At the outset, I would like to express my sincere thanks to Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) for inviting me to this program. The theme for this meeting “Promoting Asian Civilization and Seeking Peace and Development” could not have been more timely and relevant.
I would like to extend my cordial greetings to all the distinguished personalities participating in this program organized by Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC). This Association is an example of how people to people contacts between our two countries are increasing.
Culture is a way of life. It is a mirror of any society that reflects social behaviour, norms, beliefs, values, arts, customs, traditions, language, hierarchies, religion, etc. It brings individuals and communities together, getting to know each other, and working together in community for uplifting the quality of life of the people. A peaceful society rests on peace, harmony, and tolerance, and teaches to live in unity in the midst of huge diversity. It teaches us to respect others and be respected by others. This also provides us opportunities to be creative, innovative, and productive. It helps us broaden our worldview and increase our adaptability.
Culture is a great education, a powerful and reliable means to know about the people and society. It helps to understand the history and geography, and promote mutual understanding, respect and tolerance among the diverse groups of people. As the world grows more diverse, more multiethnic, multicultural, multireligious and multilingual, maintaining unity and diversity is of vital importance for the growth, and prosperity of any community and society. The world is being called a global village, Countries destinies have come to be intertwined. Understanding of culture has come to be a transformative for any society. Because of media technology and digitalization, it is easier to connect and know about the people from different culture that all bring us more close and more familiar as never before.
Our countries are civilizational countries with several sites of world heritages. Cultural diplomacy is being listed as a powerful and transformative tool of soft power for foreign policy establishment. It is through cultural diplomacy that we can work together to foster exchange of views and ideas, promote knowledge of other cultures, and build bridges between countries.
The Asian culture is oldest and prehistoric. Asia is the biggest continent, it has 30% of earth’s total land area and have around 1.4 billion people Chinese and over 1.3 billion Indians. Additionally Asia is the composition of most of the world’s mainstream religions including Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Jainism, and these are followed by 80% of the world’s population.
Therefore we should focus to forge unity in diversity. But due to westernization some of our cultures are going to extinct so it is our responsibility to conserve and promote cultures for own identity. If we properly exhibit it may also support for the economic development. The launching of a massive infrastructure project Belt and Road aiming to connect the people from different parts of the world that not only build infrastructure for the financial growth but also support to integrate different culture. Connectivity is a way of life and is the key to unlocking development potentials. I firmly believe that programs like this will help contribute to protect and promote the cultures and bring closer to each other.
I thank the organizer for their kind invitation and wish the program a grand success. It is a always a pleasure to be with you.
Thank you so much!