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Hatcher Laments Russians' Boycott

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Hatcher Laments Russians’ Boycott


University President Harlan Hatcher yesterday welcomed delegates from more than 50 nations to Ann Arbor and U-M with the “regret that we do not have us the delegates from the Soviet Union.” 

He was among those addressing some 1,500 persons attending the inaugural session of the 27th International Congress Of Orientalists and Hill auditorium continuing through Friday, it is the first meeting of the Congress in the United States. 

Others addressing the opening session were Humanyon Kabir of India, out — going president of the Congress, and his successor, Professor W. Norman Brown of the University of Pennsylvania. Professor Russell H. Fifield , of U - M political science Department and secretary general of the meeting , introduced speakers.


“Whatever may be the political differences and the tensions that divide governments, we are always deeply sorry when anything intervenes with the very necessary an prized intercommunication of scholars , which always transcends national differences and differences of governments,”Hatcher said. 


U-M president noted that “ just last month a Soviet delegation was here to attend a conference on nuclear energy, and 35 Russian scholars” were here recently to study English.


The Soviet delegation last week announced that it would not attend the conference because of international tensions. Representatives of the Soviet Union’s Tass news agency and the Soviet Embassy are slated to attend, however. 


Hatcher said “the word distinguished has never been more appropriately used then now,” in connection with the congress.


 “this is as it should be a more than 50  nations represented. We are particularly proud that this first congress is at our country is at The University of Michigan ,” he said. 


U - M president pointed out that “nearly half of the foreign students on the University's campus are from Asia. This University for a long time has been oriented toward the Orient.” 


Along with the absence of the Russian delegates, the Congress had a second disappointment in the inability of U Thant, secretary general of the United Nations, to attend and give an address at the closing session on Friday.


In a message from U Thant read At yesterday's inaugural opening session, the United Nations secretary general said: “The Congress of  Orientalists as it were, a smaller replica of the United Nations, devoted specifically to the pursuance of many facets of cultures prevailing in the greater part of the world.


“the more we know about a foreign country, the more we are able to evaluate our own problems. The more analytically we look at our community, the better we can understand others and understanding is the master key to friendship and to peace, twin aims which constitute an affinity between the Congress of Orientalists and the United Nations.”


 Kabir said, “I am happy this session is being held in the United States in the beautiful city of Ann Arbor and at the University of Michigan which has such a wonderful record   in the humanities.


He called the aims of the Congress “a key to international understanding,” and said it could help lead the way toward peace between nations.


Kabir also discussed the recent riots that swept across the U. S., drawing parallels between them and those in other civilizations and cities throughout history. 


Brown praised U-M  as a center of Oriental learning and welcomed the delegates from throughout the world.


More than 500 papers on Oriental studies will be given at sessions across U-M campus before the congress closes on Friday.






Outgoing Head Speaks


Humayon Kabir, outgoing President of the International Congress of Orientalists from India, was among those addressing the inaugural sessions of the 27th meeting of the congress yesterday in Hill Auditorium. Professor-Emeritus W. Norman Brown of the University of Pennsylvania succeeds Kabir as president of the international organization of scholars on Oriental subjects. Brown and  U-M President Harlan Hatcher were the other  featured speakers on the program.



Delegates from Japan Chat 


These four Japanese women waiting on the steps of Hill auditorium for the opening of the 27th international Congress of orientalists yesterday are part of a delegation of more than 150 persons from Japan. They are  ( left 2 right ), Kakabo Kodama, Yoshiko Morioka, Kaluko Fujino, and Teruko Nakano. All of Tokyo, Japan has the largest delegation of any of the 54 countries represented. Others with large delegations are west Germany with 99; Great Britain with 77; and Argentina with 72. The Soviet union is boycotting the event.