Berlin: An estimated 70,000 people from 151 countries are expected to congregate at the Olympic Stadium in the German capital over the weekend as the Art of Living organization of spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar celebrates its 30 years of existence with a World Culture Festival that will also showcase Indian music, dance, food and yoga.
The event is being celebrated as a "peace festival" at a historic venue that has hosted the 1936 Olympics and 1974 World Cup football matches.
"Thirty years of the Art of Living is a big milestone with many achievements, inspiring us to move forward with greater speed and greater enthusiasm," said a statement quoting Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
"The dream to make life a celebration and the world a family has materialized and become a reality," it added.
"I came to know about the festival from a poster near my office. It seems interesting and I am planning to go either on Saturday or Sunday," Julia Bosel, a media consultant, said.
The festival offers a variety of things to the visitors with the World Continents Pavilions showcasing the cultural heritage, food, dance, literature and music of Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe and America.
The festival will share the vast cultural heritage of India, not only by showcasing the benefits of yoga, but also by sharing the beauty and depth of the music, dance and the cuisine of the country. The Yoga Park will allow participants to experience the powerful impact of yoga as a way to improve physical and mental health as well as to create inner peace.
"Yoga experts of different traditions will share their expertise in conferences and workshops. A unique Yoga Museum will chart the evolution of yoga from ancient sages to its global application in the 21st century," one of the organizers said, not wanting to be named.
Leading dance and music troops from around the globe will mesmerize the audience with dazzling performances during the weekend.
The grand finale Sunday will see an unparalleled concert with 30 pianos and 2,000 guitars as well as a peace meditation exercise.
Besides, there will be performances by African drummers, Bulgarian folk dancers, German choirs and fusion dance and music concerts.
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.
This concert featured over 1,200 sitar players and entered the Guinness Book of World Records, followed by many other events such as Antarnaad choir in Pune, India which brought together over 2,700 Indian classical singers.