May saw the arrival in Ireland of the World Harmony Run, the world’s largest grassroots running event....
Founded by Sri Chinmoy in 1987, the World Harmony Run unites millions of people behind a shared feeling that all of us have much more in common than what divides us. We do this using the most simple and yet the most inspiring of metaphors - an Olympic- style torch, which teams of runners carry from country to country and from community to community. Along the route, we visit schools, running clubs, community groups and local and national governments, seeing time and again examples of how the things that make humanity special - kindness, generosity, a sense of joy and humor and a largeness of heart - are things that people from every country and race and religion possess, and so we can share this first hand expeience with everyone else we meet. As the Run goes from country to country, various branches of the Sri Chinmoy Centre help to take care of the core logistics, but we also encourage the schools and communities to add their own unique contribution, and indeed the Run would not be able to exist if it were not for this grassroots involvement from ordinary people all over the world. The Run spent four days in Ireland, arriving in Belfast and visiting the Giant’s Causeway before making its way down through Armagh, Monaghan, Kells and Navan on its way to Dublin.
In Dublin we held a special welcoming ceremony held for the runners in Irishtown Stadium, with distinguished guests and children from local schools in the area who welcomed the run with their own singing and instrumental presentations of the Theme of Harmony. The international team also gave a presentation of the Run and, of course everyone got a chance to hold and run with the Torch and add their own wishes for harmony. The event ended on a very beautiful note - the children had written little messages expressing their hopes and dreams for a better world. We had attached these messages to floating balloons, all waiting to be released to the air, symbolically spreading harmony far and wide. At a count of three - two - one - the balloons were let go, sending our wishes for world harmony soaring into the heavens. The Run then departed for Wales - Colm and Matthias went with them as they scaled Mount Snowdon with an ITV news crew in close pursuit. The European leg of the Run will visit all 49 European countries before finishing up in Prague in October.
For more info: http://www.worldharmonyrun.org/ireland/