Opening speech by Vello Väärtnöu at the opening of international conference "Buddhism and Nordland 2009"

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It is a great honor to welcome all of you to this opening of our international conference "Buddhism and Nordland 2009" and I have to tell you how much I am pleased to see you here.

I truly appreciate the great effort you all put in to participate in this International Conference "Buddhism and Nordland 2009" and in particular I wish to commend you for the sacrifice you make to be here with us today. The Tallinn University is overwhelmed with scholars and nordic buddhist atmosphere today.

I wish to extend a warm welcome to fellow conferees and audience from the various countries.

I realize that you are fully dedicated to the sessions that will follow but I do hope you will also take time to enjoy fascinating Estonia , our capital Tallinn with its seashore setting, plus friendly estonian people and even local cuisine.

Presenters of this conference "Buddhism and Nordland 2009" are from different countries who bring up the researches results to enrich our culture and society as well .

We have even some guests in the audience some of them are as I mentioned before from different countries and I must say again thank you for joining us.

We're here to celebrate the vital role that buddhism have played at least little part in the development and progress of our history.I hope I could say so.

As many of you know today its opening of our third conference and we are witnessing a historical moment in the history of the buddhism in Baltic sea region.


Why?


Because if we take a closer look what has happened lately during a last 3 years on our annual meetings in area called studys of local buddhist history ,we can see changes and its a lot of them.

Countries as Sweden , Finland , Latvia , Lithuania , Norway , Denmark, Germany, Poland , Russia even Estonia has started to research and build up step by step thier own buddhist history already and conference "Buddhism and Nordland " is probably the right or even best place to present and show what we all have done on that field.

I find myself addressing the finest minds one could possibly bring together to tackle the incredibly inspiring challenge that lies ahead of us .

The aim of the conference "Buddhism and Nordland" is to study the Buddhist history of the Nordic countries but we can add Northern Europe as well and expand upon Buddhism as cultural phenomenon in historical and cultural context .

That was a goal of our conference "Buddhism and Nordland" from the begginning , to stimulate the certain processes in our buddhist cultural history.

To be more exact in our buddhist history.

The purpose of the international conference "Buddhism and Nordland" is to advance research, teaching, and public discussion on large-scale historical studies in or for the Baltic sea region.

The world today is undergoing profound and complex changes. It is time for us to revive the wide perspective of history thinking in a new context.

It means we must have to add just missing part I mean a cultural -religious history and we all know the missing part of it - it is buddhist history of Northern Europe and ofcourse the Baltic sea region is just part of it.


Dear guests, I started my remarks acknowledging the fine quality of our conferees and our international conference "Buddhism and Nordland " will go down in history.

So be sure to add your own opinions, interpretations or summaries in the discussion because this is a part of this conference.Your presence is much appreciated.

And ofcourse when u take a look around hier in conference hall we can see that interest in Tibetan Buddhism is really blossoming in the west and in Estonia as well.


These annual gatherings at conference "Buddhism and Nordland" enable the building of a productive dialogue between buddhists and orientalists ,historians or let say scholars of different countries.

They also provide an invaluable opportunity for networking and fruitful contacts between people ,buddhists ,orientalists ,historians from countries of Baltic sea region.

I would like to point out that the success of this conference is due to the organizer the Estonian Nyingma and the personal charisma of Marju Broder who has made a personal contacts with researchers of Buddhism and academical communities to invite them to come hier to Tallinn and participiate in our conference "Buddhism and Nordland 2009".

I would like to thank our secretary of Estonian Nyingma Marju Broder for her ceaseless encouragement and assistance in managing this noble project.

Her genuine concern has touched me deeply and her invaluable helping hand and advice was always available whenever I needed it.

Marju Broder as secretary of Estonian Nyingma and main caretaker of conference "Buddhism and Nordland 2009" is invited to give her speech in this significant event as well.

Thanks are also due to all of you here today, for your contribution, in so many ways, to making this occasion possible. May all the activities at conference "Buddhism and Nordland 2009" serve as a reminder of Lord Buddha's path and inspire us to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings.

I have to mention that buddhism can purify our restless minds and fulfill our spiritual life.

I wish the participants of international conference "Buddhism and Nordland 2009" a very fruitful and productive meeting and with that, I declare the international conference "Buddhism and Nordland 2009" officially open.

Thank you.