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Get Into The Spirit Of Subud Congress

Sun., Aug. 3, 1997

Here are some common complaints about Spokane:

It’s boring. It’s bland.

There’s nothing to do at night, especially downtown.

If you agree with the complaints, hold your tongue. Subud has arrived. The international group’s World Congress begins today and ends Aug. 17.

Subud is a spiritual movement that began in 1924 in Indonesia. It is not a religion. It is not a cult. It is a spiritual organization with 10,000 members worldwide. Many are followers of other religions, but they come together through Subud. To listen to and learn from one another. To do membership business. To explore contemporary topics. To worship together.

Subud congress-goers will take over downtown Spokane for the next two weeks. So prepare for exposure to fascinating people and events. Prepare for the opportunity to see, meet and listen to people from all over the world - 3,000 from 80 countries.

Avail yourself of the opportunity to open your mind to other religions, other cultures. It’s all happening in Spokane. The same Spokane sometimes called boring and bland.

Subud members meet every four years for their World Congress. It’s pretty amazing Spokane landed the thing. Rifka Bullen, Subud site coordinator, said organizers were looking for a midsize city with enough sophistication to welcome, accommodate and feed men, women and young people of many different cultures. Spokane fit the bill.

So people of the Inland Northwest, let’s live up to the reputation that drew the congress to Spokane. Let’s be friendly. Let’s be sophisticated. Congress-goers are not only pumping $6.5 million into our economy, they are offering us the chance to meet and talk with people from other lands. People from Africa, Australia, Asia, South America, Australia and Europe. That doesn’t happen much at all in Spokane, a city that is 92 percent white.

Almost all the meetings and workshops are open to the public. All the cultural events are open. That means you can hear musicians from Germany, Canada and Indonesia. Watch dancers from Bali. See a play produced by Subud members from Britain and Ireland. Conversations in many languages will mingle at international cafes, which will be open until 2 a.m., inside and outside the Spokane Convention Center.

The opening ceremony will be held Monday evening at 8:30 at Riverfront Park’s Lilac Bowl. We haven’t seen anything this international since Expo ‘74. Come see, and experience, Subud in Spokane.

The opportunity won’t come our way again.

, DataTimes The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Rebecca Nappi/For the editorial board

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