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Tripitaka Koreana Festival Kicks Off

SEOUL, South Korea, Sept. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A Buddhist cultural festival has rang up the curtain in this South Korean southern city to commemorate the "Tripitaka Koreana" or "Palmandaejanggyeong" in Korean.

The 2013 Tripitaka Koreana Festival kicked off on Friday in Hapcheon, 354 kilometers south of Seoul, for a 45-day run until Nov. 10. The event is dubbed the Millennial Anniversary of the Tripitaka Koreana.

Tripitaka Koreana is a collection of Buddhist scriptures carved on more than 80,000 wooden printing blocks, comprised of 52 million characters, that was created in the 13th century.

It is considered the most comprehensive set of Buddhist scriptures found to date, and the Haein Temple, where the texts are kept, is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

At a ceremony marking the opening of the annual event, South Gyeongsang Province Governor Hong Joon-pyo delivered a congratulatory speech in front of hundreds of guests, including 60 international delegates.

The festival, first held in 2011 to celebrate the millennial anniversary of the creation of the wooden blocks, will offer a wider range of exhibitions and interactive sessions at the Haein Temple and exhibition halls.

Five exhibition halls, each with a different theme, will feature historic, cultural and entertainment programs on various topics related to the "Tripitaka".

"Maaebul", a 7.5-meter-high Buddha statue engraved into a rock wall at Gaya Mountain, will be unveiled to the public for the first time during the festival as well. Access to the statue had previously been restricted.

The Maaebul is one of the country's most well-preserved statues, estimated to be built in the 9th century of the Silla Kingdom (57 B.C.-935 A.D).

 

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ASEAN  ANALYSIS

This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More

 


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