【from Global Times Online】The 2018 Beijing International Forum on People-to-People Friendship was scheduled to be kicked off on May 26th. The 5-day event, themed with “Promote and Strengthen People-to-People Friendship and Bonds”, is an exchange of both cultures and experiences of municipal governance. It encourages the young generation of each country to carry forward the cause of civil ties, and work together to solidify the foundation of People-to-People exchanges.
The following is a speech delivered by Nishantha Wickramasinghe at the forum on May 27th: Good Afternoon, Honourable and Distinguished Guests, thank you for being here today.
First of all, on behalf of Association for Sri Lanka-China Social and Cultural Cooperation, I would like to thank and appreciate the organizers of this Forum,
The Beijing People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries,
Beijing Municipal Association for Science and Technology,
Beijing Municipal Commission of the China Communist Youth League and
the People's Government of Beijing Xicheng District
for inviting us to grace this occasion, as well as to meet and speak with you today.
It is indeed a pleasure and a great honour for us to be here today,for this very special international event.
I would like to talk to you about the “Historical development stages and their representatives and understand the role of culture significance for Friendship Inheritance and Youth Relay”.
So, what is the meaning of Inheritance?
There are quite a lot of meanings,
· something that is or may be inherited; property passing at the owner's death to the heir or those entitled to succeed; legacy.
· the genetic characters transmitted from parent to offspring, taken collectively; the ancestry of characteristics of one generation from an earlier one by heredity.
· something, as a quality, characteristic, or other immaterial possession, received from progenitors or predecessors as if by succession: an inheritance of family pride.
· the act or fact of inheriting by succession, as if by succession, or genetically:
Because of the successful proud inheritance of ours in communication, friendship, culture, development, hardships, understanding, etc, etc, which acquired from our ancestors, we are gathered here from all corners of this globe.
Ok, Let us go back to the beginning of the beginning,
All of you are well aware; the humans are distinguished from other animals by superior mental development, power of articulate speech and upright stance. These elements have been played very vital roles to manufactured tools, communication, also in developing humans possibly more than 300,000 years, from stone age to the modern era, which presently employee electric, electronic, atomic, mechatronics, and of course AI, Artificial Intelligence for their convenience and improvement.
The historical changes are not been a simple succession of different social systems. It takes the form of a development through stages and involves progress.
Key historical development stages of the human beings are fundamentally determined by the material conditions at any given time. Particularly the relationships, which people have with each other, in-order to fulfil their basic requirements for survival such as feeding, shelter, and clothing for themselves and their families.
Like modern day People-to-People friendly exchanges, the same was there and without that they couldn’t have survived.
Key historical development stages can be divided into the many phase cycles. Resulting the humans, to use inherited knowledge from the past generations, for their betterments.
Moreover, the development and growth of civilization is not a unique experience for a single community or a few communities or isolated communities but a global one. Simultaneously, all the great cultural systems have interacted and contributed their inheritance to produce the modern world.
The histories of the individual scientific disciplines, innovations, logical thinking, mathematics, geography, astronomy, games, arts, and music have played an enormously significant role to communicate, also have served to break the barriers across the different and various cultural communities.
The separate cultural systems did accept their differences however attempting to include the elements of history, social, economic, political, religious, aesthetic, legal, and technological aspects for modern purposes. Scientific and technological progress was also causing modern and contemporary eras.
China has been the source of many innovations, scientific discoveries and inventions. This includes the Four Great Inventions:
· the Compass,
· Printing - (both woodblock and movable type),
Also Acupuncture, Porcelain, Firecrackers, Rockets and Wheelbarrow, etc, etc and these inventions were the turning points of the human history. They could be minor or significant heritage, but the turning points, nonetheless.
When the Industrial Revolution was unfolded from the 18th century, never in the world’s history had there been more drastic changes occurred. It was a one of the foremost historical Key turning point like control of Fire, affected and initiating forever transforming the human societies. It was as almost as amazing key historical turning situation as Zhoukoudian or Choukoutien Peking Man began to controlling fire, an earliest momentum of human use of fire in China, thousands of years ago and was a major key turning point in the cultural aspect of human progress.
The human progress also linked to economic growth and material advancement. Moreover, never in the human history had there been enormous boom in production, consumption and wealth than after the Industrial Revolution.
It caused the world population to tripled, from about 978 million to 3,632 million within mare 170 years, between 1800 and 1970, during the same period, quantity of manufacturing production in the world increased about 1,730 times.
Ordinary human progress overtaken and consequence severely affected to the existed Social and Cultural environment, which changed the formation of cultural traditions, social structure, social customs and habits, beliefs and values, codes of conduct and lifestyles.
So, why is the Culture, important in People-to-People bonds and international cooperation?
To me, the Culture is one of the most powerful and influential forces in this world.
It is fundamental to what we see, how we express ourselves, and how we feel of our environment, the world and the rest.
· Ethics and principals sometimes conflict as people from different cultural groups work together.
· We sometimes react in ways that make a partnership ineffective, when we do not understand each other.
· Often we were not aware that cultural differences are the root of miscommunication.
As the cultural differences among associations may consist of ethnic heritage, values, traditions, languages, history, and racial attitudes. Any of these cultural features can become barriers to working together. The international cooperation’s will probably be challenged, unless they become part of the relationship.
Many have begun to come to grips with diversity issues, even though they may not have all the answers.
Last month, World population has reached 7.5 billion (www.worldometers.info/world-population/) and about 60% are young generation. This young generation, the most interconnected generation ever world has seen, continues to grow rapidly, and the challenges they face are ever more overwhelming.
We are living in a world faced with huge social challenges and need to empower youth to assist and propel social progress in the world.
Youths have the potential and the most creative forces for social change.
As the youths, who are taking over the baton of responsibilities, must realize, youth have to develop new strategies and tactics to attract multicultural People-to-People interests, and bonds,
· Must emphasize common interests rather than differences. – along with cultural differences, should aware more of similarities, difference must not impose hindrance nor divide.
· Must makes for more effective communication- Understanding how people communicate is the first step toward understanding and respecting each other.
· It has enriches everyone's life when there is shared knowledge of other cultures- Different communication styles reflect philosophies and worldviews that are the foundations of cultures. New understanding gives us a broader view of our world and the opportunity to see a mirror image of ourselves.
Youth must understand role of culture inheritance significance for People-to-People bonds, international cooperation and need to work closely with People-to-People as our societies becomes more culturally diverse.
Youth have to develop new strategies and tactics to attract multicultural interest in our collaborative initiatives.
Youth must discuss and plan how to collaborate effectively with people of different cultures.
Fundamental principles, assumptions, and values to guide in People-to-People, and international cooperation, offers a good chance at solving complex problems in an atmosphere of trust, cooperation, and mutual respect.
In Sri Lanka, Association for Sri Lanka-China Social and Cultural Cooperation, us, have a very prominent Sub Committee call “Women, Youth and Child Affairs” which is very active, involving and does a lot.
By understanding the important role of youths to proceed for culture significance, promote People-to-People bonds, and successful international cooperation, must be based on mutual respect, trust, valuing of differences, determination to adopt new attitudes, lots of patience and first and foremost, a sense of common purpose.
The cooperation will have a great chance of success, if the core remains on the common goals and equal power for everyone involved.
By understanding the role of culture significance and its basic elements, we must take necessary stapes to promote and develop international cooperation by connecting people, ideas, and resources including applied behaviour analysis and community psychology.
And don’t forget the most important part, what we learned from past,
must look into the micro levels, the general public, the young generation, the most important part of the society, whilst developing international cooperation.
By building People-to-People bonds, people who are the part of bigger picture, have a far more significant impact and youths can cross the many bridges.
Build the friendships and friendships bring the rest – empathy, trust, honesty, support, enthusiasm, forgiveness, gratitude, and gladness.
Simple social interaction with other people can deliver greater benefits and greatly increase influence on the society.
Harmonious relationships and friendships for mutual goodwill are the key to successful contentment.
Young people are often heralded as the “Leaders of Tomorrow”, and you are the future leaders of the society and it is time for you to take over that mantle.
Youths today historically inherited friendships of maintaining peace and the pursuit for common development, and must attribute towards mutual support, peace and warmth, and common progress.
“Young People Have the Power to Change the World.”