On January 19, The Mencius Foundation held the Oriental Civilization Forum, along with launching the official ceremony of “Oriental Civilization” series in Beijing. More than 150 attendees from various diverse backgrounds, including domestic and foreign politicians, artists, economists, media representatives. Many participants were present in person, or via online platforms.
The Mencius Foundation, led by Meng Liang, the 79th descendant generation of Mencius, a privately funded foundation, was established to better promote the development of Mencius’s Confucianism, and demonstrate the outstanding Chinese traditional culture to the world. Moreover, the Foundation also aims to propel cultural exchanges between the East and the West, cultivating the development of modern world civilization.
The Mencius Foundation hosted the forum, which was co-organized by the Wutong Alumni Association, and organized by the Universal Rituals Limited. The affiliated sponsors also included The Chengdu Shadow Art Museum, the World Union Philanthropy Foundation, the International New Energy Cooperation Organization, and the G-Global International Secretariat all contributed to the success of this event.
A group of different international representatives and industrial leaders gathered together to explore, according to the theme of “A Community of Shared Future and Common Prosperity for Mankind”
Alexander Stubb, former Prime Minister of Finland and former Vice President of the European Investment Bank, emphasized that finding significance and satisfaction in life comes from being grounded, learning constantly, and empathizing with others.
Supachai Panipati, consultant of The Mencius Foundation, former Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Director-General of the World Trade Organization, and former Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand quoted Mencius: “If the people have a steady means of livelihood, they will keep a steady mind” It’s worth noting that Mencius’ remark of “steadiness” indicates a deeper meaning of true happiness, which provides us with inner serenity and happiness. Sustainable development can generate widespread wealth, but it must be accompanied by a shift in people’s mindsets and increased compassion for their peers. To accomplish public safety, individual liberty, and shared prosperity, it is necessary to value life rather than pursue financial wealth blindly. Global chairman of Philips Group, Jaylen Vandewei, focused on the balance between spiritual health and material wealth.
Mishal Hamed Kanoo, the Chairman of the Kanoo Group, the Middle East’s most diversified family business, stressed the importance of the world understanding what the East means and represents to the people. The essence of transaction, creation, and sharing is a fundamental aspect of Oriental cultures, regardless of whether the name “Orient” is a geographical phrase or a spiritual notion.
The forum housed a series of performances, rituals, music, and art. Through the Jingya tea ceremony, traditional folk music, and shadow puppets art, the forum attendees got to see the subtle, elegant, witty, and flexible charm of the Oriental culture.
The shadow art performance attracted the attention of all the audience, through using Chinese shadow puppet art to display Spanish folk music, shows a very innovative way for Western and Easter culture to integrate and re-create. Graham Brown-Martin, participated virtually. He used one online game that invited all the guest use to assemble a little duck, display the possibility of integrating virtual technologies with the reality education and story-telling. The entire activity beautified the meaning of cross-cultural partnership.
With the success in holding this forum, participants were equipped with the knowledge of the wisdom, achievements, and potential of Oriental culture under the current and modern development trends. All these activities served as the mechanism to bring people from all walks of life and of all backgrounds under the premise of understanding, getting closer of Oriental culture and civilization, which lays down a foundation for further cultural promotion, communication, and collaboration in the future.
More forums and activities are yet to come, which is going to align with 72 cities in China and all over the world, including 300 online and offline events. Under the same theme, it gives chance for more people to join to witness, comprehend, and mesmerizing the Oriental culture.