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Fukuoka Prize Acceptance Speech

Clifford GEERTZ

"The Honorable Mayor of Fukuoka City, Members of the Fukuoka Asian Cultural Prize Committee, Ladies and Gentlemen.

Allow me to express my deepest gratitude for the extraordinary honor you have today bestowed upon me. I have been concerned with the study of Asian culture, most especially Indonesian cullure but more broadly the culture of the entire region, for more than forty years, the whole of my adult life. Because I am an anthropologist, most of this study has not been from books alone but has involved long periods of residence among ordinary villagers and townspoeple, who have wellcomed me mto their lives with great openness and affection, as well as, I imagine, with some amusement. It is of them I think as I receive this award and of the bonds across cultures that we have forged over the years. A prize in Asian cultural studies, given with such generosity of spirit by an Asian country to an American scholar seems to me to symbolize those bonds and to be thus a recognition not of myself but of the possibility of genuine understanding and friendship between peoples.

I am, also, especially honored to have been included in so distinguished a company as both this year's honorees and those of the two previous years represent. Tbe city of Fukuoka and its citizens are making an extremely valuable contribution, both to international understanding and to the appreciation and vitalization of Asian culture, in establishing these prizes and awarding them in so gracious and large-minded manner. The tradition of outward looking concern for Asia and for the grand variety of its cultural expressions for which they and their city is famous is well extended by this initiative.

I express my most heartfelt thanks to them for considering me worthy of such a recognition as has today been given me. Thank you very much."



Acceptance speech, in: The 3rd Fukuoka Asian Cultural Prizes 1992: prize presentation ceremony. Fukuoka-City/JAP 1992: The Fukuoka Asian Cultural Prizes, p. 17


source: The Fukuoka Asian Cultural Prizes (hardcopy sent by Tomiko Uchino); scanned by Ingo Moerth

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