New Delhi, India
March 13, 2016
The curtains came down today on the World Cultural Festival, the World’s largest celebration of cultural and spiritual integration, with more than 12 lakh people singing the “Vande Mataram” in one voice. The World Culture Festival was a musical and cultural ode to the spirit of humanity, teamwork and the diverse traditions that bind citizens of the world into a ‘One World Family’- Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.
Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar thanked all those who came for the festival and made it a resounding success. He said “To all of you, who have come from nearby and faraway destinations, from different faiths and nationalities, a heartfelt thank you. It’s your faith, love and compassion that have enabled the teams at Art of Living to present the biggest and the happiest family get-together – The World Culture Festival. I am delighted to see the confluence of great spiritual and religious leaders, politicians, peace-makers and artists who have joined us for this festival of music and dance. On the last day of WCF, I have a simple message to all of you – do remember that we are all Vishwa-maanav: we are world citizens first. Together, we all form a global family, and must spread the message of peace, harmony and human values.”
The World Culture Festival has, over the last three days, hosted meaningful discourses on faith, peace, co-existence and collaboration. Political, business, spiritual and other thought leaders shared insights on how we could bring about happy co-existence in all sections of society.
Leaders present on the concluding day of the path-breaking event were Hon. Shri Arun Jaitley, Minister of Finance, India; Hon. Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister of Delhi, India; Hon. Chandra Babu Naidu, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, India; Hon. Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, India; Hon. Lal Krishna Advani, Former Deputy Prime Minister of India and Hon. Venkaiah Naidu, Minister for Urban Development, India. Smt. Sumitra Mahajan, Hon. Speaker, Lok Sabha, India and Hon. Amit Shah, President of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
The international dignitaries who participated in the ceremony were Hon. Dr. Shri BirenSikder State Minister for Youth & Sports, Government of People’s Republic of Bangladesh; Hon. Carla Bacigalupo Minister of Justice, Paraguay and H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo, Former President of Nigeria among others.
One of the highlights of the day was ‘Cosmic Rhythm’, where over 4600 artists presented a performance comprising 30 dance forms, followed by a soulful rendition of Rabindra Sangeet by 1000 singers.
The traditional colors of India were showcased in the form of folk performances from Assam (Bihu), Rajasthan (Ghoomar) and Andhra Pradesh (Kuchipudi) among others. The international performances were led by Sufi dancers, expressing the desire of unification with the almighty; and the Tango dance by Argentinian performers. The World Culture Festival beautifully underscored the human desire for peace, for unity and happiness despite the diversity of thoughts, cultures, art and languages.