As the World Culture Festival draws closer, congratulatory messages from dignitaries across the world have started pouring in. Showcased here are some of the messages received from eminent figures across a wide gamut of professions.
I am happy to know that the 'Art of Living' is organizing a World Culture Festival on March 11-13, 2016 to commemorate 35 years of service to humanity.
With its presence in 155 countries, the 'Art of Living' has epitomized the ideals of service and spirituality. Its founder, Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji has taken Indian wisdom and spirituality all over the world and given strength to the ancient Indian concept of 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam'.
The World Culture Festival will enable the coming together of diverse cultures, religions and nationalities with the message of harmony and peace, which is of increasing relevance in the present times. It will also provide a useful platform to showcase the rich cultural traditions of dance, music and arts from around the world.
I extend my greetings and felicitations to all those associated with the 'Art of Living' and wish Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji and the 'Art of Living' all success in their endeavors.
Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, President of India
I am happy to learn that “The Art of Living Foundation” is celebrating 35 years of service to humanity by organizing the “World Culture Festival” in New Delhi, from 11th to 13th March 2016.
I am sure, this unique confluence of art, music, culture and thought shall be a great celebration of diversity among cultures from across the world, even as it showcases the oneness of mankind.
On this occasion, I extend my best wishes to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, and the Art of Living Foundation, for the success of the World Culture Festival.
Mr. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India
Let me start by congratulating the Art of Living Foundation on its 35th anniversary.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s vision of a One World Family is an example to us all, as is the Foundation’s work promoting peace, harmony and understanding between people of different faiths, nationalities and backgrounds.
I hope that all those who attend thoroughly enjoy the occasion.
Mr. David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
It is with great pleasure that I join everyone in honoring the 2016 World Culture Festival in New Delhi, India.
For 35 years, the Art of Living has widely spread its message of peace, humanitarianism, and cultural awareness. Their practice of inclusiveness and understanding is truly admirable, and we must all collectively strive to follow and promote these principles.
The World Culture Festival allows people from all across the world the chance to experience and celebrate diverse cultures in a respectful and positive atmosphere. I believe we are strengthened by our diversity, and I hope we all create new and lasting connections with people from other cultures and traditions, as we enjoy together the performances, discussions, keynotes and meditation.
Thank you to the organizers of this amazing event and to all of you who are in attendance to join in the festivities.
Mr. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
My warmest greetings to The Art of Living as you celebrate your 35th Year and hold the World Culture Festival.
This gathering is a milestone for advocates of peace and diversity. As new paradigms continue to transform us into a more interconnected, global culture, advocating solidarity has become more important than ever before. May this occasion be a platform for people of all nations to create strong, lasting bridges of friendship and compassion so that we may achieve our shared goal of lasting, equitable progress.
On behalf of the Filipino people, I join you in this commemoration and festival. May it become a significant opportunity for us to band together and build meaningful consensus on how to rise to our common challenges, and likewise achieve our collective aspirations.
I wish you a happy and meaningful celebration.
Mr. Benigno S. Aquino III, President of the Philippines
I would like to congratulate The Art of Living on their 35 years of dedicated service to humanity and commend the significance of the World Culture Festival as a message for peace and harmony.
Showcasing and celebrating cultural traditions and diversity is an essential means of building bridges and understanding between nations and promoting global tolerance.
Mr. Nechirvan Barzani, Prime Minister of Kurdistan Regional Government
I am happy to know that the World Culture Festival is being organized to commemorate 35 years of dedicated service by The Art of Living Foundation.
As a non-profit, educational and humanitarian organization, The Art of Living Foundation has been relentlessly pursuing the philosophy of peace through a stress-free mind and a violence-free society for achieving world peace. It is a matter of pride that Art of Living movement has spread peace across the communities through its diverse humanitarian projects on conflict resolution, disaster relief, sustainable rural development, empowerment of women, prisoner rehabilitation, education for all and environment sustainability.
I am sure that the event will be an occasion for demonstrating the power of peace and will give an opportunity for the eminent world leaders from different social, political and business fields to come together. On the occasion of World Culture Festival, I extend my warm greetings and best wishes for the grand success of the Festival.
Ms. Najma Heptulla, Minister of Minority Affairs, India
“If you fight for peace, you never experience it,” says an old proverb. There is a huge variety of pathways how each of us finds human and spiritual prosperity and well-being in the contemporary world. However, most of verities we experience in our lives are already kept in the memory of humanity. Culture has always been a rich melting pot which preserves the ‘art of living’ knowledge for the next generations and is easily accessible to everyone. On the occasion of the 35th anniversary of the International Art of Living Foundation, I wish everyone celebrates the culture of peace and harmony and experiences the power of cultural diversity in the World Culture Festival!
Ms. Dace Melbārde, Minister for Culture, Latvia
It gives me immense pleasure that ‘Art of Living’ foundation is organizing the ‘World Culture Festival’ from 11th to 13th March, 2016 in New Delhi.
The stresses and tensions of the modern life have taken a toll on us and the Art of Living, founded by Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji, has been serving the humanity for last 35 years by helping the individuals to get rid of stress and experience inner peace by offering breathing techniques, meditation and yoga. It is a matter of great pride that the Foundation has its strong foothold in several countries around the globe and has been relentless in spreading the message of peace across these communities.
The aims, objectives of the World Culture Festival are indeed laudable and praiseworthy, as it brings together different cultures of the world under one roof. The pioneering event will lead to a greater understanding of global diversity, instill human values among the younger generations, and will multiply avenues for promoting peace. I am sure the festival will unite the people from different cultures, nations and faiths as a One World Family, ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, which is the fundamental philosophy of the Art of Living foundation.
I take pleasure in extending my heartiest felicitations to the Art of Living Foundation and my best wishes for grand success of the event.
Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Communications & IT, India
The Art of living has prominently worked towards giving people a platform to showcase their cultures and spread the message of global peace and harmony. Rich cultural traditions of dance, music, art, yoga and cuisine from around the world will foster deeper understanding and highlight our unity as a human family. I laud the efforts of The Art of Living for organizing this enormous event. I am confident that this unique festival will preserve our cultural roots and deepen our bonds.
My best wishes for the success of the World Culture Festival.
Mr. Laxmikant Parsekar, Chief Minister of Goa, India
I am glad to know that the Art of Living would be celebrating its 35th Anniversary and to mark this joyous occasion, World Culture Festival would be organized from 11 to 13 March 2016 in New Delhi.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and the Art of Living has become a worldwide phenomenon. It has become an awakening of sorts with immense potential to rejuvenate and rekindle the best of thoughts and actions. I hope that the World Culture Festival organized as part of the 35th Anniversary of the Art of Living would underscore the need for humanity to preserve and cherish the goodness of oneness, peace, happiness and the will to overcome difficult times.
My prayers and warm felicitations to all associated with the Art of Living.
Mr. Oommen Chandy, Chief Minister of Kerala, India
I am indeed delighted to go through the invitation for the World Culture Festival organized at New Delhi under the able guidance of H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Such a mega event inviting the spiritual, cultural, religious, political and social leaders on one stage would definitely send a message of ‘One World Family’ which is the goal of Sri Sri.
It is heartening to note that cultural performances of various global troupes are organized which would give a wonderful experience to lakhs of people who are witnessing the event. I am of the firm opinion that this festival would be a very strong foot towards world peace, which is the most important requirement of mankind in the present days.
The importance of the festival would be felt by the very presence of H.E. the President of India, Honorable Prime Minister of India and various global leaders.
I wish the mega festival a grand success. My best wishes to you and your team of organizers.
Mr. R.V. Deshpande, Minister for Large and Medium Scale Industries and Tourism Department of Karnataka, India
The World Culture Festival is a great opportunity to highlight the role of culture in building peace today. It has never been more important to promote dialogue between people.
Mr. Dominique de Villepin, Former Prime Minister of France
Sustainable development can be assured only by those leaders who respect human dignity and the laws of nature, by those who understand the world in its global interdependence, act ethically and most importantly feel committed to a culture of peace.
Mr. Alojz Peterle, Former Prime Minister of Slovenia, Member of the European Parliament
The world needs leaders who have the genius, conviction and courage to promote the wisdom of a shared vision for true human prosperity, wellbeing and happiness. We need visionary leaders who can show us the way to a harmonious, healthy and happy human society.
I believe the World Culture Festival commemorating 35 years of the Art of Living is a celebration of such a leader and a way of life. I extend my heartfelt felicitations to HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on this very happy occasion and wish Him and the Art of Living continued success.
Mr. Jigme Yoser Thinley, Former Prime Minister of Bhutan
Diversity of cultures across the world will be celebrated as over 3.5 million people and more than 100 countries will be represented at the festival. People of different nationalities will participate in celebrating their rich traditions and cultures while emphasizing that while expressions may vary, we belong to one “World Family,” the motto of the foundation. This tribute recognizes the Art of Living Foundation on their 35th anniversary and wishes the very best for the World Culture Festival as they move forward into the future with new possibilities.
Mr. Jack Markell, Governor of the State of Delaware, USA
I would like to send a message of congratulations to The Art of Living foundation and especially its founder, His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, on celebrating their 35 years with the World Culture Festival in Delhi, India in March 2016.
Mr. Nisar Malik, Mayor, London Borough of Hounslow, UK
I would like to offer my warm wishes and congratulations to The Art of Living organization for the World Culture Festival 2016 in New Delhi, India.
Our world is made up of many different religions and cultures and there is increasing recognition that, by respecting our differences and embracing our diversity, we can promote peaceful and harmonious relationships which will affect the wellbeing of national and international communities.
I would like to acknowledge the contribution which the World Culture Festival will make in providing this opportunity to participating communities who, collectively, represent the highest ideals of a truly culturally and religiously diverse world.
I’d like to thank The Art of Living, and all the international supporters and attendees, for their commitment to foster understanding, tolerance and goodwill at this inspirational gathering.
Mr. Glen Elmes, Member for Noosa – Queensland Parliament, Australia
Humanity is set to seriously jeopardize the planet’s future. We are exceeding our limits and in doing so, obstructing the future prospects for the next generations. Equal opportunities, gender equality and human rights in general must be globally accepted and enforced.
We are all in the same boat! Human beings and nature need to regain their dignity and new and future-oriented values and models, taking the big picture into consideration, have to be discussed.
Ms. Yvonne Feri, Member of Parliament, Switzerland
35 years of working for peace – that is what The Art of Living Foundation stands for.
As a Christian I am convinced that global change can only be achieved by a strong value - based global leadership, avowing for human rights, economic development and political peace. It means respecting each other and carrying on cross-cultural and inter-religious dialogue. For me, the importance lies in a simple formula that only a balanced person can make a difference in an unbalanced world.
I feel honored and privileged to be able to share these values with 3.5 million men and women. Last but not least, I would like to congratulate the international Art of Living foundation on its anniversary.
Mr. Frank Heinrich, Member of Parliament, Germany
The World Culture Festival is a unique opportunity to witness the diverse cultural expressions from all continents and many countries and regions. Religious and political leaders as peacemakers and artists will spread the message of harmony in diversity and peaceful solutions of the different conflict of interests.
Thanks to The Art of Living and its founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, humanity gets a chance to strive for a better world.
Mr. Jo Leinen, Member of the European Parliament
I write to send best wishes and congratulations for the World Cultural Festival celebrating 35 years of the Art of Living Foundation.
With over 3.5 million people expected, this is an important and unique platform for building new conversations about new issues and solutions for the challenges we experience today.
At a moment in history of great opportunity for progress of human kind, we also are experiencing some of the greatest risks to our stability and security.
I welcome this conference and the spirit in which it is being held and wish all those attending every success.
Ms. Seema Malhotra, Member of Parliament for Feltham & Heston, UK
I would like to send my best wishes to all those attending the World Culture Festival 2016 and on this auspicious occasion send my congratulations to The Art of Living Foundation especially its founder, His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
This occasion marks an incredible meeting of millions of people engaged in diverse humanitarian and service activities, people of talent eminence and repute under the motto of One World Family. A family each of you has contributed to build.
The showcasing of rich cultural traditions of dance, music and arts from around the world at such a grand gathering demonstrates the importance of the diverse traditions that enrich our lives and bind us together.
I wish each and every one of you an enjoyable and enriching cultural experience at the World Culture Festival 2016.
The Rt. Hon Priti Patel, Member of Parliament for Witham, UK
I am honored to be taking part in the 2016 World Culture Festival. I participated some years ago at the Olympic stadium in Berlin and also had the pleasure to host Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in the European Parliament on the occasion of World Yoga Day 2015, in my capacity as Chairman of the Delegation for Relations with India. I have never seen a room so packed - over 500 people from across the political and international spectrum! Politicians are known to lead stressful lives, yet following a meditational breathing session we felt relaxed and uplifted, ready to tackle the next tasks of the day. It is not hard to see how ancient meditational techniques, applied on a wider scale, can help to beat stress and lead to more a balanced life. The premise is simple: healthy, happy people are able to help other people become healthy and happy.
I am so very aware of the many initiatives that have sprung from The Art of Living Foundation since its creation in 1981, such as rehabilitation of prisoners, conflict resolution and relief in the aftermath of natural disasters. With all humility, I look forward to being in Delhi as a participant in the World Culture Festival and Global Leadership Forum to celebrate 35 years of positive influence across the globe as a result of an enduring vision and hard work over a long period.
Mr. Geoffrey Van Orden, Member of the European Parliament
It is my pleasure to congratulate The Art of Living Foundation on the occasion of their 35 years celebration in the form of the World Culture Festival 11-13 March in New Delhi, India.
Such celebrations serve as a culture bridge between the East and West by helping advance multicultural understanding and friendship. The World Culture Festival demonstrates that diversity is an asset and what brings us together is our common thread of humanity irrespective of where we grow up.
My very best wishes to the founder of the Art of Living Foundation, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar for a great celebration.
The Rt. Hon. Keith Vaz, Member of Parliament, UK
Being part of the World Culture Festival is as being part of the World Family. It is of great significance that the service to humanity will be celebrated by The Art of Living Foundation on the 11th, 12th and 13th of March 2016, by celebrating its 35th anniversary. It is indeed the festival of hope, of building bridges towards all peoples in the world.
It's good that the Global Leaderships Forum has become an integral part of the World Culture Festival. Leaders around the globe sharing their thoughts on the challenges of our times: how to cope with a diverse society and thus create harmony in diversity? By working together and recognising and using each other’s strengths, we can achieve more.
I hope that in these sometimes difficult times of contradiction and fear, we can also remain positive about the opportunities and strength that diversity can bring. And that we will continue to welcome the light into our hearts. And that is exactly the inspiration which we get from the World Culture Festival, to be emphasized at the Global Leaderships Forum.
Mr. Rabin S. Baldewsingh, Deputy Mayor of The Hague, Netherlands
In today’s very disturbed world where there is lot of violence, strife, mistrust, causing suffering to millions, The Art of Living Foundation has done outstanding work over the last nearly 35 years in promoting respect and understanding between communities. Millions of people have benefitted from the message of better understanding, love and peace that respected Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji through his foundation, i.e. The Art of Living has spread.
I am glad to note that the foundation is organizing a World Culture Festival 11-13th March this year in New Delhi. The world needs such initiatives to spread the message of peace and respect amongst people, communities and countries. I look forward to attending the festival. The Art of Living exercises, meditation and yoga has improved the quality of life of millions across the world.
The Rt. Hon. Lord Rana, MBE, House of Lords, UK
It is my great pleasure to send a message of goodwill to the millions of people who are attending the World Culture Festival in New Delhi this year.
The Art of Living’s inspiring work extends across many nations. I am very familiar with how active they are not only here in London, but in all four corners of the globe. And at the time of global uncertainty, when conflicts and intolerance continue to plague so many of our fellow human beings, the resounding message of peace this festival promotes could not be more relevant.
To be reaching the milestone of thirty-five years of service to humanity is a remarkable achievement. The Art of Living continues to work with – and inspire – not only political and religious leaders, but millions of citizens and activists around the world.
I congratulate all of those involved in the Art of Living on your successes over the past thirty-five years, and I look forward to the next thirty-five years as well.
Lord Dolar Popat, Conservative Peer and Whip, House of Lords, UK
I am writing to congratulate you and your team for celebrating 35 years of service to humanity by hosting World Culture Festival in New Delhi from 11-13th March, 2016. I am sure that Global Leadership Forum will bring together senior leaders from business, government, politics, science, NGOs, faith based organizations, sports, academia and media to reflect on the paradigms of leadership needed to maneuver the world of today.
Today’s world has become complex although much advanced due to globalization. Your leadership is serving the humanity in a big way.
The popularity of Global Leadership Forum is unquestionable. There are so many high profile speakers from many countries across the world will be speaking at the Forum and their contributions will address some of the unprecedented humanitarian issues to meet many challenges of different businesses, faiths and communities.
Wishing you a huge success on the Global Leadership Forum.
The Lord Loomba, CBE, Founder and Chairman Trustee, The Loomba Foundation, UK
I’m delighted that the Art of Living will be celebrating 35 years of service to humanity in March this year in Delhi to commemorate this wonderful occasion.
I convey my warm congratulations to the Art of Living foundation and especially its founder His Holiness Sri Ravi Shankar on achieving and celebrating their 35 years with the World Culture Festival to reinforce all important message of diversity, solidarity and world peace.
The vision of ‘One World Family’ (Vasudhaiva Kuttumbakam) founded by Sri Ravi Shankar is what is required now for the illusive world peace. I extend my best wishes for the resounding success of this festival.
Mr. Navin Shah, Member of London Assembly, UK
India has the world’s oldest as well as largest traditional systems of medicine which predate the age of Kaliyug.
Indian Traditional Sciences are holistic medicines of India. The ultimate aim of these spiritual sciences: Ayurveda, Jyotish, Sangeet, Siddha, Vastu and Yoga is to promote disease-free good health and that preventative measures are better than having to find a cure. They are philosophy of life, spiritual knowledge, holistic and scientific processes to transform the mind and body.
On behalf of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Indian Traditional Sciences, I congratulate the efforts of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s commitment to the advancement of Sciences within the Indian Traditions.
Along with The Lord Rana MBE, Bob Blackman MP, Matthew Offord MP, and together with Amarjeet-Singh Bhamra (Lead Secretariat of the APPG Indian Traditional Sciences) who will be joining me at the celebrations of the Foundation’s 35th year Festival in Delhi, India in March 2016, I congratulate especially its founder HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
The Lord Stone of Blackheath, Vice Chairman, All Party Parliamentary Group on Indian Traditional Sciences, UK
The aims, objectives of the World Culture Festival are indeed laudable and praiseworthy as it brings together, under one roof, different cultures of the world. The pioneering event will lead to a greater understanding of global diversity, instill humane values among the younger generations, and will multiply avenues for promoting peace across communities.
His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji, through The Art of Living, has been charting roadmaps for the future, addressing issues in such a paradoxical world. In 35 years, the movement has covered much ground and positively impacted several generations across five continents. We are proud of His Holiness’ achievements and the leadership demonstrated over the years as a true Indian and a responsible global citizen.
May the dream of His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to ‘see a smile on every face’ become a reality in our lifetime.
Mr. Arvind Singh Mewar, 76th. Custodian, House of Mewar, India
We are here to celebrate a culture of peace. At a time when nationalistic, ethnic and religious extremism in all regions - and in all religions - promotes a culture of war, hatred and conflict, we are here to rejoice in the human capacity for peace and human rights. This is an epic manifestation of freedom of religion and belief. I see this great World Culture Festival as a sign of hope for humanity and a noble contribution to world peace.
Dr. Gunnar Stålsett, Bishop emeritus of Oslo, Norway, Honorary President of Religions for Peace
My warmest of wishes to you all for organizing the forthcoming World Culture Festival 2016 - an event celebrating 35 years of service to humanity for over 3 million guests. Moreover, I congratulate you for encouraging and promoting peace building and positive values in business, politics and in the wider world through your Global Leadership Forum. Inviting prominent leaders from around the world to examine “How do we as a global community work towards creating a peaceful world?” is an admirable initiative.
Business and political leaders, and in fact leaders in every walk of life, have an enormous responsibility to be role models, building and unleashing the potential for common good in the communities that they serve. In a world plagued by conflict, leaders must envision and establish pathways towards forgiveness and reconciliation, through delivering justice tempered with an abundance of mercy. This is not the pursuit of the faint-hearted, but is actually the pursuit of the lion-hearted, of those who are humble yet courageous, non-egotistical yet exalted. Now, more than ever, as we face “unprecedented humanitarian issues”, the need to propagate these values in us all, through education, dialogue and events like this World Culture Festival, is paramount. I thus particularly applaud your ongoing efforts for 35 years in this regard.
May you all taking part in the Festival be blessed.
With prayers for world peace and for the success of your event.
Bhai Sahib Bhai (Dr.) Mohinder Singh Ahluwalia OBE, KSG, UK
It is wonderful to know that the World Culture Festival will be taking place in Delhi, in March this year. The Art of Living has done immense service throughout the world for the last 35 years, and has awoken many people to the wonders and treasures that come from the East.
Congratulations, and thank you for this very special service you have rendered humanity in bringing them closer to the Divine.
Sister Jayanti, European Director, Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University