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- History - 1976 on...
- 1987 to 2010 - Torch Relay for Peace and Harmony
- Preface, Intro, Special Moments
- Founder, Organisation and Team
- Harmony Run: North and South Americas
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- Joy, Oneness + more Americas...
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- Goodwill, Harmony & Europe
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- Love and more in Oceania
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- Peace, Hope + more Africa
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- World Harmnoy Run Theme Song
- Countries and Territories Participating Since 1987
- Support 2010 Year and Thank You
- Sources and Contacts
- Highlights 1987 -2000 : Pictorial Brochure - Oneness Home Peace Run
- Prologue 1976 - 1986 Activites for Peace, Harmony and the International Community's Highest Goals
- 1987 to 2010 - Torch Relay for Peace and Harmony
- Asia Pacific
Preface, Intro, Special Moments
“In the beginning …”
I had the privilege of being invited by Sri Chinmoy to stage a global relay run for peace, and had some of the greatest moments of my life leading this event-the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run-for well over a decade.
It began in May 1986 when Sri Chinmoy asked, while we were walking through the hallowed halls of the United Nations, if I could organize a global Peace Run. The United Nations had proclaimed 1986 the International Year of Peace, and Sri Chinmoy wanted to offer a heartfelt and sincere expression of peace on a global scale.
The World Trade Center set the backdrop for the opening ceremony, which was broadcast live on NBC-TV's The Today Show. How wonderful it was that, on April 27, 1987, five minutes of global television time was dedicated for the inaugural Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run.
Grammy Award-winning record producer Narada Michael Walden composed a theme song, "Oneness-Home Peace Run," that captured the spirit of the initiative and was featured on TV broadcasts about the Peace Run. By opening day, word about the Run had spread far and wide. We had strong support from Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the UN Secretary-General, celebrities Carl Lewis, Clarence Clemons and Narada Michael Walden, and thousands of elected officials who had welcomed Sri Chinmoy's vision for the Run. That year runners covered 27,000 miles in 44 nations. We were featured in a nationally broadcast PBS-TV special in the US, on a one-hour MTV special, and in countless newspaper articles.
Looking back on the Peace Run, I am proudest of our education programs. In visits to schools along the route, we shared our message with students and teachers who put their wishes into the Torch. The passing of the Torch also became a unifying force for participants, runners and those viewing them on the roads of the world. The Run was really a beacon of aspiration and inspiration. It was an affirmation that peace is possible if we work for it, and embrace inspirational ideas that bind all of us together-like love, kindness, sharing, self-giving, community and joy-irrespective of our cultural, national or religious origin. By 2001, the Peace Run had offered 8 global events. In September of that year, we paused in solemn, prayerful silence with the entire world. In 2005, Sri Chinmoy re-launched the Run as the World Harmony Run. And so it continues.
I thank you for the opportunity to introduce this book. And to all those on the road, running for peace - I salute you!
- Shambhu Neil Vineberg, Executive Director, Peace Run
From the Executive Director"World harmony, world peace: these are not mere dictionary words. These are the realities, divine realities and supreme realities." Sri Chinmoy uttered these prophetic words after watching a video of the World Harmony Run in 2006. The fact that this Run continues to flourish beautifully throughout the world confirms Sri Chinmoy's resounding declaration.
Watching the Torch carried from country to country, I have invariably found an inherent goodness in the hearts of all those we meet. It is a link that connects us as a human family. While we may have different religions, different languages and different cultures, there is far more that unites us than divides us. On the Run, we have come to discover that while we are carrying the Torch we are just runners. When people join with us and share their own hopes and dreams for a more harmonious world, it is then and only then that we become the World Harmony Run.
We now have the greatest opportunity in history to bring about lasting world peace. Striving toward this highest of goals, the World Harmony Run seeks to unite humanity organically, to bring us all together-not virtually, through technology, but actually. It links person to person, community to community, and nation to nation. The World Harmony Run provides us with a simple, practical and unforgettable opportunity to welcome each other as members of one world family.
I thank our founder, Sri Chinmoy, for inspiring this remarkably enriching Torch Relay which we now call the World Harmony Run. I am grateful to feel his spirit of love, peace and harmony unmistakably preserved and perpetuated in the Run as we grow into the promising future.
I invite you to join in celebrating our global unity, and to pass your own harmony torch to all those you meet along your life's journey.
- Salil Wilson, Executive Director, World Harmony Run
(photo) Salil Wilson (left), receives the Torch from founder Sri Chinmoy.
World Harmony Run
Each year the World Harmony Run involves millions of men, women and children in over 100 nations in a global torch relay. Participants and patrons have included Pope John Paul II, Mother Teresa, President Mikhail Gorbachev, President Nelson Mandela, Carl Lewis, Muhammad Ali and a host of other leaders and luminaries. Historic relays have included linking Egypt with Israel and Syria, crossing from Russia to China, running across all 50 states of the USA, connecting all European countries in one continuous route, and a continuous run from Japan to Europe.
As a symbol of harmony, runners carry a flaming torch, passing it from hand to hand between members of thousands of local communities, travelling through many nations every year around the globe. The World Harmony Run is a true grassroots event that touches the lives of millions of people along its route. The runners visit schools, community groups, running clubs, and local and national government organizations. At these stops they celebrate the goal of world harmony as well as recognizing people in the community who work for harmony in their own special ways.
“While running from one country to another in this Peace Run,” said Sri Chinmoy, “we are transcending our capacities and at the same time, we are inviting the whole world to feel the supreme importance of oneness.”
How Did It Start?The World Harmony Run (formerly the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run) was founded by Sri Chinmoy in 1987, to show that world peace is a dynamic achievable goal. It is the world's largest and longest relay run.
Just as humanity's yearning for world peace finds expression in every field of human endeavour, the World Harmony Run has any strands, including art, music and poetry. The event does not seek to raise any funds, or to promote any political or religious agenda. It simply aims to inspire people from all walks of life to foster a better, brighter future.
Torch Bearer Award
As the Run travels through cities and towns in each country, it reaches out to local communities to come together to honour good citizenship. Communities are invited to nominate individuals of inspiration to receive the World Harmony Run Torch-Bearer Award.
This award honours people in communities around the world, joining a global legion of citizens who, in their own way, have contributed to world harmony.
1987 - The first Torch was lit on 27 April 1987 in New York City for the Peace Run opening ceremony. The torch relay would continue to Europe, North and South America, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Africa.
1989 - For the first time, the Peace Run was run in all seven continents, including Antarctica.
1991 - A precedent-setting run linked Eastern and Western Europe with Russia.
1991 - Historic relays have included the first modern initiatives to link Israel with Egypt and Syria. The Torch was carried by Egyptian runners across the Suez Canal and the Sinai Desert. Two previous battle zones of yesterday have become paths of peace.
1993 - Over two hundred cities and significant sites around the world were inaugurated as Peace-Blossoms - lasting dedications to peace (including the Mekong Delta, battleground of the Vietnam War).
1994 - Historic relay linked Egypt with Jordan and Palestine.
1995 - Russian cosmonaut Gennady Strekalov took the torch on the MIR space station to orbit the Earth.
1999 - To commemorate the New Millennium, Peace Run events were held on every day of the year, encompassing over 100 countries. The European run started in Lisbon on 1 January 1999 and ended in London on 31 December 1999, on a continuous route through all European countries.
2001 - The Eternal Peace Flame - a monument for goodwill and international cooperation - was dedicated in Oslo, Norway, by World Harmony Run founder Sri Chinmoy.
2005 - The Peace Run was renamed the World Harmony Run.
2005 - On the Run's first Arctic expedition, runners carried the Torch all the way through the southern and western coasts of Greenland.
2008 - In Australia, a team of runners from 16 nations carried the torch over 15,000 kilometres around the entire continent, in a run taking 111 days.
2010 - Torch relays connected Europe and Asia (starting in Dublin and Tokyo and meeting in Moscow).