THE SILK ROAD: CONNECTING CULTURES, CREATING TRUSTS
(Senate - July 17, 2002)

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[Pages S6940-S6942]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




          THE SILK ROAD: CONNECTING CULTURES, CREATING TRUSTS

  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, I welcome this opportunity to commend the 
Smithsonian Institution and Yo-Yo Ma for this year's extraordinary 
Folklife Festival, ``The Silk Road: Connecting Cultures, Creating 
Trusts.'' The festival, which was held from June 26 through July 7 on 
The Mall, enabled hundreds of thousands to experience the art of 375 
musicians, dancers, cooks and storytellers from the nations along the 
famous Silk Road trade routes through central Asia centuries ago.
  In the aftermath of September 11, it is more important than ever to 
expand our understanding of those cultures. Yo-Yo Ma, with broad 
support from Secretary of State Colin Powell, the

[[Page S6941]]

Aga Khan, and the Congressional Silk Road Caucus, and many others, 
helped us to embark on a journey of understanding and appreciation by 
bringing an incredible diversity of products and ideas that have 
emerged from central Asia to our Nation's front lawn--the Smithsonian 
Mall.
  Yo-Yo Ma deserves special recognition for his unique ability to 
engage us all in an educational process that celebrates cultural 
differences. He is one of our Nation's preeminent musical artists. He 
is also an extraordinary cultural leader who has won the hearts of 
millions throughout the world with his outreach and education programs. 
He has used his incomparable talents to inspire us to learn about 
diverse peoples and cultures.
  I commend all those who worked so effectively to make this year's 
Folklife Festival such an unequivocal success. It is a privilege to pay 
tribute to their efforts. I ask unanimous consent to include remarks at 
the opening ceremony of the Smithsonian Silk Road Project in the 
Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

    The Silk Road: Connecting Cultures, Creating Trust--Smithsonian 
   Folklife Festival Opening Ceremony, Washington, D.C., Remarks by 
          Smithsonian Institution Secretary, Lawrence M. Small

  To all our distinguished guests, welcome to the Nation's Capital, 
welcome to the national mall, and the opening of the 36th annual 
Smithsonian Folklife Festival, The Silk Road: Connecting Cultures, 
Creating Trust.
  We have assembled some 400 musicians, artists, and storytellers from 
more than 25 countries around the globe to 20 acres here on the mall, 
the nation's front yard.
  And I must mention Kubla and Gobi who come from Texas, the two 
Bactrian camels, who have two humps. They have been specially trained 
to respond to commands in both English and Kazakh, which means you can 
now see the only double-humped, bilingual camels in the world.
  The Smithsonian had plenty of help this year. This was truly an 
international effort, with many countries cooperating across borders 
for a common goal. As you look around, it's clear the goal has been 
accomplished. My congratulations to all involved, many are here today, 
many are in their home countries, we thank them all wherever they are.
  The State Department has provided valuable assistance, and we have a 
special guest who will be here soon to officially open the Festival, 
the Honorable Colin Powell, Secretary of State.
  The Smithsonian could not carry out its mission without the generous 
support of Congress, and we are always grateful for that. We thank 
Senator Brownback and Senator Biden, honorary co-chairs of the Folklife 
Festival. You'll hear from Senator Brownback soon.
  We're very grateful for the help of Senator Kennedy; you'll hear from 
him in a moment. And thanks also to Congressman Pitts from the 16th 
district of Pennsylvania, and all the members of the Congressional Silk 
Road Caucus.
  We also are grateful for the support of His Highness the Aga Khan, a 
true humanitarian whose caring and concern span the globe. We welcome 
the Honorable Fran Mainella, Director of the National Park Service.
  A special thanks to Rajeev Sethi, the Festival scenographer, and head 
of the Asian Heritage Foundation, who collaborated closely with the 
Smithsonian in the design and the production of the Festival. And whose 
many wonders you see here on the mall. And, we would not be here 
without the incredibly generous contribution of time, talent, and 
resources of Yo Yo Ma. We're honored to be working with him and the 
organization he founded, the Silk Road Project. We're very thankful for 
their support. You will hear from Yo Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble 
very soon.
  Centuries ago, had you been a traveler on the storied trade route 
from Japan to Italy, you would have seen traders carrying textiles, 
tea, spices, silk, and much more from the Pacific to the Mediterranean. 
Perhaps most importantly, these traders carried art, music, literature, 
ideas, a way of life, a culture, from one land to the next. As a 
result, all the cultures were changed--and the change continues to this 
day.
  The Silk Road lives not in the past but the present--influencing our 
lives every day.
  This Festival will make abundantly clear why it is so important to 
continue open cultural exchange between diverse peoples and societies. 
Especially now.
  I want to thank Richard Kurin, Richard Kennedy, Diana Parker, and all 
the staff at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage 
for all their hard work in putting this together. This year, the Freer 
and Sackler galleries, The Smithsonian Associates, the Hirshhorn Museum 
and Sculpture Garden, the National Museum of Natural History, the 
National Museum of African Art, and the Smithsonian Magazine, have all 
picked up the Silk Road theme in their activities. Thanks to them also.
  Later on in the program, Richard Kurin will tell you more about this 
remarkable event, including how many silk worms are needed to make one 
pound of silk, when is a 5-ton truck not a painting, what ``bushkazi'' 
is, and where polo comes from and when the polo matches start on the 
mall. Yes, I said polo.
                                  ____


Remarks by His Highness the Aga Khan at the opening of the Smithsonian 
                   Folklife Festival--Washington D.C.

       I am here to speak briefly about Central Asia. I wanted to 
     share with you some of the reasons why the theme of the 
     Smithsonian Folklife Festival this year is so important. As 
     you know, Central Asia has been an area of considerable 
     concern and instability for the world. Over the past decade, 
     Central Asian countries have come into existence in difficult 
     circumstances. Frontiers have been changed, ethnic groups 
     have been divided, old traditions have been modified by the 
     Soviet presence, and all this has caused considerable 
     difficulty in looking ahead in that part of the world.
       The period of deep change at the national and regional 
     levels has prompted a search for new forces of stability. One 
     that seems particularly important, I think, to the United 
     States and to all of us, is the validation and vigorous 
     promotion of human and cultural pluralism. Historically the 
     Silk Route was a link that interconnected diverse aspects of 
     human society and culture from the Far East to Europe, and 
     did so on the basis of mutual interest. This suggests that 
     for the new countries of Central Asia, the inherent pluralism 
     of their societies can be regarded as an asset rather than a 
     liability. In the wider sense, it can be a means of enlarging 
     the frontiers of global pluralism. This is a goal with which 
     we all can and should associate.
       The remarkable work of Yo-Yo Ma has enthralled audiences, 
     from all the countries of the Silk Route and beyond. By his 
     leadership and imagination he has proved that the force of 
     cultural pluralism to bind people is as necessary, powerful 
     and achievable today as was the Silk Route in history.
       It is my privilege and honor to be associated with the 
     founder of the modern Silk Route, a cultural journey that 
     inspires people to unity and joy through art.
                                  ____


Remarks by Yo-Yo Ma at the opening of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival

       Your Highness, thank you for your kind words. The Silk road 
     Project and I admire you for many reasons. In your cultural 
     work you have created the Aga Khan Prize for Architecture, 
     you have supported and founded Universities around the world, 
     and you are doing important restoration work in cities like 
     Cairo and now Kabul. We are honored to be working with you 
     and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture on this year's Smithsonian 
     Folklife Festival.
       I would also like to single out someone who is both a 
     friend of mine and of the Silk Road Project, the Senator from 
     my home state of Massachusetts, Ted Kennedy. Senator Kennedy, 
     thank you for your tireless work for arts organizations.
       Secretary Powell, Senator Kennedy, Senator Brownback, 
     Secretary Small, Your Highness, distinguished guests, welcome 
     to the sights, sounds and scents familiar to over half the 
     world's population. In the past, to experience all these 
     elements you would need to travel by camel, by foot, by boat, 
     and now, by plane. Today and for the next two weeks here on 
     the National Mall we're providing the camels, the painted 
     truck from Pakistan, and the rik-shaws, so all you need are 
     your eyes, ears and imagination.
       During twenty-five years of travel, I have been introduced 
     to some of these sights, sounds and scents, and the many 
     stories that accompany them.
       Often the music you hear when I play the cello comes from 
     these very stories. During this year's Smithsonian Folklife 
     Festival, you can hear these stories for yourselves in 
     encounters with four hundred artists from twenty-four 
     countries.
       Most of these artists will be strangers to you. Many of 
     these artists are strangers to each other. We all meet 
     strangers all the time. When the Silk Road Ensemble musicians 
     and I first started playing together two years ago we had to 
     find ways to trust each other onstage even though we had only 
     just

[[Page S6942]]

     met. To me, the best way to create this trust is to share 
     something precious--a personal story or belief. In music, 
     this process of sharing deepens the harmonies, but more 
     broadly this process starts a true dialogue and strengthens 
     our common world heritage. This festival is about that 
     dialogue.
       In the end, the goal of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife 
     and Cultural Heritage, the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, and 
     the Silk Road Project is the same: to draw on the wisdom of 
     all of our cultures to enrich our world one encounter at a 
     time.
                                  ____


 Remarks of Senator Edward Kennedy Opening Ceremony--Folklife Festival

       Thank you, Mr. Kurin, for that generous introduction. It is 
     an honor to be here this morning with all the exceptionally 
     talented artists and the visionary sponsors of the Silk Road 
     Project--the cornerstone of this year's Folklife Festival. 
     The Folklife Festival is one of our capital city's most 
     beloved traditions. Each year, it brings the customs and 
     cultures of a unique region or ethnic population alive with 
     music and dance, craft and culinary wonders.
       I commend Lawrence Small, Secretary of the Smithsonian 
     Institution. He is a dynamic leader of the Smithsonian, and I 
     commend him for the success of this inspiring project.
       It is a privilege to be here with Secretary of State, Colin 
     Powell who is an effective advocate for the United States in 
     these difficult times. He is skillful in the pursuit of peace 
     across the world and I commend him for all he continues to 
     do.
       I also join in welcoming His Highness the Aga Khan who was 
     an early supporter of the Silk Road Project. He is an 
     impressive leader for our time and I commend all that he has 
     done, especially in the field of education and cultural 
     exchange. Now, more than ever, his voice is one that needs to 
     be acknowledged and understood. We are honored to have him 
     with us today.
       It is especially important that the Smithsonian has 
     embarked on this remarkable celebration of the cultural 
     richness and diversity of the Silk Road countries. Centuries 
     ago, the Silk Road trade routes gave birth to an 
     unprecedented and extraordinary exchange of cultural and 
     economic traditions. Today, more than ever, it is essential 
     to remember the incredible diversity of products and ideas 
     that have emerged from Central Asia.
       The Mall is truly the Main Street of our nation's capital 
     city. Today, it brings us exhibits and cultural performances 
     representing the Silk Road countries, from Italy to India, 
     Mongolia and Japan. There is something here for everyone to 
     enjoy. And that is, after all, what the Folklife Festival is 
     about. It is a starting point for exploration and education, 
     and it is always about entertainment.
       The Silk Road's artistic demonstrations and musical 
     performances will bring the Mall to new life over the next 
     several weeks.
       We are especially privileged to have with us one of our 
     nation's most preeminent artists. Yo-yo Ma is a musician who 
     has won both critical and popular acclaim for his virtuosity. 
     He has also won the hearts and minds of millions of people 
     throughout the world, with his outreach and education 
     projects.
       From Sesame Street to Carnegie Hall, he has brought music 
     to life, and life to music. He is the tireless and seemingly 
     unstoppable energy behind youth orchestras across the 
     country, and projects as musically diverse as the memorable 
     ``Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon'' and his energetic 
     Appalachian strings recordings.
       He starred on David Letterman two nights ago, and today he 
     is with us--on America's Main Street--to celebrate the 
     beginning of the Folklife Festival. He inspires each of us to 
     do all we can to embrace and celebrate diverse peoples and 
     cultures through education and understanding.
       After the tragic events of September 11th, it is more 
     important than ever for each of us to understand and embrace 
     new ideas and cultures. Today, we continue this journey of 
     understanding with Yo-Yo Ma.
       He has used his magnificent genius to bring the entire 
     world closer together. He inspires people everywhere to seek 
     peace and reconciliation, and he has done it all with his 
     magical cello.
       He is here with the performers of the Silk Road Ensemble 
     and I am honored to introduce them now.
                                  ____



 Remarks at the Opening of the Silk Road Festival--Secretary Colin L. 
   Powell, Smithsonian Folklife festival on the Mall, Washington, DC

       Secretary Powell: Thank you very much, ladies and 
     gentlemen. Thank you so very much, Richard, for that kind 
     introduction, and my congratulations to the Smithsonian for 
     putting on this 36th Annual Folklife Festival. With each 
     year's Folklife Festival, the Mall becomes a living cultural 
     exhibition, not only for the citizens of this city, but for 
     the citizens of the world who come to Washington, D.C. In the 
     words of former Smithsonian Secretary S. Dillon Ripley, ``The 
     Festival brings the museum out of its glass case and into 
     real life.''
       I want to thank you also, Yo-Yo Ma and your Silk Road 
     Project, to the Aga Khan for his Trust for Culture, to 
     Lawrence Small of the Smithsonian, for all the wonderful work 
     they have done to make this such an exciting and important 
     event. And I am very proud that the State Department had such 
     a role to play in it, and some of my leaders from the 
     Department who had a role to play are here. Under Secretary 
     of State Charlotte Beers and Assistant Secretary of State 
     Beth Jones, and I think Assistant Secretary of State Pat 
     Harrison are here, and they also are deserving of your 
     recognition.
       In fact, we did have some diplomatic challenges in making 
     this happen. The two yurts that are here, tents that you will 
     see in due course, they had to be custom made to conform to 
     American laws for access to the handicapped. And so our 
     embassy in Kazakhstan worked closely with the Kazakh 
     Government to make sure they were up to standard--and then 
     helped ship them here in time for this Festival. So we are 
     not only culturally pure, we are OSHA-pure as well. I want 
     you to know that.
       We have seen so many talented people this morning, and we 
     have had such wonderful speakers. And I, as always, enjoyed 
     Yo-Yo Ma. But Yo-Yo, I have to say the throat singers might 
     have had a slight edge on you. It was marvelous, and I 
     haven't heard throat singing like that since my last 
     congressional appearance. And it was before the Senate, not 
     the House.
       But what these artists have done for you this morning so 
     far is they have painted a marvelous picture of the old Silk 
     Road and the central place that the Silk Road played in our 
     own history, our own culture, and in our own civilization.
       Listening to this morning's speakers, you can almost see 
     Marco Polo trekking eastward toward lands unknown to 
     Europeans, or hear the sounds of a merchant caravan heading 
     west with its cargo of silks and spices.
       The Silk Road of old was the main link between the 
     civilizations of the east, Central Asia, and Europe. From 
     Europe, the products and ideas of Central and East Asia then 
     spread to the New World of the Americas. All of our peoples 
     were enriched by the exchange of goods, the exchange of 
     ideas, and the exchange of cultures.
       But the Silk Road is more than a subject for magazines and 
     museums. It is more than an image of past glories. The 
     nations of Central Asia are once again joining the nations at 
     either end of the Silk Road on a path to a better future for 
     all. There is far to go, and the region's security, 
     stability, and prosperity depend on critical economic and 
     political reforms. But the Silk Road is once again a living 
     reality, as the over 350 artists and craftspeople from 20 
     nations here testify.
       Now, in our new age of globalization, we are restoring the 
     linkages and the interchanges that once made the Silk Road so 
     rich and so vital. We have been making up for lost time. Our 
     political, economic, diplomatic, and security contacts have 
     increased with all the nations along the central part of the 
     Silk Road, boosted by our cooperation especially as we came 
     together in the campaign against terrorism following 9/11 
     last year.
       But even more important, our cultural and institutional 
     ties have also grown. We are once again exchanging ideas and 
     learning about cultures with all of the countries and peoples 
     along the Silk Road.
       The links between our peoples are the most vital and 
     enduring elements of our ties. Festivals like the Smithsonian 
     Silk Road Festival play a major role in helping us get 
     reacquainted and start learning from each other once again. 
     As the theme of this exhibition reminds us, it's all about 
     ``Connecting cultures and creating trust.''
       This Festival, like the future, stretches ahead before us. 
     So without further delay, and with sincere thanks for your 
     patience, let me now light the lamp that will allow us to 
     embark on our journey along the Silk Road. Thank you very, 
     very much.
                                  ____

  Mr. CRAPO. Mr. President, I was unavailable to vote on the afternoon 
of July 10, and all of July 11, 12, 15 and 16 due to the death of my 
mother. Had I been able I would have voted as follows: Rollcall No. 
169--``yea''; Rollcall No. 170--``yea''; Rollcall No. 171--``yea''; 
Rollcall No. 172--``yea''; Rollcall No. 173--``yea''; Rollcall No. 
174--``yea''; Rollcall No. 175--``yea''; Rollcall No. 176--``yea''; 
Rollcall No. 177--``yea''.

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