The World on One Stage

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The Art of Living’s World Culture Festival 2016 will showcase the rich heritage of the world, says M Rajaque Rahman

Cultural shows from around the world and all parts of India, a musical symphony of over 10,000 musicians playing over 40 instruments on a seven-acre-stage, travellers from over 155 countries, and a footfall of over 3.5 million people. That is exactly what the upcoming global festival, World Culture Festival 2016 (WCF 2016), promises. To be held in Delhi from March 11 to 13 and organised by The Art of Living, the festival will mark 35 years of the international spiritual group’s service to humanity. The group was founded by globally renowned guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

During the festival, Delhi will be transformed into a cultural hotbed. The sound of African drums will be matched by folk dances from Indonesia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Mongolia, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Russia, South America, Bulgaria, Japan and many more. The Swiss Alphorn will compete with gigs from Bangladesh, Pakistan and the like. Add to it India’s cultural best: over 1,000 Kathak dancers, another 1,000 each performing Bharatnatyam and Odissi, 1,500 Mohiniyattam dancers and 2,100 Kuchipudi exponents. And, there will also be folk dances from across the country and unique displays of tribal culture and rural games.

01Today cultural events, art shows and film fiestas are major draws. People travelling for a taste of culture account for over 40 per cent of global tourism

Bringing serenity to the loud and clear voice of unity, of oneness and celebration will be the Vedic chants and peace meditation sessions led by Sri Sri himself. The aim of WCF 2016 is to bring the world together. It’s a celebration of the vision of uniting humanity as a One World Family, realising the ancient Indian ideal of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. “Sri Sri has envisioned this festival with the intention of sending the message that we are one world, one family. People from all over the world will come to the festival as a member of one family. It will reinforce that we all can co-exist with our differences,” said Commodore Sarvottam Rao, the chairman of the festival organising committee.

“For ages, people from across the globe have been looking to India for guidance. Over the last 35 years, the Art of Living has taken India’s ancient wisdom to the world. With our presence in over 155 countries, I felt the Art of Living must take the lead in inviting the world to India to experience the power of togetherness and renew our resolve to build a stress-free and violence-free world,” said Sri Sri. The WCF 2016 will also bring together political, religious and business leaders to reinforce their commitment to work for a better world. It will have a special focus on environment sustainability with initiatives that set examples for reducing human footprint on the environment.

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