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Asian Cultural Exchange and Cooperation

Time:2013-12-13 14:41:04    Views:950799    Origin:Boao Forum for Asia

 Excellencies,

    Honorable Members of the Boao Forum for Asia,

    Distinguished delegates,

    Participants,

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    Good afternoon.

    On behalf of my colleagues in the Boao Forum for Asia, and my own behalf, I extend to you all, a hearty welcome to the Roundtable on Asian Cultural Exchange and Cooperation.

    At the outset, may I say, that the Boao Forum for Asia(BFA), in the short span of a little over 3 years since its inception in this picturesque aquapolis, has been able to win the hearts and minds of so many of you, is really heartening, and as one of its proud founding initial members and Chief Representative of Bangladesh to BFA, it fills me with a sweet sense of success. This has been indeed possible due to Boao's relentless pursuit of its objectives in promoting meaningful dialogue on common issues of cooperation and development both among countries of Asia and Pacific, and with others beyond our region.

    The membership of the Forum comprises of countries in the continent of Asia, as well as the Asian Island countries, and Australia. These countries are diverse and different in their size, terrain, population, socio-political orientation, legal system, history, clime, flora and fauna, and above all, culture. Each is unique with its own distinctive characteristics, in its own way, and yet we can discern an unmistakable common thread of unity that identifies these countries as distinct parts which together make up the great continent, that is our Asia, the largest of the continents home of nearly one-half of the earth's population. Asia is as much one as it is many. Rich and varied Asia is indeed a cultural cauldron, a cultural rainbow. How wonderfully it matches the idea expressed by the great Bengali Nobel Laureate, poet Rabindranath Tagore:  RM?Zi gv?S KZ wewP? Zzwg?n, Zzwg wewP? i?wcbx --"how varied art thee in the universe, thou are indeed the diversity-incarnate".

    Distinguished delegates

    Ladies and Gentlemen:

    The theme of the current session is Asian Cultural Exchange and Cooperation. In view of the cultural diversities of our Asian countries, it is imperative that there should be constant contact and interaction among these cultures so that each of our peoples could share the richness of the diversity, and take rightful pride in being Asian. Cultural exchanges and cooperation enrich individuals as much they do nations. The present century is not only a century of economic globalization; it is also an era of cultural globalization. The Swan lake and Nutcrackers ballets, once monopoly of Russian Boilshoi Ballet Group is now played by local artists in many countries. Ramayana and Mahabharata dance dramas are staged more often in Indonesia than perhaps in India. Bharatnatyam dances are staged in many cities far away from the shores of India and Bangladesh. On the culinary vein, Chinese embassies abroad are no longer the only place where genuine Chinese foods are served. They have become a common culinary experience in many parts of the world. The cultural globalization has, however, brought along the danger of misrepresentation and distortion of the cultural heritage of one country among the unsuspecting populace of the other. Thus, while promoting cultural exchanges and cooperation we need to guard against all possible distortions, whether out of ignorance or otherwise. Genuine cultural organizations of real renown should only engage in cultural exchanges and cultural cooperation need to be carefully monitored. It is the imperative requisite of the day, that while we promote cultural globalization through exchanges and cooperation, we meticulously ensure, individual cultural characteristics, distinct cultural traditions, and the heritage of nations retain their pristine and unadulterated identity.

    Distinguished delegates,

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    Those amongst us who attended the Guillin International Conference on Tourism jointly organized by the Boao  Forum for Asia(BFA) and the Asia Cooperation Dialogue(ACD) and sponsored by the Guillin Municipal Government in November 2002 would recall the excellent cultural synthesis comprising items from a number of member countries presented that enthralled the spectators. It would, thus, remain the chosen goal of the Forum to promote cultural exchanges and cooperation among Asian countries as well as between countries of Asia and other parts of the world. And, in this way, we may ultimately succeed in building genuine global partnership and a world community.

    Distinguished delegates   

    Ladies and Gentlemen:

    We have some distinguished Speakers for the roundtable. I, as much as you, am eagerly waiting to hear their valuable speeches on important and timely topics before the Roundtable. I would like to give floor to them in turn in the order as their names appear in the programme circulated by the Secretariat. 

    Distinguished delegates   

    Ladies and Gentlemen:

    Asia has awakened today and we are proud of this positive development. The Greater Asian civilization has been characterized by a composite culture of enormous diversity for over 5000 years. We can learn of and be acquainted with the culture and civilization of other Asian countries only through active cooperation in exchanging knowledge of each other's cultural heritage and activities.

    

    In this respect our first speaker this afternoon, Mr. Josue Villa, former Ambassador of the Philippines to China would be delivering his speech on"Asian Cultural Exchange and Cooperation."

    Ambassador Josue Villa is a veteran diplomat who was until recently the Ambassador of the Philippines to the People's Republic of China and concurrently accredited to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and Mongolia. He had earlier served as his country's Ambassador to Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. In fact, prior to his retirement, Ambassador Villa held many important assignments both at home and abroad. At present, Ambassador Villa is a Consultant at the Ramos Peace and Development Foundation of the Philippines and engaged in private venture.

    May I now call upon Ambassador Josue Villa to please take the floor.

    I thank Ambassador Josue Villa for his lucid address. He has given us a clear picture of what we, as nations, have to undertake in terms of cultural exchange and cooperation in this on going process of globalization, to enable appreciation and acknowledgement of each other's culture.

    Distinguished delegates    

    Ladies and Gentlemen:

    Our next speaker is Mr. Reginald Chua, Editor of The Asian Wall Street Journal. He has kindly agreed to speak on the topic of the Business of news and information in Asia, a topic befitting his field and forte. As I request him to deliver his speech I must stress on Mr. Reginald Chua's illustrious career as a correspondent, journalist, writer and editor in different newspapers and journals, which has earned him a Pulitzer Prize. He has also received the Overseas Press Club of America Award, as well as the Award for Excellence in English Language newspapers for three consecutive years.

    Mr. Reginald Chua, please--- you have the floor now.

    I thank for your very enlightening and informative speech that has given us yet another dimension and insight of the nature and importance of media and communications in conveying a nation's culture beyond all conceivable borders.

    Distinguished delegates    

    Ladies and Gentlemen:

    As I said earlier that Asia has a composite culture. The national culture of a country in Asia is a part of this composite Asian culture.

    I would like now to request Mr. A. Kamaldinov, Head of Foreign Affairs Division of the office of Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan to deliver his speech on the subject of Scientific and Cultural Relations of Kazakhstan with Asia.

    Before Mr. A. Kamaldinov speaks, the participants would be pleased to know that he is a seasoned diplomat who had served his government for years in many capacities in Kazakhstan's Embassies abroad and at home. Now he holds the strategic important position in the Office of the Prime Minister from where he has an overall perspective of the promotion of his country's culture to far flung countries of the world. 

    May I now call upon Mr. A. Kamaldinov to share his experiences with us.  Mr. Kamaldinov, you have the floor please.

    I thank Mr. A. Kamaldinov for his very enlightening statement that has definitely afforded us with some knowledge of the activities zealously adopted in Kazakhstan for the promotion of its rich, varied and exotic culture all over the world.

    Distinguished delegates    

    Ladies and Gentlemen:

    We have heard the important speeches of three of our learned speakers. Each has enlightened us with his experience in the field of his competence. I would like to open the floor for a half an hour session for discussions and questions and answers. The delegates desirous of commenting on the speeches are welcome to do so. I will however request them to confine their comments to the specific subjects of the speeches and not to take more than two minutes each. Those desirous of asking questions should also be direct and precise and address their questions to the speaker concerned. In order that we can optimize the utilization of our time no speaker may be asked more than two questions.   

    The floor is open for discussions and questions and answers.  Kindly identify yourselves and specify which of the speeches you are going to comment on or the speaker you are going to put the question to.

    (Discussions and Q& A).

    Distinguished delegates,

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    We have indeed had an interesting session already. It is time that we take a break. There will be a coffee break now for 15 minutes. We will assemble again at this pavilion exactly at 4.35 pm to continue with the Roundtable and hear the rest three of our distinguished speakers.

    Distinguished delegates,

    Participants,

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    I welcome you again to the Roundtable on Asian Cultural Exchange and Cooperation and resume where we left.  We will now hear the rest of our distinguished speakers before inviting discussants for floor discussions and questions and answers. 

    Distinguished delegates   

    Ladies and Gentlemen:

    I draw your kind attention to the topic:"Promoting Asian Film and TV culture through Cooperation." Every country of Asia has its own distinct culture and cultural activities and it is unreservedly acknowledged that film and television are modern modes of projecting the cultural treasure of a country and acquainting other peoples with its rich culture.

    Therefore, due to its relevance now I would give the floor to Mr. Tang Jili(Mr. Stanley Tong) to deliver his speech on the topic:"Promoting Asian Film and TV culture through Cooperation."

    However, before Mr. Tang Jili takes the floor, let me reiterate what everybody else is aware of, that is, he is a famous Movie Director whose films, displaying all the beauty and magic of his country's culture through stories containing the subtleties of human feelings and human relationship, has charmed as well as enriched audiences in film festivals and movie halls all over the world. Needless to mention, Mr. Jili's fine technique and realistic directions have won many laurels and distinctions worldwide.

    Mr. Tang Jili, you have the floor.

    I thank Mr. Tang Jili for his learned address. He has so ably drawn our minds to the importance of greater interaction and interfacing among the cultural organizations of our countries.

    Distinguished delegates   

    Ladies and Gentlemen:

    It is no doubt a fact that entertainment Industry is flourishing rapidly in Asia and India is playing a leading role in this regard. A concerted as well as a cooperative effort is the need of the hour to take the Asia's entertainment industry to the international stage.

    On this very interesting subject, we would like to hear from Mr.Amit Khanna his thoughts and ideas on the topic:"21st century Entertainment: India leads an Asian dominance"

    Before I call upon Mr. Amit Khanna to take the floor, I would like to inform you that this distinguished gentleman is a man of many qualities and achievements. He has worked in theatre, radio, television, journalism, films and news media. He began his film career as an Executive Producer in 1971. Since then he has written over 400 film songs, and a dozen film scripts. Mr. Amit Khanna set up the PLUS CHANNEL in 1990, India's first entertainment conglomerate where he produced 10 feature films and over 500 music albums in various genres and languages. In June 2000, he launched Reliance Entertainment. At present he writes extensively in various magazines and newspapers, and holds many important positions in the private and the public sectors. He has also won several national and international awards. 

    Mr. Amit Khanna, please. You have floor.

    I thank you for your excellent deliberations that has provided us with sense of what the world of entertainment can really do to promote culture of one's nation in a pleasant and delightful way all across the world.

    Distinguished delegates    

    Ladies and Gentlemen:

    Now I would have the pleasure of requesting Mr.Jiro Nemoto, Honorary Chairman of NYK of Japan to deliver his speech. However, before I do so, let me say that Mr. Jiro Nemoto has held important positions in Japan, including Chairmanships of Japan Federation Employers Association, the Land Policy Council, the Petroleum Council, the Central Council for Education, and the Japan Business Federation. For his tireless work, Mr. Jiro Nemoto was awarded the First Class Order of the Sacred Treasure in April 2000, and the Commander's Cross of Order of Germany.

    Mr. Jiro Nemoto, please, you have the floor to speak on Fusion of Eastern and Western Culture.

    I thank you for your excellent speech, particularly on that aspect containing a vivid picture of the rich and refined Japanese culture and the way of life.

    Distinguished delegates,

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    We have come to the end of the list of distinguished speakers at the Roundtable.  I believe I speak for all of you to when I say that each of the speakers has spoken eloquently and enlivened the Roundtable with his own experience and expertise. I would like to open the floor for comments from the floor and questions and answers. The participants wishing to comment on the points raised in the speeches are welcome to do so. I will however request them to confine their comments to the specific subjects of the speeches and not to take more than two minutes each. Those desirous of asking questions should please be direct and precise and address their questions to the speaker concerned. In order that we can accommodate maximum questions no speaker may be asked more than two questions.   

    The floor is open for discussions and questions and answers.  Kindly identify yourselves and specify which of the speeches you are going to comment on or the speaker you are going to put the question to.

    (Discussions and Q& A).

    Distinguished delegates,

    Participants,

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    We have now come to the end of our Roundtable.  However, before I conclude, I would like to say a few words about the culture and civilization of Asia.

    About 6,000 years from today, the beginning of all civilizations of the world can be traced to Asia. And since, then, Asia has made contribution after contribution to the development of man and their culture and civilization.

    Today from the earliest times the Asian culture can be divided mainly in three divisions:

    --- The West Asian culture dominated by the Arabian and the Iranian culture;

    --- The South Asian culture of the South Asian sub-continent that had played an important role throughout the ages;

    --- And the East Asian culture in which China played a dominating role.

    These three patterns developed independently, and though through the ages they have time and again met and mingled, they had retained their distinct identities.

    Distinguished delegates,

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    Asia has been a composite culture and civilization for at least 5,000 years. Asia has through many centuries played a significant role in the development of human life, human thought and human civilization.

    Our great poet Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore said:"If knowledge is compared with a diamond then culture is the ray spread from it".

    Again, William James defined culture as"real culture lives by sympathies and admirations, not by dislikes and disdains--- under all misleading wrappings it pounces unerringly upon the human core".

    And so, I think the message of Asian culture should be of human fellowship, of human understanding, of greater compassion, of toleration, of love, of living together with peace, of forgiveness, of goodness and of contention. This is the message, which Asia needs, more today, than at any other time. I think this is possible only through cultural exchanges and cooperation among the Asian countries.  Culture makes life worth living. Cultural exchanges create the opportunity to know each other. It helps better understanding of each other.

    Asian cultural exchanges and cooperation can make better attachment among Asian people; characterize mutual affection and esteem and goodwill. The cultural exchanges and cooperation can have a significant influence on one's behavior, self-esteem, and overall pursuit of happiness in life. Unfortunately, in the last few centuries, Asian people have not maintained the same contact with one another. We are seeking to revive those contacts today through cultural exchanges and cooperation.

    Distinguished delegates,

    Ladies and Gentlemen,

    The cultural exchanges and cooperation among countries not only bring them closer, but also contribute largely in boosting the economies of the respective countries.

    The cultural exchanges will not only enrich and influence the present generation, but through the sharing of knowledge and culture, the coming generations would be enlightened. Our future is based on what we are today and what we were yesterday. Let the Asian countries come up with cooperative efforts that they are the sharers of common cultures and promote a composite Asian culture that we all should be proud of. The cooperation, therefore, must not be of an inward-looking, closed nature, but one characterized by openness to the world outside Asia.

    Cooperation both within Asia and with countries of other regions must be pursued in right earnest. I believe Asia should set an example for the world today by seeking regional cooperation that transcends national and ethnic distinctions. Asian countries, which already have rich cultures, can make a significant contribution by way of cultural exchanges among themselves. 

    I express my thanks and gratitude to the Honorable Speakers, Distinguished Delegates and participants in the Roundtable.

    Now I declare the Roundtable closed.

    I thank you all.