2014 UN Vesak Day 2014 reflects Vietnamese Buddhism’s development and integration

(VOVworld)- The 2014 UN Vesak Day is being held in Bai Dinh pagoda, Ninh Binh province with the theme “Buddhism contributes to UN Millennium Development Goals”. Hosting Vesak 2014, Vietnam has a chance to introduce its land and people and show the development of Vietnam’s Buddhism as well as Vietnamese policies on freedom of religion and belief.

2014 UN Vesak Day 2014 reflects Vietnamese Buddhism’s development and integration - ảnh 1
The 2014 UN Vesak Day opens in Ninh Binh province

Since 2000, UN Vesak Day has been held to celebrate Buddha’s Birth, Enlightenment and Death. So far, Vietnam has twice hosted Vesak Day. The first time was in 2008 and now the second time in 2014.

Vietnam’s second celebration of Vesak based on success of the first celebration

The 2008 Vesak Day attracted more than 5,000 participants in 600 Buddhist delegations from 100 countries. The main theme of the 2008 Vesak was “Buddhism’s contribution to building an equal, democratic and civilized society”. Other topics high on the agenda were also climate change, family disputes, healing the wounds of war, social change, Buddhist education, and Buddhism in the digital era. The 2008 Vesak was an important event in the development of Vietnamese Buddhism and a chance to for Vietnamese Buddhism to convey a message of love, peace and harmony globally. The 2008 Vesak Day affirmed the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha’s role in Vietnam and in the international Buddhist community. Venerable Thich Gia Quang is Deputy Chairman of the Executive Council and Head of the Committee for Information and Communications of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha: “The United Nations supports Vietnam’s hosting of the 2014 UN Vesak because the number of Buddhist followers in Vietnam is quite large. Vietnam’s success in hosting the 2008 Vesak Day impressed international friends. Hosting the event for the second time, Vietnam affirms the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha’s role in the Buddhist community in Vietnam and the world. This also shows Vietnam’s hospitality and the Vietnamese State’s policies of respecting the freedom of religion and belief”.

New development of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha 

The 2008 Vesak Day was hosted by the Vietnamese government. The 2014 Vesak Day is hosted by the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha in coordination with the International Organizing Committee (ICDV). The number of delegates attending the 2014 Vesak will be larger because there are more Vietnamese Buddhist followers inside and outside Vietnam. With the theme “Buddhism contributes to the UN Millennium Development Goals”, the 2014 Vesak is of great importance, especially in the context of the world’s rapid economic, cultural and social development. The 2014 Vesak is the meeting place of Buddhist dignitaries and followers and its atmosphere inspires the Vietnamese and international Buddhist community. Venerable Thich Gia Quang said:“Each time hosting Vesak Day, we want to convey a message of peace, wisdom and love between people and promote Buddhist thought to everyone. By doing this, we hope people will live better in a more peaceful society. So, people have to join hands to make the world more beautiful and prosperous”.

The 2014 Vesak Day is an opportunity to introduce Vietnam, its land, people and culture and the history and development of Vietnamese Buddhism. The event demonstrates Vietnam’s policies of freedom of religion and belief, and the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha’s integration into the international Buddhist community.

Huong Giang- Thu Hoa