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Buddhism forum gets underway

Updated : 2015-10-24
By Zhuan Ti (China Daily)

Thousands of worshippers and scholars from around the world gather in Wuxi for two-day event

The 4th World Buddhism Forum starts on Saturday at Lingshan Scenic Spot in Wuxi, Jiangsu province. The two-day forum is an important event for the global Buddhism circle, providing a high-level platform for dialogue and cooperation between Buddhist dignitaries and scholars around the world.

According to the forum's committee, the event expects to attract thousands of officials and representatives from sectors including Buddhism, education, media and politics. Attendees will gather on the banks of Taihu Lake to explore the essence of Buddhism as well as the value of Buddhism in modern times.

The theme of this year's World Buddhism Forum is "Same Wish Same Path, Exchanges and Communications."

It is hosted by the China Buddhism Association and the Chinese Religion Culture Exchange Center and organized by the 4th World Buddhism Forum Jiangsu Committee.

The event aims to demonstrate the social concern of Buddhism, highlight the basic doctrines of Chinese Buddhism and advocate communications and exchanges among different cultures. It nurtures the innovative development of Buddhist culture, to help Buddhism have a positive role in economic growth, social harmony building and cultural prosperity.

The forum includes a range of events, such as conferences, sub-forums, TV and new media forums, prayer meetings, Buddhists feasts and cultural performances.

Buddhist circles in China, Japan and South Korea initiated the World Buddhism Forum.

It is an important activity that tries to create an open platform of equality and variety for communication and cooperation among people who "love peace, life and have a loving heart to others", according to the forum committee.

Started in 2006, the forum has been held in four cities, Hangzhou, Wuxi, Taipei and Hong Kong. The forums have stressed the idea of harmony.

Lingshan Scenic Spot in Wuxi joined hands with Taipei in 2009 to hold the 2nd World Buddhism Forum. More than 1,700 dignitaries, Buddhist scholars and representatives from other sectors from nearly 50 countries and regions attended the event.

The event has given Lingshan increasing influence in terms of social and international impact. In the past six years, it has received tens of millions of visitors, of which more than 50 are state heads and more than 100 dignitaries in the Buddhist circle. At the 3rd World Buddhism Forum, Lingshan was set as the permanent host site for the event.

Jiangsu province, as one of the economic powerhouses in southern China, has been looking to its cultural strength in recent years. In the mid-1990s, the provincial government set an objective to build a "culturally strong" province.

The World Buddhism Forum this year is the largest cultural event held in the province during the past two years and follows the Youth Olympic Games in the province's capital Nanjing last year.

Wuxi, a renowned ancient city in the province, is also one of China's modern industrial and commercial hubs. It is dubbed as the country's "town of fish and rice" due to its abundant resources.

The city has picturesque scenery and a rising economy. In 2014, the city's GDP reached 820.5 billion yuan ($129 billion), up 8.2 percent on a year-on-year basis, according to data from the provincial government.

zhuanti@chinadaily.com.cn

 

The picturesque Lingshan Scenic Spot, with its iconic gaint Buddha, was selected as the permanent host site for the World Buddhism Forum during the 3rd forum in 2012. Photos provided to China Daily

 

The major venues for the ongoing forum in Lingshan Scenic Spot include the Fangong Palace (top) and facilities in Nianhua Bay (above). The scenic spot itself is also a popular tourist destination with a range of Buddha statues. zhu ye / for China Daily

(China Daily 10/24/2015 page12)

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