On the occasion of the official celebration of Vesak in Indonesia this year, the Young Buddhist Association (YBA) organized a series of events for the public, aimed at raising awareness of the universal values of Buddhism and promoting harmony in the within social diversity.
“This year, the Vesak festival was held from May 31 to June 4,” YBS shared with BDG. “The event was a celebration of the 'Trisuci Vesak', which is held annually in a public space, with the aim of presenting the universal values of Buddhism to the general public, as well as organizing a celebration and appreciation of the Buddhadharma. This year's Vesak Festival was organized in the spirit of supporting and developing the beauty of life in diversity in Indonesia, with the theme "Harmony in the Middle Way".
The Young Buddhist Association (YBA) is the main Buddhist youth organization in Indonesia. Through a deep belief in the Buddha's message of compassion, growth and liberation, the association promotes a positive way of life among young people in order to cultivate a society based on wisdom, compassion and gratitude. The association is involved in establishing Buddhist organizations throughout the country, spreading Dharma study among young people, and leadership training.
"The 2023 Vesak Festival introduced the universal values of Buddhism to the general public," YBA said. “A series of interesting dioramas have been created for the occasion, one of which depicts the birth of the future Buddha in Chinese tradition. There was also a 12 meter high Buddha statue, a diorama of the Buddha mahaparinibbanaa tree of harmony and pillars of Ashoka from Indian tradition.
“We also prepared more interactive facilities, including 'Dharma Roulette' in the form of a Dharma wheel and a wishing tree where visitors could write down their hopes and dreams of living in harmony.
“Visitors were also entertained by various exciting and engaging cultural performances that reflected moderation in Indonesia's diversity: traditional East Javanese dance; interactive performances of Angklung from West Java; Turkish Sufi dance; Wayang Potehi (Chinese puppet shows); and lion dances. There were also performances for children from local Buddhist monasteries, as well as various activities to support the beauty of cultural, social and religious diversity.
Vesak is observed throughout Indonesia, where it is known as Waisak Day. It has been celebrated as a national holiday every year since 1983. This year, the official celebration of Vesak in Indonesia took place on June 4.
“The first day of Vesak coincided with the 730th anniversary of Surabaya, which was animated by the arrival of the Mayor of Surabaya, Cak Eri Cahyadi, and the 22nd Indonesian Minister of Religion, Dr (HC) KH Lukman Hakim Saifuddin , along with Sangha Bhante elders and other special honored guests, who rang the bell to officially open the start of the Vesak Festival 2023,” YBA narrated.
Cak Eri gave a speech, noting, "Surabaya will be in the hands of young Buddhists, because we young people will be the ones to lead the direction in which Surabaya is heading - for better or for worse, it's all between the young people." hands of youth.' Dr. Lukman Hakim observed: “It is incredible, in my opinion, that the young people gathered here by the Young Buddhist Association are able to grasp how these religious values can be shared and communicated in ways familiar to young people in Today. We were even able to set a record for the tallest indoor Buddha statue in Gandhara, Indonesia, which was around 12,3 meters.
Although officially a secular state, Indonesia is home to a diversity of religious and spiritual communities and traditions. Islam is the most widespread religion, observed by 86,7% of the population, according to 2018 national data. Christian traditions account for 10,7%, Hinduism 1,7% and Confucianism, folk traditions and others represent a combined proportion. 0,08 percent.
Buddhism, practiced by 0,8% of the population, or about two million people, is the second oldest spiritual tradition in Indonesia after Hinduism. According to historical accounts, Buddhism first flourished on the archipelago around the 7th century, which was followed by the rise and fall of a number of powerful Buddhist empires, including the Shailendra dynasty (c 12th-8th centuries), the Srivijaya Empire (c. 11th-XNUMXth centuries) and the Mataram Empire (c. XNUMXth-XNUMXth centuries). Today, the majority of Indonesian Buddhists are affiliated with the Mahayana schools of Buddhism, although there are also Theravada and Vajrayana communities of practitioners.
“By highlighting universal values that can be accepted by the general public, this festival was an open platform for interreligious and intercultural collaboration,” explained the YBA. “We really hope that these activities can play a role in building tolerance amid differences, especially in Surabaya and its surroundings, and contribute to bringing happiness and peace that will unite all religions in Indonesia. »