United World Project


The flavour of dialogue

1 May 2015   |   , ,

Her story is fascinating: we relive the idea, made a few years ago, of a basketball tournament inspired by the values of Sport4Peace (initiative created in Sports Meet). One of the rules, for example, is that teams have to be formed in a mixed way by boys and girls. All this to raise awareness and importance for the respect for the opposite sex, not simply in the Indian culture.

Roopa, Shruti and Vignesh are three volunteers of the Shanti Ashram, an Hindu movement that, since 1986, adopts the Gandhian principles. Their first initiative was “Operation 100%”, whose aim was to ensure to the youth of Perur (a district of the city of Coimbatore) an adequate literacy. Thanks to this program so innovative, Perur is close to 80% of schooling. “At the moment – we are told – there are more than 30 projects.”

Archana, Anne Mary and Amala go up on stage, all three from Kerala (India), and open the doors to the “For You”, created thanks to the desire to follow the example of Chiara Luce Badano. Thanks to this desire, they have managed to create initiatives that have allowed us to offer specific and innovative treatments to 2 girls with multiple sclerosis.

It’s the turn of Rissho Keisei-Kai: Saki Shintenji, Japanese, tells us of how was born and brought up his relationship with the Focolare Movement, founded on dialogue and mutual respect. World Buddhist organization founded in Japan in 1938 by Nikkyo Niwano and Myoko Naganuma, Rissho Kosei-Kai’s goal is to promote and apply Buddhist teachings to build a better world. In the afternoon, thanks to Lawrence Chong of Singapore we talked about the value of dialogue and encounter in this time of division.

At the end of the day, then, each one of the young people is welcomed home from an Indian family. Swati, Vivek and Sunita, for example, are all Hindus and live in a shack of few square meters where they welcome us proud. The hospitality and enthusiasm are incredible. They tell us about their lives, not always easy. But tonight, dialogue is at the center of everything. Before we begin to dine together, they ask us to pray as if we were at our home. During the praise, they also pray – in silence – with us. None of them speak a good English. But tonight we realized that to dialogue we don’t need special skills… hospitality and fraternity are a universal language.

From Città Nuova, Francesco Ricciardi