Session 2 – Buddhist heritage and traditions: a shared history

Session 2 – Buddhist heritage and traditions: a shared history
February 27 09:02 2016 Print This Article

Session 2Buddhist heritage and traditions: a shared history

The important points mentioned by the panellists were as follows:

Chair- Prof. Dr. Naresh Man Bajracharya (Nepal)

Co-Chair- Raymond Lam (Hong Kong)

  1. ShriThaiu Mag (Guwahati, Assam, India): There are obvious cultural connections between Tripura and West Myanmar from the perspective of the small Buddhist community of Tripura. Chakma, Mog, Barua and Uchoiare the main Buddhist communities in Tripura.It is evident that they came from the countries around North East India, especially Bangladesh and Myanmar because of the similarities in the architecture of temples, traditions, clothes and living habits.
  2. P. Wangchuk (New Delhi, India): National media has failed to effectively cover North East India. However the scenario is changing now as today we also have regional and local media. Even national media is paying attention to North East India now.  One of the outcomes of this neglect of North East India by the national media is the fact that In the state of Meghalaya there are thousands of Buddhist caves that nobody knows about. Similarly there must be many other Buddhist heritage sites in this part of India that are not known.  This seminar could be the starting point of an effort to bring these sites into the limelight and ensure that international as well as domestic pilgrims and tourists visit this area in increasing numbers.
  3. Lalit Shyam (Dibrugarh, Assam, India): North East India, comprising the seven sister states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur,  Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Meghalaya, has a rich spiritual and cultural heritage reflecting in its glorious past in all aspects of life – social, economic, spiritual, cultural, academic, etc. The region is a treasure trove for anthropologists, linguists and folklorists. Every tribe inhabiting this region has a different personality, culture and habits. There are Buddhists of Mahayana and Theravada traditions in this region. They have a very rich culture and celebrate their festivals with great devotion every year.
  4. KhySovanratana (Cambodia): We must strike a balance between cultural and heritage preservation on the one hand, and adoption of modern technologies and globalization on the other. In a sense we have to be thankful to globalization for spreading Buddhism to various parts of the world, including South East Asia. If Buddhism had not spread to other parts, we would not have possessed this very precious Buddhist heritage of ours. However we have to know the right balance that will help to preserve and promote our culture and our heritage. We must be careful that in our enthusiasm for using modern technologies, we do not end up destroying our culture and heritage.
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