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International conference on “Shared Buddhist Heritage” to be held on 14-15 March

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New Delhi: An international conference on “Shared Buddhist Heritage” will be held on 14-15 March, with focus on India’s civilizational connect with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) nations 2023 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.

The event, a first of its kind, under India’s leadership of SCO (for a period of one-year, from 17 September, 2022 until September 2023) will bring together Central Asian, East Asian, South Asian and Arab countries on a common platform to discuss “Shared Buddhist Heritage”. The SCO countries comprise of Member States, Observer States and Dialogue Partners, including China, Russia and Mongolia. More than 15 scholars – delegates will be presenting research papers on the topic. These experts are from Dunhuang Research Academy, China; Institute of History, Archaeology and Ethnology, Kyrgyzstan; State Museum of the History of Religion, Russia; National Museum of Antiquities of Tajikistan; Belarusian State University and International Theravada Buddhist Missionary University, Myanmar, to mention a few.

The two-day programme is being organized by the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of External Affairs and the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC-as a grantee body of the Ministry of Culture). A number of Indian scholars of Buddhism will also participate in the event. Participants will also have the opportunity to tour some of the historical sites of Delhi.

The aim of the Conference is to re-establish trans-cultural links, seek out commonalities, between Buddhist art of Central Asia, art styles, archaeological sites and antiquity in various museums’ collections of the SCO countries.

One of the natural marvels in this world is the evolution and spread of ideas, since times immemorial. Crossing effortlessly, formidable mountains, vast oceans and national boundaries; ideas that find a home in distant lands; getting enriched with the existing cultures. So is the uniqueness of Buddha’s appeal.

Its universality crossed both time and space. Its humanistic approach permeated art, architecture, sculpture and subtle attributes of human personality; finding expression in compassion, co-existence, sustainable living and personal growth.]

The Conference is a unique meeting of the minds, where countries from different geographical regions but with a common thread connecting them based on a shared civilization legacy, strengthened by Buddhist missionaries who played a major role in integrating various cultures, communities and regions in the entire Indian subcontinent and Asia will discuss for two days’ various themes, chalking out ways to continue the age-old bonds into the future.