School Visits 2017
Grand Prize 2017: Pasuk PHONGPAICHIT & Chris BAKER
- Friday, September 22 (11:10 ‒ 12:30)
- Fukuoka Girls’ High School
The visit began with Professor Pasuk talking about her own background. She described her childhood, when she would wake up before dawn every morning to board a steamboat to take her to school in Bangkok, and her days at university, where she studied hard, day and night, to achieve her ambition to become an economist. She also talked about the years after she returned to Thailand with Dr. Baker.
“Constantly learn new things and do not be afraid of change.”
“Ever since I was a child, I have been interested in literature, history, the world, society, politics and humanity. Today, I am engaged in my earliest love, which is literature.”
Next, Dr. Baker looked back on his own life, describing how he read many books as a child, and how he traveled the world before entering university. He talked about his new life in Thailand after moving there with Prof. Pasuk, whom he met at university. Prof. Pasuk expressed her joy at receiving the Fukuoka Prize, saying, “We have managed to make something positive out of our differences－male and female, Thai and British, economist and historian.”
When asked by one of the students how to become an independent woman, Prof. Pasuk advised, “Discover your own values and strive to understand others.” In response to the question,“ How can I play an active role in the world?,” Dr. Baker said, “Constantly learn new things and do not be afraid of change.”
Academic Prize 2017: WANG Ming
- Friday, September 22 (10:40 ‒ 12:00)
- Seinan Gakuin University
Professor Wang, who has experience studying in Japan, spoke in fluent Japanese on the topic of “Thinking About Oneself,” describing his life so far to the students in the audience.
“Perpetual curiosity, unlimited staying power, and strong powers of persuasion are the keys to a good life.”
Professor Wang talked about how he was conscripted into the military as soon as he reached high school age, so was unable to go to high school. As a result, he pursued his studies himself so he could go to university. As a university student, he benefitted from the reform and openness policy and was able to spend his university years engaged in productive research. Later, he became a teacher in Xi’an and spent the next 34 years teaching. He recalled that while studying in Japan, he encountered NGO activities in the context of the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, and ever since then, he has devoted his time to the study of NGOs. He analyzed himself and described a sense of curiosity, staying power and powers of persuasion as his reasons for being able to continue researching NGOs for more than twenty years, keep studying and working even in difficult and uncertain times, make 147 policy proposals in 15 years, and be involved in legal system reforms. He said that perpetual curiosity, unlimited staying power, and strong powers of persuasion are the keys to a good life.
Professor Wang’s talk about continuing to study and research with one’s eyes on the future, in the midst of changes in political circumstances like the Cultural Revolution and the reform and openness policy, was extremely interesting and had the students listening intently.
Arts and Culture Prize 2017: KONG Nay
- Friday, September 22 (13:55 ‒ 15:20)
- Wajiro Junior High School
Prior to Master Kong Nay’s visit, the students of Wajiro Junior High School formed an Asia Week Executive Committee and organized “Asia Week” to learn about the history and culture of Asian nations. On the day of the visit, the entire school body assembled for an exchange forum, hosted by the Committee. When Master Kong Nay was introduced, the entire school body greeted him in unison in the Cambodian language, bringing a delighted smile to Master Kong Nay’s face.
“I don’t understand Japanese, but I understand the beauty of song”
After Prof. Terauchi gave a talk on the history and music of Cambodia, Master Kong Nay expressed his delight in receiving the Fukuoka Prize in song and performed Reamker and other pieces. To show their appreciation, the students then sang Furusato in Japanese, presenting the gift of their wonderful chorus to Master Kong Nay.
Asked by a student about the most difficult thing he had ever experienced, Master Kong Nay replied, “Losing my sight.” In response to a question about how he first encountered the chapey, he recalled, “When my father bought me a chapey when I was 13 years old, I remembered the sound of the chapey that I had heard at a festival and I thought that I could make living from chapey dang veng. ”Master Kong Nay thanked the students again for their gift of song, saying, “I don’t understand Japanese, but I understand the beauty of song. I am most moved to have this interaction with you.” The students then sang the school song together and took a commemorative photograph with Master Kong Nay. It was a very relaxed, congenial event.
Download the Anuual Report 2017
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