Sweden: Blessing & World Peace Awards
By Ing-Marie Hedberg Kikuchi, FFWPU Sweden
We held a conference on June 30, 2018 in Stockholm, which was initiated by our Peace Ambassador Buddhist Abbot Pramaha Boonthin. UPF and FFWPU in Sweden cooperated and supported him in this. The main event for us was the family festival – the blessing of the Thai-Swedish couples.
FFWPU Sweden invited three lecturers from Thailand: Mrs. Sangkom Netsopa (member from Thailand), Dr. Ronachit Phutthala and his wife Mrs. Nualchan Phutthala.
Also two Thai members from Europe could come to help: Chatiboot Choopojcharoen (Andorra) and Mrs. Kanyapat Kanchanapen Latkam (Barcelona). Especially Chatiboot from Andorra has been instrumental to coordinate and assist so that this event could take place.
They did a fantastic job and gave very good lectures and talks that inspired and there were a lot of joy. Before the event we could also meet the Thai ambassador in Sweden and introduced our blessing project to him and proposed that we should work together in the future.
World Peace Awards 2018 on 30th of June consisted of several events:
Morning session: ”The Human development for Sustainable World Peace”
MC was our member Lorenz Jolin and he also introduced UPF to the audience.
There were 6 speakers from USA, Thailand and Kashmir and gave a Christian, Buddhist and a Muslim perspective on the topic and a necessity of cooperation among different faiths.
Family festival – Blessing of Thai- Swedish community
Altogether 21 couples from the Thai- Swedish community participated. Some Thai wives came with photographs, but 10 Swedish men came together with their Thai wife. Two ladies came only for the education.
Participants were registered and photographed first. Ing-Marie Hedberg Kikuchi was the Swedish MC and gave a short introduction. The lectures were in Thai but we handed out a written explanation in Swedish to the Swedish husbands.
The talks from Dr Ronachit and his wife that were well received and there were many laughs when they talked about the blessing and gave advice about marriage.
Before the ceremony a large group of distinguished buddhist monks chanted and gave their blessing to the event.
Rev. David Hanna and his wife Kyung Ja were officiators at the blessing. We did the Holy water ceremony, Holy wine, vows and blessing and also the indemnity stick ceremony.
Before and after the education and ceremony there were songs by Mr James Houston (our member). Also Dr Ronachit sang a few songs in Thai that were very much appreciated.
Peace March & Peace Road
After the family festival there were a peace march from the Courtyard Marriott Hotel to the Stockholm City Hall. The event in the City Hall: there were more speeches, entertainment an award ceremony. Two of our members were MC – Mikael Schöld (first gen.) and Kim Jolin (second gen.) David Hanna one of the speakers. Our member, Hon. Ek Nath Dhakal, Parliament member from Nepal also gave a talk. Several Peace Ambassadors were there and UPF and its vision for peace was mentioned a lot.
Cruise to Finland
The next day about a hundred of us went on a cruise to Finland. In Finland we could also symbolically continue Peace Road marsh. Our group that had worked with the family festival could also shortly meet Hannu Hassinen, national leader of Finland.
We are very grateful for this event. New doors have been opened to the Thai community and we will be able to do much more work with them in the future. We are especially thankful for the guests from Thailand that contributed a lot.
YouTube links to different parts of the event:
- Conference on creating a culture of peace:
- Blessing Opening
- DP and Blessing (in Thai language)
- Chanting for the Blessing by 8 Buddhist monks
- Orientation (in Swedish)
- Holy Wine
- Holy Water
- Blessing Vows
- Special thanks to Mrs. Chanya Mellgren:
- Indemnity Stic
- World Peace Award 2018 at the Blue Hall, Nepal leader Ek Nath Dhakal and North Europe leader David Hanna speak at World Peace Award 2018 in the Blue Hall:
- Photo album