Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's foundation, The Art of Living will celebrate its 35th anniversary this year with a mega event, the World Culture Festival from 11-13 March in New Delhi.
The event, which will take place on the banks of river Yamuna, was recently marred by controversy after Manoj Misra, the convener of Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan, an NGO working for the revival of river Yamuna, along with Anand Arya and Pramod Kumar Tyagi filed a petition claiming that the event would cause damage to the ecosystem of the Yamuna floodplains.
While coming down heavily on government agencies for failing to carry out responsibilities, the principal bench of the NGT headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar asked AOL Foundation to pay a fine of Rs 5 crore as compensation.
But if you are wondering what exactly is this World Culture Festival, here is what you need to know about the event:
- The World Culture Festival is a celebration of The Art of Living's 35th anniversary and will take place on 11-13 March in New Delhi.
- The venue for the event is spread across 1000 acres of land.
- According to the event's website about 3.5 million people are expected to attend the festival from 155 countries, making it biggest cultural gathering in recent times.
- Million others are expected to participate virtually, as the event will have a live webcast.
- The stage for the event itself is said to be spread across 7-acres, an attempt to enter Guinness Book of World Records.
- 35,973 artists are expected to perform dance, music and other artistry, with 8,000 musicians playing 40 instruments in a musical symphony, several of them tribal.
- The gathering will witness one of the biggest meditations sessions in the world.
- Apart from the various performances, the event also features keynote addresses by leaders from across the would.
- The list of speakers on the website include Bidhya Devi Bhandari (President of Nepal), Hildebrando Tapia Samaniego (Vice-President - Andean Parliament, Peru), Maithripala Sirisena (President of Sri Lanka), Ryszard Czarnecki (Vice President of the European Parliament), Linda Cathrine Hofstad Helleland (Minister of Culture in Norway), Carla Bacigalupo (Minister of Justice and Labor, Paraguay), among others. The full list can be accessed here.
- The event will hold a leadership forum, co-hosted by the World Forum of Ethics in Business and a youth forum.
You can access the festival's website here.