Olympiastadion, Berlin , 2nd Jul 2011 - 3rd Jul 2011
An Unforgettable Peace Festival with Dance, Music, Yoga and Food
Celebrating Harmony in Diversity
“It is time that the walls come down between cultures and civilizations. We all should remember we are a One World Family. We need to bring everyone together in a spirit of love, compassion and service. It is time to celebrate life on this planet. With all the volunteers, we are sure we can create a stress-free, violence-free society. One Divinity, One Humanity and Celebrating the Diversity - this is our sacred duty,” - Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Founder of the Art of Living Foundation, at the World Culture Festival in Berlin.
The World Culture Festival celebrates the 30th Anniversary of The International Art of Living Foundation. This unique event hosted around 60 000 participants from over 151 countries including 6,000 artists and 804 dignitaries including, presidents, ministers, members of parliament and ambassadors. All present took home unique sights, sounds and tastes and the mesmerizing variety of the world continents in one venue. The grand celebration in the Olympiastadion Berlin as well as the World Pavilions showcased through dance, music, food, literature and conferences the beauty of all World Cultures: The Festival honored the norms and values of various cultures and traditions while celebrating harmony in diversity.
The Yoga Park allowed participants to experience the powerful impact of Yoga as a way to improve physical and mental health and create inner peace. Guided meditations by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar brought the stadium to silence, ushering in peace and harmony.
Mr. Ahmed Kathrada, representing the Nelson Mandela Foundation, received the ‘Art of Living Award’ on behalf of Mr. Nelson Mandela, for his outstanding contribution to humanity. Mr. Kathrada recounted the troubled and happy times he shared with Madiba on Robben Island as well as the journey to freedom for South Africa. Humbled and gracious, Mr. Kathrada shared tears of joy upon receiving the award: “It’s an honour to receive the award of a stalwart of the caliber of Madiba.” He expressed great joy at how Africa presented herself on this world stage and acknowledged the role of the Art of Living in bringing together nations on one platform as fellow brothers and sisters. He was also deeply grateful to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar for the pioneering humanitarian efforts that he has made in bringing the world together and for his 3 decades of service to the people of the world.
The African drumming, with 564 djembe drums, heralded the entire stadium to participate in one sound together: 1 Beat, 1 World, 1 Family
The powerful voice of Praise Singer and poet Jessica Mbangeni reverberated throughout the stadium as she sang the praises of all peace ambassadors. There was great excitement at the ‘Waka Waka’ song and South Africa's very own Tamara Dey and Concord Nkabinde led the singing and got everyone standing, drumming and dancing in unison to share and resonate with the feeling that: It is... time for Africa! Many African countries were represented in the Africa pavilion and the President of Kenya, congratulated all the representatives of Africa who were on the German world stage.
The well orchestrated synergy of song and dance, from exquisite piano recitals to well choreographed dance sequences by international performers, reflected healing and a unique sense of the Power of One...
“Our presence and participation using the power of drumming has left memories and echoes of Africa in Germany. As we all know rhythm is a basic component to every natural living process. All people have natural rhythm, which often freezes due to unnatural and traumatic events. Drumming unlocks our natural right to feel alive and free. Drumming has been used for centuries to release emotional stress, raise the spirits, enhance clarity and focus, develop co-operation and community bonds and celebrate significant events. We did all of this and more together with the essence and sprit of Africa that touched the heart, spirit and soul of everyone who was there - bringing us to the knowledge that music and spirituality are interwoven. One cannot be without the other. So needless to say this: bringing harmony, was our gift.
I am humbled and deeply grateful to have shared this unique experience with the global community and as part of a broadcaster for change, these lessons are fundamental for inner growth, peace and stability, in a world that is in search of a deeper quest.
Let me take this opportunity to thank each and every soul who was involved in every way throughout the world. A big thank you to our project leaders, to our performers, volunteers, supporters and people who inspired us who did such a sterling job. Especially Sri Sri Ravi Shankar for inspiring a world-class event, for bringing together love, peace, harmony and unity to people from all walks of life across the globe. This was an unforgettable moment in history that will never be forgotten. Most importantly the seeds that were planted will blossom and grow for many years to come and will benefit earth, it's people and creatures.” shares Yvonne Kgame, a volunteer in the Art of Living Foundation, South Africa.
Read More - The World Culture Festival Website
"30 years of the Art of Living: A big milestone with many achievements, inspiring us to move forward with greater speed and greater enthusiasm. The dream to make life a celebration and the world a family has materialized and become a reality. Millions of volunteers who have worked with such enthusiasm and love will continue to inspire millions more, reach out to all those areas where we have not reached and wipe all those tears that are yet there. The 30th anniversary is a celebration of achievement and a vision to do more service.." Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (Founder of the Art of Living Foundation)