Spreading Love and peace in Eastern Europe tour



From August 15 to 24, 2016, I had the honor to visit Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro and other countries in the Balkan Peninsula of Eastern Europe with the "Tai Ji Men Culture Exchange Goodwill Group", to spread love and peace by culture goodwill activities. These countries, which were originally part of the territory of the Republic of Yugoslavia in the Soviet era, have complex races and different religious beliefs, Therefore, their lifestyles are very different from each other, and there are many contradictions and confrontations among their residents. After the death of Dito, a strongman of the Yugoslav Communist Party in the 1980s, internal conflicts between various ethnic groups began to arise, which led to a 10-year civil war, of which the war between Serbia and Bosnia between 1992 and 1995 was the most serious. It was tragic, not only causing genocide, mass death, but also millions of refugees. Although the war ended in 1995, 20 years later, when we visited Bosnia, we still saw many ruins that could not be restored, the negative impact of war on human beings is terrifying.


We took the opportunity of visiting various countries to contact the people and spread the seeds of love and peace on this land. Every time we visit a famous city landmark or tourist attraction, we would take out the goodwill group's cloth strips, every team member showed conscience gestures together, said "You and Me, Love and Peace" loudly, and greeted nearby residents and tourists. Many residents and tourists enthusiastically ran over to take pictures with us and showed conscience gestures with us. After taking pictures, we naturally talked to them, asked them where they came from, and gave them souvenirs related to the Era of Conscience, etc., and told them the stories of our travels to more than 60 countries all over the world. hoping that they would leave their words of conscience for the world peace on the Era of Conscience website. Although some locals or tourists don’t understand English well, but seeing our smiling faces and warmly greeting, they were also very happy to join us, which shows that a sincere smile is really the closest language for human beings. In total, we completed more than 90 times of conscience promotion, visited two mayors, and 35 nationalities echoed the Declaration of World Citizenship.


During this trip, we visited many scenic historic sites. There is an open-air war museum in Croatia, which displays weapons such as fighter jets, chariots, and cannons during the Yugoslav Civil War. Although the area of museum is small, the scopes made me feel an extremely strong contrast in such a country with scenic beauty. The civilization that human beings have finally accumulated can be destroyed overnight under ruthless fire. What a cruel fact! And seeing the tourists who came to visit one after another, take pictures with these sophisticated war machines, I wondered what do they think about this powerful power? Before I joined Tai Ji Men, I was also yearned for more sophisticated weapons. But at this moment, I felt full of regrets in my heart. "War" is the destroyer of human civilization, but for thousands of years, human beings have never been able to get rid of this nightmare. There are five poisons "greed, anger, ignorance, arrogance, and suspect" in the heart, which make people lose their minds and fall into the abyss of pain over and over. As Shi Fu Dr. Hong Daoze always tells us, all things arise from the "heart", if it is not human ambition and foolish, how can it converge as the result of war? This is true for society and the country, but it is also true for individuals. Driven by the "five poisons", how many wrong things have we unknowingly done to the detriment of others and not to our own benefit? It is hard to count.

We sang the " Love and Peace Song " at the War Museum together, spreading the energy of love on this land. It was a meaningful time! Mr. Dai, the tour guide, told us afterwards that when he heard our singing, his heart was moved to tears, this was the first time he guided a tour group like us, he deeply felt our selfless heart that did not ask for returns, and he was honored to walk with us on this journey with love and peace.

When visiting Mustar, Bosnia, the local guide pointed at a wall full of bullet holes as soon as we got out the bus. Even 20 years after the end of the civil war, these bullet holes still cannot be repaired. The ruthless destructive power to the city was revealed in the tour guide's commentary.
The most special thing about this city is that there are many different races living in the city, including Serbs who believe in Catholicism, Bosnians who believe in Islam, and Jews who believe in Judaism. Their churches are built on three corners at the same intersection, the scenery is very special. Before the war, they believed in their religions and lived their own lives, they cared their own business. However, During the war, the churches were destroyed, and each race regarded the others as enemy. After the war, churches had been rebuilt again. Although some churches have not yet had the money to build them back to their original size, the people had finally returned to the peaceful coexistence as the past. Sometimes you think about the big mistake made on impulse, and when you look back, why bother?

After this journey, I feel fortunate that I grow up in Taiwan, where there is no war, and I was not deprived of my original life by the war. I am also happy that the Balkan countries, known as the "European Gunpowder", can regain peace. Only a peaceful environment can make human life prosperous. The small countries of Eastern Europe, with their picturesque landscapes and rich cultural scenery, are enjoying a peaceful environment, with a constant flow of tourists and an improving economic situation, and I believe they also cherish such a life. In particular, in these countries, such as Croatia, the constitution states that the coastline of the country belongs to the people of the country and that no consortium or private individual can ever monopolize the beaches. One of them is the city of Dubník, located on the Adriatic Sea, where in the Middle Ages it was explicitly stated in the treaty that the people should govern the country. People-oriented concept is the best way to maintain the country's long-term stability.

On the other hand, although there has been no war in Taiwan for nearly 80 years and there is a constitution to protect people's lives, the government has not really implemented the spirit of the constitution with its heart, on the contrary, it has abused the rights entrusted by the people under the false mask of hypocrisy. Although there have been three political party rotations, there is still no way to get rid of this bad habit, which has become the biggest worry for Taiwan's social stability and economic development. Especially in the judicial and tax systems, they are often used as a tool to suppress dissidents by those in power. The judicial system and the taxation system have formed an unbreakable structure of complicity, and the official culture of officials protecting each other and not admitting their mistakes is rampant. How can a country like this allow its people to live and work in peace and happiness? Will the new government, which is holding the banner of "transitional justice", really listen to the people's voices and remove the unjust, wrong and false cases that have been unfairly delayed by the government, so that the public servants who have done wrong will be sanctioned by the law and the government will apologize to the people, then it will be the time of true transitional justice in the people's mind.