of the World" was held at the Balvantray Mehta Vidya Bhavan Auditorium in South Delhi, India. Bharat Soka Gakkai (BSG) organized the exhibit and Tata Indicom sponsored. Some 3,000 visited.
Kiran Segal, a leading Odissi classical dancer, was the guest of honor and cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony. Ms. Segal remarked that the exhibition offers "Straightforward ways to overcome the animosity that exists amongst us today." She was moved by the messages on the panels such as, "When it comes to patriotism, you should love your country; but why does love have to stop at the border?" Ms. Segal expressed her hope that the exhibition would also be taken to smaller towns.
To attract children and students to the exhibit, BSG youth and student members planned activities such as the "Drawing Board," on which children less than 10 could express themselves. A quiz titled "Do you know your neighbour?" encouraged exhibit goers to connect with their neighbours and deepen friendships. Animated films based on SGI President Daisaku Ikeda's children’s stories, "The Cherry Tree," "Winds of Victory" and "The Princess and the Moon," were screened daily. "U-Xpress" provided an opportunity for older children to post responses to statements such as "Ordinary people have the power to effect change," "Nuclear weapons: trigger war or ensure peace" and "How can I contribute to a culture of peace."
On November 23, BSG youth led a vibrant discussion on issues confronting young people today. Debating the merits of a competitive society, one girl confidently shared how she has been trying to compete with no one but herself, striving to better herself today from what she was yesterday. The film Another Way of Seeing Things was another highlight of the event.
Exhibit goers left comments in the visitors' book saying they were encouraged by the exhibition, with comments such as "Set me thinking what I can do to contribute my bit for world peace."
[Adapted from a report from Bharat Soka Gakkai (BSG), India; photos courtesy of BSG]