3.75 million people in 3 days. Stadium equal in size to 7 football fields. Over 37,000 artists seated on stage. People from over 150 countries participated and celebrated diversity, happiness, peace and culture.

Can’t believe it has been 5 years since the biggest event I have attended in my life – the WCF – World Culture Festival hosted by The Art of Living Organization on March 11, 12 and 13, 2016, which was attended by country leaders, business leaders, artists, saints and celebrities (Here celebrities mean people who celebrate every moment).

It was a unique event for everyone. Maybe for the first time, people have come together to celebrate culture. 172 leaders from all over the world attended this event and many sent their messages and blessings through videos and texts and so on.

For me, this event was more than a big event. For me, it was seeing the miracle unfold. On March 11, there was heavy rain just before the event and sometimes during the event. Despite this, everyone was in their respective place, celebrating and happy. So strange! I remember when Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar walked backstage he was completely wet from the rain. Someone said – “Gurudev, you can change in the green room” and he smiled and replied – “Everyone over there is wet and waiting for me. I will go like that” and he came over. .

There are so many WCF stories I would love to share but I guess I can write a book on them as an article will be too small to include even 10 of these stories. But let me share some interesting facts about the World Culture Festival 2016:

1. Over 20,000 guests from other countries like Japan, USA, Malaysia and even Pakistan attend this event.
2. So many tribal art forms got new life when performed on this stage
3. The world’s greatest peace meditation. Millions of people have physically meditated in the presence of Gurudev and more than that have virtually joined in the meditation.
4. The rehearsals of the Grand Art de Vivre Symphony took place virtually. The songs were sent to over 8,000 participants to rehearse.
5. Some artist numbers: (Source: artofliving.org)
a. 1700 Bharatnatyam artists were trained by 3 Padma laureates
b. 1,700 Kathak dancers choreographed by Kathak maestro, Pandit Birju Maharaj
vs. 375 drummers from South Africa
D. More than 1,445 Odissi dancers
e. Over 1,100 Kuchipudi dancers
F. About 1620 Kathakali and Mohiniattam dancers
g. 1400 Ghoomar dancers from Rajasthan
h. Over 1150 Bhangra dancers to perform
I. Over 1,500 Garba dancers from Gujarat
j. Over 1,000 West Bengal singers to perform Rabindra Sangeet
k. About 1050 Naati dancers
the. 1000 Panthi dancers to perform
mr. 1008 Dhangari Dhol players
nm Artists from all over the world have also performed Brazilian samba, Argentine tango, hip hop and rap.
o. Bulgarian folk artists and Swiss alphorn players adorned the stage
p. Cosmic Rhythm has seen approximately 4,600 artists perform 30 dance forms
q. Some of the international performances include- Contemporary Sufi (from Pakistan), Kandyan Dance (Srilanka), Genesis (Taiwan)

Controversy:

An event organized by Hindu Spiritual Saint and no one to oppose it? At least that will never happen in our country. Just before the start of WCF, some so-called environmentalists filed complaints to try to defame the image of the Art of Living and not let the event happen. The media are also doing their best to slander the image. But guess what event happened with all the proper permissions.

But guess what, just the next day (March 14) – there was an article saying the Art of Living people were polluting the site. Imagine millions of people meeting in one place. You will get the answer to your pollution question. But unsurprisingly, more than 1,000 volunteers were there on March 14 in the field to clean up the site with all waste and plastics and the like.

The issue of pain damage from the Yamuna flooding was raised in NGT for which no substantial evidence was provided and Art of Living was asked to pay 5 crore for the ecology of the building as compensation for which Art of Living has filed a complaint with the Supreme Court and the matter is still pending. But if you see the video posted by Art of Living showing all the facts – you’ll get a better idea of ​​the whole problem and the propaganda:

Did it help the country?

1. $ 42 Million Forex Gains During WCF
2. It is estimated that 8.8 billion rupees was added to the Delhi Exchequer due to WCF
3.93% increase in forex income / day during WCF in Delhi
4. March 9.8% year-over-year increase in foreign exchange gains. The highest of the year.
5. The 12% increase in international tourism in March was the largest annual change on record.
6. WCF’s rank was 26 among all time gatherings in terms of number of people
7. 1 of the 6 tourists visiting Delhi in March came to attend WCF
8. WCF saw diplomats from 32 countries gathered in one place.
9. Tourism: About 20,000+ tourists have come from different parts of the world.
10. Delhi GDP / day (in crores) – Typical 1060, during WCF – 1240.
11. 2.7% of Delhi’s monthly GDP for March came from WCF
12. State expenditure for the Delhi Commonwealth Games – 27,470 crores and for the WCF – 0 / – while 71 nations participated in the Commonwealth Games, while 155 countries participated in the WCF.

(Source: https://www.slideshare.net/AnmolNarang3/world-culture-festival-report)

For the world, it could be an event with millions of people coming together. But for me, this event was an example of Chaos to Bliss. It was an example of seeing miracles unfold.

This is the 40th edition of L’Art de Vivre. As the world continues to fight the pandemic, I am sure that no event will happen. But I think I’m sure what’s going to happen in the near future – NO MORE MIRACLES. MORE HAPPINESS. MORE JOY. MORE UNITY IN DIVERSITY.



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