World Culture Festival 2016- Celebrating our Diversity
World Culture Festival
Founded in 1981 by His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Art of Living is a spiritual and humanitarian organization which is engaged in stress-management though the various programs it offers and service initiatives. The organization operates globally in 155 countries and has touched the lives of over 370 million people through its happiness programs and a beautiful breathing technique called Sudarshan Kriya.
This year Art of Living will be celebrating its 35th year of existence through a series of events in New Delhi. World Culture Festival 2016 is a celebration of Art of Living’s 35 years of selfless service to humanity across the globe. The festival aims at bringing together people of different nationalities and cultures as a one world global family, thus giving a resounding message of peace to this world full of strife.
WCF Venue: Grounds opposite Mayur Vihar Phase 1 Metro Station & Mayur Vihar Extension Metro Station, Delhi
Date: March 11-13, 2016
Timings: 5 PM onwards
Why World Culture Festival 2016?
Art of Living decided to celebrate this occasion as World Culture Festival to highlight its motto of a One World Family (Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam) and Guruji's vision of making Life a Celebration. The aim of World Culture Festival is:
- To give the world a relevant message that all world is one big family and thus there is no need to fight petty wars.
- In spite of all our differences- be it national, cultural or religion, we can still co-exist peacefully along with our differences.
- It will provide an opportunity and a platform for all religious leaders, businessmen and politicians to come together and renew their vision to work for the welfare and upliftment of the society.
- Creating an awareness for the environment we live in.
- Encouraging the traditional musicians and showcasing the folk music/dance and take pride in it.
- Bringing good values like honesty, integrity, sincerity, compassion etc. to the forefront.
- To highlight the fact that good, dynamic people are still there in the world who care about mankind.
Making of the World Culture Festival 2016!
- The world's largest Stage of more than 7 Acres is being constructed at the venue of World Culture Festival 2016. It will be an attempt to enter Guinness World Records for the 'Largest temporary stage' in the world.
- The venue of World Culture Festival is spread over 1000 acres of land.
- 3.5 million people from all over the world are expected to attend this cultural extravaganza which will be spread during three days.
- 25000 artists and performers will be performing over these three days.
- The event will be kickstarted by energizing and powerful Vedic Chants by 1,000 Veda Pandits (scholars).
- 40 musicians will play one of the world`s loudest non-brass acoustic instruments – The Naadaswaram from Southern India.
- Mesmerizing performances of Kathak, Bharatanatyam, Mohiniattam, Bhangra, Natti dance and many more classical & folk dances will be showcased over these three days.
When and where?
The capital of India will host the first World Culture Festival, a three-day event between March 11-13, 2016. The event is supported by the Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Tourism, Sangeet Natak Akademi, Lalit Kala Akademi and the National School of Drama.
The highlight of the event is that His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar will lead a ‘Peace Meditation’ on all the three days of the event.
The World Culture Festival emphasizes on co-existence, demonstrating the power of peace by bringing millions of people together. It is an opportunity for world leaders from cultural, social, political, business fields to come together to rekindle human values in the pursuit of happiness and peace.— H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
World Culture Festival is the vision of H. H. Sri Sri Ravishankar who wants to give the message of peace to the world. He and thousands of volunteers from Art of Living are working day and night to make this dream a reality. From fund raising to arranging accomodation for outsiders to making travel arrangements to venue arrangements to dance and musical performances to making security arrangements to creating awareness about the event- the list of works is endless. But the volunteers are enthusiastically and relentlessly working towards making the event a great success.
Many prominent politicians and leaders from across the world including the President and Prime Minister of India are expected to attend the event. This is going to be a unique platform which will showcase the rich cultural traditions of music, dance and performing arts from across the world, giving the message of unity in diversity.
I travelled to Delhi with three of my friends. All of us are Art of Living teachers and were quite excited to witness this historic event. Rain played the spoil sport on the first day but even rain couldn't dampen the spirits of the enthusiastic crowd. The festival was inaugrated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who compared the festival to 'Kumbh Mela' of Art. Prominent national leaders including Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Devendra Fadnavis, Raman Singh and Manish Sisodia attended the event on the first day. Former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, Nepalese Deputy Prime Minister Kamal Thapa, Vice-President of Suriname Ashwin Adhin and Karu Jayasuriya from the Sri Lankan Parliament were also present on the occasion.
The highlight of the second day of the event was an interfaith meet which was attended by religious leaders like Rev. Dr. Gerald L. Durley, Dr. Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun, Mufti Mohammed Saeed Khan, Shankaracharya Vasudevanand Saraswati among others. The last day of the cultural extravaganza was attended by many high-profile leaders including Arun Jaitley, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Venkaiah Naidu, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
The three days event was marked with mesmerizing dance performances which included Bhangra, Kathakali, Kathak, Mohiniattam, Garba, Naati, Panthi, Bihu, Kuchipudi and Odissi. Some of the international performances included Contemporary Sufi (Pakistan), Kandyan dance (Srilanka) and Genesis (Taiwan). Bulgarian Folk artists and Swiss Alphorn players also performed on the stage.
For the first time in the world, 3.5 million people meditated for world peace on all three days at one physical location. Guided meditation was conducted by H.H. Sri Sri Ravishankar and it was an amazing & blissful experience to be a part of it.
World Culture Festival Official Theme Song - "Sanghachhadwam"
© 2016 Shaloo Walia