: International News
Celebrating India at cultural festival in Berlin
Berlin, July 04, 2011
Fascinating yoga performances,
melodious music, dazzling cultural programmes and colourful
costumes took thousands of participants on an unforgettable
journey of India and the world as the World Cultural Festival
kicked off in the German capital.
The event is celebrated as a "peace festival" at the historic
Olympic Stadium that hosted the 1936 Olympics and 1974 World
Cup football matches. The stadium turned 75 this year. The
festival also marks 30 years of spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi
Shankar's Art of Living organisation.
"The Olympic Stadium was built by Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and
it was from this place that the call for World War II came.
From where the call for war came we want to give a call for
peace," an official of the Art of Living told IANS.
"It is 75 years of the Olympic Stadium and 30 years of Art of
living and we are trying to bring people from across the world
giving them a vision of 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' (one world),"
In a unique celebration of harmony in diversity, the two-day
festival will see participation of an estimated 70,000 people
from 151 countries who will take home unique sights, sounds,
tastes and the variety of all continents.
The overcast sky with light showers, initially, affected the
schedule of the programme but many people poured into the
stadium to have a glimpse of the festivity.
"It's beautiful and spread in such a big area. There is so
much to see and I really liked the section on Asia-Pacific as
it's very colourful with a variety of food. I hope the sun
will come out of the clouds and shine bright," said Anna
Asendorf, a college student, who came to attend the festival
from neighbouring Brandenburg state.
Africa, Asia, America and Europe pavilions complete the
journey through the world experience by interactively
showcasing the beauty of cultures through local dance, music,
food and literature.
One of the highlights of the programme of the opening day is
the Grand Guitar Ensemble for Peace - an enchanting symphony
of 2,000 guitarists, 30 Grand pianists and 3,000 choir
singers. Apart from German and other European countries'
anthems, Vande Mataram will also be sung, said an official.
The festival also showcases classical music from India and
America, contemporary music from Malta, traditional flutes
from Turkey, folk dances from Russia and Bulgaria, Shaolin
monks from China and a variety of performances by Germans.
Lotus dance from Japan, aboriginal dance from Canada and Swiss
groups, Austrian alpine horns will vie for the eyeballs during
the two-day jamboree.
"I am really looking forward to the cultural performances.
It's a multicultural carnival where you get to see artists
from various countries on one platform," said Kumar Roy, an
The stadium has been transformed into a huge yoga park where
visitors can attend workshops from different countries and
experience its effect on physical and mental health.
A unique Yoga Museum charts the evolution of yoga from ancient
sages to its global application in the 21st century and also
illustrates the societal impact of yoga in peace building and
its application in humanitarian projects around the world.
"A total of 500 yoga teachers and practitioners of various
ages and yoga schools will present the beauty and impact of
yoga. Together we will perform the musically choreographed
exercise Surya Namaskar (sun salutation)," said the organiser.
This World Culture Festival concert is part of a world series
of intercultural peace concerts, which began with the
Brahmnaad concert in New Delhi, India, in November 2008. The
concert featured over 1,200 sitar players and entered the
Guinness World Records.