I've got the sun in my eyes


March 16

“A dialogue for happiness, one Europe for peace!” 


March 16, 2008 @ Milano 

SGI European Youth Division General Meeting

It was such a memorable day! 5,000 SGI youth from 35 countries throughout Europe gathered for an SGI-Europe Youth General Meeting held at the Datch Forum in Milan, Italy, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of March 16, 1958, when second Soka Gakkai President Josei Toda entrusted the mission of creating lasting global peace to the youth just weeks before he passed away.

I still remember the moment I arrived, a little groggy after the long morning ride from Rosa’s place. Immediately, I was awakened! First of the buzzling energy of people. I tell you, so many people! All with shinning eyes, big smiles and the endless greetings (some kissing again!) to everyone that came to sight. Next thing I noticed are the beautiful blooms of the trees surrounding the Datch Forum. They are in pink. Just reminded me of the cherry blossoms trees. What a beautiful sight for such a eventful day, I thought to myself!

Hadas was so excited that she couldn’t decide where we should stand, or take a coffee, or go inside. In the end, we walked about a bit, met up with the rest of our Belgian friends and went in. I tell you again, the feeling is indescribable when I walked in. The place is huge and the place is filled with so many different people. But all with the same mind.

We were quite early, so I think I sat there for a good 2 hours just staring amazedly at my surrounding. At everyone. At everything.

Then it started. First with a very upbeat version of “Marching Towards the 21st Century” by a choir group of 400 youth from 12 countries, lead by a super enigmatic YWD. Man, again I can’t describe it in words for you really have to see her in action. I was breathless just by looking at her!

And that moment of the song, was a moment when all the years of my practise since 1986 (first time I chanted Nam-myoho-renge-kyo with my dad) came flashing by. All my emotions went thru 3 mins of mini-quakes :) Afterthat, it was like a very good movie where I couldn’t tear my eyes off the stage, and I was all ears on everything, every words, every sounds, every music and every laughter.

There was delivery of messages, experience sharings, award ceremonies and a speech from Roberto Baggio, yes, that famous footballer! Not forgetting the introduction of the SGI-Europe Youth Declaration. The declaration, unanimously adopted by the participants, is a three-point pledge to respect life and work against discrimination, to work for the abolition of nuclear weapons, and to become capable individuals who contribute to the happiness of others.

Then there was an hours break where I spent the whole hour queueing up to pee. (Ok, I didn’t mind so much cuz I was still staring at everything)

Follow on was the very impressive Cultural Show. No wonder, I was not even invited to participate :) We have so many artist in SGI Europe. Its incredible. Even the video footage was impressive. The songs. The dance. The photographs. All done by pros. I was very breathless that day!

After that, I was so tired out, I slept all the way in the bus to the airport.

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