The World Culture Festival (WCF) is a grand event that epitomizes the diverse tapestry of global cultures, fostering unity, harmony, and understanding among people from all walks of life. Organized by the Art of Living Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded by spiritual leader Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the festival has gained international recognition for its aim to build a more compassionate and harmonious society, by bringing together millions of people from across the globe to celebrate and showcase the richness of human culture.
1. World Culture Festival
Visitors from every corner of the globe can be a part of the WCF. The festival has free admission and visitors can enjoy vibrant performances, such as music and dance shows, but also art, world cuisine, inspirational talks and even meditation, that aim to honor and express our rich human diversity.
In its third edition, in 2016, in New Delhi, the festival gathered the grand number of 3.75 million attendees, including 36,600 artists and performers, 2,500 spiritual and religious leaders, and 110 countries represented. “More than 36,000 performers took to a world-record setting 7-acre stage, and lit up the crowd, showcasing and sharing their own vibrant cultural heritage”, said Daniel Lopez Kaufman, breathwork and meditation practitioner.
It’s one thing to hear that more than 3 million people were there. But it’s another thing altogether to witness it with your own eyes.Daniel Lopez Kaufman, breathwork and meditation practitioner
In its last three editions, the festival made a significant impact, attracting a staggering seven million visitors in person and garnering hundreds of millions of online views, making it “the most successful recurring global artistic event in human history”, according to their website.
In the words of visionary humanitarian and ambassador of peace and human values, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, “The purpose of the World Culture Festival is to send a message that the whole world is one family and we can all coexist with our differences. It is an opportunity for leaders from all segments of society – business, politics, religion, academia – to come together and renew their vision to work for the common welfare.”
According to Gurudev, “The Festival provides a platform for the preservation of local and indigenous traditions through music and dance as well as the opportunity for everyone else to relish and enjoy.”
This is a movement for the revival of universal human values such as love, compassion, and friendliness.Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Being an advocate for mental health for almost half a century, Shankar’s work has been driven by the conviction that inner peace and the individual’s mental health and wellbeing are the basis for outer peace and societal prosperity. Through his life and work, Gurudev has inspired millions around the world with a vision of a stress-free and violence-free world. World Culture Festival is yet another of his initiatives in that sense. This time, at a truly global scale.
This year, for it’s fourth edition, WCF will take place in Washington DC, at the National Mall, from September 29 to October 1st. The Olympic-scale celebration expects participation from over 180 countries and thousands of diverse artists.
The power of this site as a symbol of the people exercising their freedom to live together and accept each other as unique individuals, cannot be overstated.Art of Living Foundation
2. A celebration of diversity
The World Culture Festival serves as a platform for people of different nationalities, religions, and ethnicities to come together and appreciate a vast array of cultural expressions. It offers a unique opportunity for guests to witness performances, exhibitions, and interactive sessions that highlight traditional music, dance, art, cuisine, and customs from various parts of the world. From Indian classical dances to African drumming, from Chinese calligraphy to Brazilian capoeira, the festival truly encapsulates the global spirit of cultural exchange.
Diversity is the beauty of creation.Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
3. Promoting interconnectedness
At its core, the World Culture Festival seeks to promote interconnectedness and foster a sense of shared humanity. It encourages dialogue and mutual respect among individuals from diverse backgrounds, emphasizing the importance of understanding and appreciating different cultures. Through workshops, seminars, and panel discussions, the festival provides a platform for people to engage in meaningful conversations about global issues, intercultural understanding, and sustainable development.
4. A symbol of unity and peace
WCF stands as a powerful symbol of unity and peace in a world often divided by conflicts and differences. By gathering millions of individuals in a spirit of joy and celebration, the festival demonstrates that people can come together despite their diverse backgrounds and find common ground.
5. Environmental stewardship
The World Culture Festival also places great emphasis on environmental stewardship. The event is held in harmony with nature, incorporating sustainable practices and promoting ecological awareness. Efforts are made to minimize waste, conserve resources, and raise awareness about the importance of preserving the environment for future generations. This commitment to sustainability aligns with the festival’s overarching theme of global harmony.
By fostering intercultural exchange and promoting environmental stewardship, this global event has the potential to become a powerful catalyst for building bridges and promoting peace on a global scale.