International peace festival held in Chandigarh

     To spread the universal message of peace and love through music, over 500 students recently converged here to participate in the 4th International Peace Festival. Students from different parts of the world, having assembled under one roof, spoke the language of peace, love and happiness. The students belonging to India, America, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries cherished music from different parts of world. One of the special attractions on this occasion was a musical group from Pakistan, which created a fusion of traditional and western music to appeal for unity among the youth across the world. Camaraderie, joy and festivity were visible among the participants as they mingled and interacted with each other for five days. "Music reaches directly to the heart. It brings a message of peace to all communities. So, I thought, what better way than presenting local and international music together to deliver a message of peace. So, we fused local and international music to tell the people that we have brought a essence of peace. Through our music we wanted to tell them that we are with them and we have the same respect for them in our hearts that they have for us," said Firoze, one of the participants from Pakistan. Besides musical events, the festival featured plays, seminars and peace parades and ensured that the youth understood the significance of `peace and unity'. The event coincided with the 140th birth anniversary of Mahatama Gandhi, the Father of Indian nation and promoter of non-violence and truth. Through personal interactions and their performances, all participants attempted to present their respective culture and faith in the best possible way. Other participants included students from Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Philippines who mesmerized the audience with their stunning dance and musical performances. The students stayed together to understand each other. "In this festival just small things are happening. Lot of students are staying with families for example and so they get tot learn more about what home life is like and just get to know each other more and so people are here to learn, observer, understand each other, be respectful and we need peace in the world. There have been two World Wars. All these countries are spending more and more money on weapons," said Christine Singh, Coordinator, International Peace festival. "I think that people from around the world actually need to join together. As a whole, as a world we have missed a lot of connection and I think it will be really good is we just come together again and the connection that I have been making so far has been really great. People here are just amazing and I really like India and I think that we should have really an International Peace Festival," said Lexi Macavinchey, a volunteer from the United States.

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