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Buddhism in Action for Peace
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On October 12, SGI-Indonesia held a peace culture festival themed “Creating a New Era of Hope in Indonesia” at the Istora Senayan indoor sporting arena in Jakarta. The event, which was cosponsored by the Ministry of Education and Culture of Indonesia, marked both the 10th anniversary of the establishment of SGI-Indonesia as well as Youth Pledge Day, when, on October 28, 1928, Indonesian youth made a pledge for the unity of the country at the Second Youth Congress. Some 9000 people, including 1600 performers and 550 staff members, participated from across the country.
Guests included Sinta Nuriyah, former first lady of Indonesia; Muhammad Nuh, then Minister of Education and Culture of Indonesia, who gave opening remarks; and Purnomo Yusgiantoro, then Minister of Defense. SGI President Daisaku Ikeda also sent a message expressing his wish for the festival to ignite a “flame of courage” in people’s hearts toward the creation of a hope-filled future, and serve to strengthen solidarity for peace.
The festival showcased entertainment by local performing arts associations as well as SGI-Indonesia men’s, women’s, and youth divisions, with entertainment ranging from choral and dance performances to traditional music ensembles. Some highlights were a group of over 100 SGI-Indonesia women’s division members playing the angklung, a traditional bamboo instrument, a performance by 120 members of the Kolintang Performers Association, dance performances by the Indonesian Art College and a fan dance by SGI-Indonesia men’s division members.
In preparation for the event, SGI members, most of whom are not professional artists, took part in weekly rehearsals over a number of months, with some travelling long distances to attend practices. Through their participation in the festival some members commented they had been able to express and reaffirm their determination to work for peace in their respective communities.
The exhibition “Seeds of Hope: Visions of sustainability, steps toward change,” created by Earth Charter International and SGI, was also shown. The exhibition uses the slogan “It starts with one” to highlight the fact that a single individual can initiate positive change.
Adapted from a report from SGI-Indonesia and an article in the October 23, 2014, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan; photos courtesy of SGI-Indonesia.
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