As the largest continent on the globe with vivid, colorful and diverse cultures among it nations, the Asia continent is becoming increasingly aware to seek common cultural identity on the stage of the world.
The growing trend is exemplified by a round table meeting on cultural exchange and cooperation between Asian nations at the 2004 annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA). The forum with vivid economic traits for the first time this year initiated such a session on cultural cooperation.
Abul Hossain, a member of the Advisory Council of BFA from Bangladesh, said the cultural exchange and cooperation among countries not only bring them closer, but also contribute largely in boosting the economies of respective countries.
With nearly 1,000 ethnicities scattered in a vast land area of over 44 million sq km, Asia civilization has long been distinguished as a melting pot of diversified cultures in history, but the continent seldom posed as a whole in culture on the global stage, though there are frequent cultural exchanges and cooperation between nations from east to southeast on the vast continent.
However, Reginald Chua, the noted editor of the Asian Wall Street Journal, said that the situation is now changing.
"Although Asia is not a thing but many things in terms of geography and culture, Asian countries' increasing awareness of belonging to the continent has raised attention," Chua noted.
Activities featuring Asian culture organized by the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Japan, the United States and some other countries and regions in recent years have attracted wide participation of statesmen, scholars and the cultural industries from Asian nations and other parts of the world.
In fact, economic growth in Asia is believed to be a foundation for cultural exchanges and cooperation between the nations on the continent.
"Economic growth has allowed Asian people to ponder its cultural traditions," said Chua.
Enjoying great a momentum for common economic progress, forum participants acknowledged, Asian nations undoubtedly should start cultural cooperation for an integrated and harmonious Asian culture.
Once tailing after the West in the process of seeking economic development, Asia is now trying to make the world know it as it is.
"The Asian domination saga has already begun," said Amit Khanna, chairman of Reliance Entertainment of India.
The two-day BFA annual conference 2004, which opened on Saturday morning in Boao, a scenic town in China's southernmost island province of Hainan, ended here Sunday afternoon. And more than 1,000 prestigious statesmen, noted scholars and renowned business people from Asia and other parts of the world attended the meeting.
BFA was officially established in February, 2001 and the first annual conference was held in April, 2002.
(Xinhua News Agency April 26, 2004)