News Item Text | The Reason Why Richard Gere to Borobudur

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The Reason Why Richard Gere to Borobudur

Richard Gere Pictures, Images and PhotosJAKARTA, KOMPAS.com - For Buddhists, the arrival of Hollywood actor Richard Gere to Indonesia is part of a spiritual tour he lived. The plan, he will visit various Buddhist sites around the world. In Indonesia, he would visit Borobudur temple.

According to Marketing Director General of Tourism Ministry of Culture and Tourism Sapta Nirwandar, there are several celebrations in 2011 relating to the Borobudur Temple.

"One who inspired this visit is a celebration of 1,000 years the arrival of Atisha, 100 in celebration of the modern restoration of the Borobudur temple, 200 years old Raffles found Borobudur Temple, UNESCO declaration 20 years. Many things are celebrated in the temple of Borobudur in 2011," said Nirwandar at a press conference at the House Sapta Enchantment, Jakarta, Friday (06/17/2011). Another celebration was exactly 50 years ago the President opened the Ramayana performances.

Hardi Chung of the Buddhist Community of Indonesia, said the arrival Gere inspired celebration of 1,000 years since the arrival of Atisha.

"Atisha was the pastor who brought Buddhism to Tibet waves. In 1011 he studied Buddhist Srivijaya. In 1012, Atisha visited Borobudur Temple. Doctrine at Borobudur he brought to Tibet. So the roots of Buddhism in Tibet until now came from Borobudur Temple. This is why inspired Richard Gere to come to the Borobudur temple, "he explained.

Furthermore, Hardi explained, Atisha pastor of Bengali travel to Sriwijaya for a purpose. At that time, he said, the first wave of Buddhism in Tibet is not directional. To straighten out the teachings in Tibet, the Tibetan king to travel to find a priest who could teach in Tibet. Unfortunately, the Tibetan King died in custody after he was caught on the trip.

"This determination came from and dedicated to the teachings of Atisha to Tibet. We want to Tibet, Atisha was inspired that need to Sriwijaya. He pointed to Sriwijaya in year 1011 AD. For 12 years he studied in Sumatra and the Borobudur temple. There is a doctrine that is applied many flow in Tibet, Atisha's teachings are the results of study in Indonesia, "he explained.

Meanwhile, Sapta said Gere's visit could add a good image of Indonesia in the eyes of the world. He said, so far, Americans are worried about security issues when it comes to Indonesia.

"Americans have a sense of fear to come to Indonesia. But, hopefully with the arrival of him (Gere), many fans are eager for following him to come to Indonesia," he said.

Sapta continued, if Gere was memorable with a visit to Indonesia, it was likely it would offer to Gere as a tourism ambassador of Indonesia.

"Bill Gates and Kotler were our free ambassadors. If at the end of the visit we offer to Richard Gere, and he agrees also for free, sustenance for us," he said.

Richard Gere's visit is also in the context of fundraising. After Mount Merapi eruption until now, Borobudur is still in the stage of improvement in some parts.

President Director of PT Taman Wisata Candi Borobudur, Prambanan and Ratu Boko, Siswoprasetyo Purnomo said, Borobudur remains open to the public during the visit of Richard Gere.

Purnomo explained that the visit of foreign tourists has been increasing. "Since November 2010 an increase in demand from major travel agents to enter the Borobudur and Prambanan temple in the itinerary of foreign tourists visiting Indonesia moment," he said.

PT Taman Wisata Candi Borobudur, Prambanan and Ratu Boko targeting 440,000 foreign tourists visited Borobudur Temple in 2011.

Adapted from Kompas.com
Translated into English by Fadli Eha
Richard Gere picture from Photobucket.com

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