Award Ceremony 2008

The Fukuoka Prize 2008 Award ceremony

September 10, 2008 (18:00-19:40)
ACROS Fukuoka (Symphony Hall)
Agnes Chang

Their Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Akishino attended the Award Ceremony, which was chaired by Agnes Chang and attracted 1,100 people.

First, there were greetings from the organizer, a speech by Prince Akishino, and a report on the selection process, followed by presentations of medals and citations to the prize winners. They gave speeches expressing their happiness and their thoughts on Asian culture, with messages to Fukuoka citizens. Amid great applause, students from Fukuoka International School handed them flowers. Students from Chikushi Jogakuen Univ., dressed in kimono, acted as escorts.

After this, Agnes Chang talked informally to the winners, and then Yuka Taniguchi from Fukuoka Univ. delivered a message of congratulations on behalf of the citizens. The ceremony ended with Baul songs sung by Farida Parveen.

Address by Prince Akishino

The 19th Award Caremony had the honor of having Their Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess Akishino. The Prince Praised the winners: 'The purpose of the Fukuoka Prize is to contribute to the preservation and creation of Asian cultures. This idea is of great significance and is a precious gem for Asia to be cherished. The prize winners great achievements will not merely contribute to the cultures of Asia, but will furthermore show its significance to the world, and to promote the enrichment of human society.'

Acceptance Speech by Ann HUI (Grand Prize)

I am also indebted to Japan since my mother is Japanese. Since I grew up I have worked often in Japan and I found the Japanese had so much dedication and an exemplary attitude toward work. Their working methods are also much more systematic and in the long run more effective than our working methods. Also, I remember when I was shooting "Song of the Exile" in Beppu 20 years ago, the mayor of the city himself came to visit and asked us what he could do to help!  We were an unknown and small crew from abroad and he had taken the trouble. He was as good as his word and sent us a coordinator for the following month. After a gap of 20 years, I wish to thank the mayor properly for his support for culture and the coordinator for his help!

Acceptance Speech by Savitri GOONESEKERE (Academic Prize)

Our shared religious traditions in Buddhist thought and teachings emphasize that wealth and prosperity go with social responsibility to use these resources for the well-being of the community. This is an essential value system to ensure that the gains of globalization and economic development are distributed with equity. 

We speak today of globalization, as if it is a novel initiative. The great ancient overland silk route through Asia provided the same connectively centuries ago, taking both the commerce and diverse cultures of Asia and sharing them among our countries and across continents. A value system based on the important link between scholarship culture and material progress can not only sustain the best aspects of culture and tradition, but be a path to peace and development.

Many years ago our leaders supported reconciliation and Japan’s reconstruction and restoration after war. Japan’s experience has taught the world that prosperity and development are the meaningful dividends of peace. Promoting tolerance and respect for peace and development through cultural exchanges like this reinforces the timeless values of this great religion.

Acceptance Speech by Shamsul Amri Baharuddin (Academic Prize)

In a country like Malaysia, which is striving to modernize and industrialize in the space of one generation, and in doing so becoming understandably preoccupied with the influence of science and technology, the challenges of my academic enterprise as a social scientist are even bigger and more demanding. Unlike in the natural sciences, the academic enterprise of the social sciences is based on cognitive knowledge. Its impact is more implicit, broader and deeper, and could only be discerned in the long-term as it becomes slowly absorbed and ingrained into the dynamics of society’s functioning.

Acceptance Speech by Farida Parveen (Arts and Culture Prize)

There is a huge geographical distance and much anthropological difference between the people of Japan and Bangladesh. But I found a wonderful resemblance in their philosophy of life. And that is simplicity, easy and simple sense of life. Despite the great improvement of technology and huge expansion of consumer society, the people of these two regions are still inartificial, easy and truthful in their life style and attitude to a great extent. And here is the point where I found that Lalon, his songs and philosophy, very much belong to Bangladesh but at the same time also belong to Japan and the rest of the world.

Celebration Banquet 2008

After the Award Ceremony, a less formal celebration was held. Mrs. Jennie Chok (Principal Hong Kong Economic and Trade Representative), Mr. Majibur Rahman Bhuiyan (Minister, Embassy of Bangladesh in Japan) and other national representatives took part with other guests to praise the winners.

Download the Anuual Report 2008

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Download the Anuual Report 2008

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