The International Seminar provided a near-capacity audience in Littauer Auditorium last night with glimpses into the four corners of the earth, this time exploring Burma, Ceylon, Italy, Sweden and Ireland.
The topics discussed at the Seminar's fifth Wednesday evening forum were "New Concepts and Old Values in Ceylon and Burma" and "The Literary Interlude."
"My country today is in the crucible," said the first Burmese speaker, Maung Nu, secretary of the Burma Research Board, explaining current social changes.
Pan Hla, senior cultural officer for the Burmese government, expressed the belief that Burma will not turn Communist because of Buddist influence.
The Ceylonese speaker, Samson Wijesinha, a lawyer, gave credit to Britain which "with one stroke of the pen turned discontented subjects into equals and friends" when it granted independence to Ceylon in 1948.
The first of three European speakers discussing "The Literary Interlude," Luciano Codignola, director of Cultural Affairs for the Olivetti Co., described Italy as "the first country to think of itself in terms of decadence."
Lars Ulvenstam, a Swedish essayist and journalist, saw a gradual increase of concern for culture in Swedish society.
The final speaker of the European group was Seamus O'Neill, professor at Dublin University, Ireland, who argued that modern poetry in Ireland has flourished even since the death of W.B. Yeats.