Melting pot of cultures for peace

Alabama, United States
14th June 2011

It’s almost as if you can hear the sound of drums rolling as we approach the July 2 & 3 weekend of The World Culture Festival in Berlin. The tickets have been booked, visas stamped and the to-do list (nearly!) complete. Celebrating 30 years of Art of Living is a chance to meet and greet our family from different pockets of the world and the excitement exhibited from over 70,000 devotees joining the festivity is palpable.

As we speak, bands from Argentina and Zimbabwe are tweaking their guitars and drums – hoping to blow their audience with an eclectic mix of bhajans, chants and percussion. With 500 people joining from Italy, eight from Bangladesh, 50 each from Venezuela, Zimbabwe and Israel, 20 from Ireland, 12 from Uruguay and 122 from Taiwan, the lists keep on pouring in each day.

A group of six men and 18 women from Taiwan will perform The Harvest Dance from the Amei tribe, showcasing their aboriginal culture. As for the people of Taiwan, The World Culture Festival is an outlet to connect with that positive energy, generated by thousands of devotees feeling the love for themselves and the people around them.

Keeping the same thought in mind, Meghna Kalta from India calls this festival a historic event. Agrees and shares Sharmila Ganpatsing from the Netherlands, “I will be there because I love the message of a one world family! If we can respect everyone, even if they differ from us, the world would be an amazing place to live in.”

The festivities will also witness a performance of soul music by The Idan Raichel Project from Israel, soon after the sound 500 djembe drums played together in honor of Nelson Mandela.

Marita Andreassen is coming from Norway along with 100 other people to celebrate and be a part of the most important peace event of the year. “If you want to find who you are or just get away, leave everything behind and live Berlin’s Festival,” advices Rana Ayyash from Jordon, coming along with 11 other devotees.

Roberta Manfredi, Ambassador of Peace at The World Culture Festival feels honored to be able to share the values of peace and hope with other people at the festival.

Alberto Simone, another Ambassador of Peace at The World Culture Festival from Italy, sums up the essence of the festival for us, “Coming together for a unique weekend to celebrate life and ourselves, regardless of religious belief, geographical origin, language or socioeconomic status, is a wonderful project that deserves to be experienced in person, now. Being able to meditate for peace in the universe and launching a universal om sound in unison with tens of thousands of others, will be powerful and memorable. For that I thank Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar who created this opportunity for me, for you, for all of us.”