rank-and-file thinker.It would be an intellectual safe-haven for those with cultural roots in Asian nations, as well asthose interested in learning about ways of life other than their own. Yes, Australia already hasaConfucius Institutebut this is too focused on China.The Asian Institute would look at the cultural connections between all Asian nations (thereare almost 50 of them) ranging in diversity from Afghanistan to Yemen.
How would it work?
The institute would offer seminars or workshops in Asian visual and performing arts, music,languages, mythology and folklore, cuisine and literature with classical examples from Indian,Chinese, Japanese, Persian and Arabic cultures amongst others.
The Asian Century Institute would study the philosophybehind martial arts.Pandiyan
Eastern religion would be represented by similar excursions into Hinduism, Taoism,Confucianism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and so forth. It would also provide a platform forpublic lectures in Eastern philosophy, such as Confucianism, Taoism, Shinto, Hindu andBuddhist metaphysics, Zoroastrianism and Sufi, to name a few possible schools of thought.For a case in point, take Eastern martial arts. These are more about philosophy, examiningaspects of human agency and self-control, rather than merely the grunt-work of self-defence.University of Melbourne philosophers Graham Priest and Damon Young recently edited avolume entitled, “Martial Arts and Philosophy: Beating and Nothingness.” An Asian Century Institute could offer short courses on, say, “Better Business through Aikido.” This may sound off-the-wall, but studies have indicated that Aikido provides asystems-based approachthat can augment conventional mediation strategies.
More than a public space
As a public space similar to, for example, theWheeler Centrein Melbourne, the AsianCentury Institute could consist of a café, library and gallery, where rotating exhibitions couldbe held, as well as meeting rooms and a lecture theatre for symposiums, classes and/orconferences.