- Live from the Road
- Great Britain 28 July: London
- Great Britain 1 April: London - Dover
- Great Britain 31 March: Ipswich - London
- Great Britain 30 March: Cambridge - Ipswich
- Great Britain 29 March: Corby - Cambridge
- Great Britain 28 March: Oxford - Oxford
- Great Britain 27 March: Sheffield - Corby
- Great Britain 26 March: Bradford - Sheffield
- Great Britain 25 March: Hawes - Bradford
- Great Britain 24 March: Hexham - Hawes
- Great Britain 23 March: Wooler - Hexham
- Great Britain 22 March: North Berwick - Wooler
- Great Britain 21 March: Edinburgh - North Berwick
- Great Britain 20 March: Glasgow - Edinburgh
- Great Britain 19 March: Cairnryan - Glasgow
- Great Britain 14 March: Fishguard - Goodwick
- Great Britain 13 March: Carmarthen - Fishguard
- Great Britain 12 March: Merthyr - St Clears
- Great Britain 11 March: Cardiff - Henrhyd falls
- Great Britain 10 March: Bristol - Cardiff
- Schools And Kids
- Torch-Bearer Award
- World-Harmony-Run Song
Great Britain 30 March: Cambridge - Ipswich
We have seen many schools since we came to Great Britain, and the Torch has brought us a warm welcome everywhere we go. But few days have generated the excitement that we received today. Perhaps it was last-day-of-term thrills, but today's schools offered some of our loudest and most vivacious audiences.
The town of Cambridge was so keen to welcome the Harmony Torch that, as the school day began, we had to split into two teams to greet the kids. The first team visited King's Hedges Primary School.
King's Hedge Primary School has a sports focus. Whatever their skills level, it inspires their students to "have a go".
Meanwhile, another team was greeted enthusiastically by Arbury Primary School. As half the team was at King's Hedges Primary School, we had representatives from fewer countries than usual. Even so, it was impressive how quickly they guessed each nation as each of the runners stepped forward with words in their native tongue. Almost every nation was identified in a few words, and one or two guesses. Laszlo was stunned when they spotted him as a Hungarian in only two words. He normally recited an entire monologue!
The head teacher confided that it wasn't the academic brilliance of Cambridge that made them so good at this game, but the multiculturalism of the students. In a school where the students speak 30 languages between them, he said, the staff had looked at each other and said, "We'll be good at this."
In this crowded room, there wasn't much room for running - even on the spot. Instead, Abhejali taught them the actions to the World Harmony Run song while they were seated. They were able to run and make tomorrow's Sun with their arms, thereby proving that the song can be performed while seated.
Many times, the kids applauded warmly and loudly - when we performed the song, when Vladimir learned to juggle in our "harmony" skit, and as representatives from each class held the Torch. They gave us a final song to inspire us - and a remarkable thing happened, as the Principal asked if any child would like to sing the first verse - solo. Many hands went up! Music is an important part of the curriculum in this school, and the students are not shy about singing by themselves. The boy chosen to sing the first verse sang sweetly and in tune, joined with equal sweetness by his classmates. We were told that most students only get one chance to sing solo, and they learn it well.
Later in the morning, both teams came together to visit The Spinney School at Cherry Hinton, a suburb of Cambridge.
It was the second visit to this school by the World Harmony Run. Apaguha and Balavan were in the team that visited two years ago, and the teacher was happy to welcome them back. Some of the students remembered our previous visit.
During our visit to Cambridge, Penny from South Africa (now a Cambridge local) has been part of our team - giving the children another country (and another continent) to guess... but still providing no challenge for the kids of Arbury Primary School.
The students of The Spinney School, who also represented many nations, also played "Guess the Nation" with aplomb.
Harmony, along with Tolerance, Community and Equality, is a concept that is avidly taught at this school. A map of the world in the foyer shows just how multicultural the students are, speaking many languages and hailing from no less than 24 nations.
Also displayed in the the foyer: a Certificate of Appreciation from our last visit in 2010. Now they have two certificates to place side by side.
After visiting schools at Cambridge, we went on a side trip to Ipswich, where our friend Sanjaya Spettigue had a few visits in store for us. His daughter Bandana - a member of the World Harmony Run team since the event started in 1987 - was our running guide.
The students of St Joseph's College Junior School greeted us with a loud and rapturous cheer after every part of our presentation.
We were greeted by a guard of honour, with all the children lined up holding self-made flags of many nations, real and imagined. As usually happens in a guard of honour, they greeted us with high-fives. (OK, maybe "usually" is the wrong word.)
The ceremony was held, like most of their assemblies, in the gorgeous school chapel.
However, the audience perhaps wouldn't be described as "prayerful". They were having a great time.
Josephine Lea, former Mayor of Needham Market (and now Chair of the Board of Governors of St Joseph's College) started the school ceremony by welcoming us to Ipswich.
Noivedya explained why we run as a team: "Do you think I could run all around Europe by myself?" The kids all agreed: no, of course not. He then pointed to Bandana, holding the Torch, and dressed in running clothes: "Do you think that Bandana could do it?" Most of them nodded: of course she could! Bandana said that, no, she couldn't - to run so far, we need a team.
We presented the school with a Certificate of Appreciation...
... and we finished with a soulful hymn - the prayerful part of the ceremony.
We then ventured outside so that students and staff had a chance to hold and run with the Torch.
It was an hour of fun and revelry. It was great to finish this year's England school visits on such a high!
After the school, we visited a place of true harmony: The Buddhist Centre, in Princes Street. There we had a meeting with Jnanamitra, former chairperson of the Buddhist Centre.
We had a brief meeting in the meditation room, overseen by a golden statue of the Buddha.
We ran through the streets of the Ipswich city centre - as well as under them, in the under-the-road walkways...
We then visited The Ipswich Hindu Sauraj - and another peaceful meditation room.
Again, we witnessed the "harmony" aspect of the Run, with Krishna, Rama and other deities watching over us.
This is the happy result of Dr Sushil Soni's eight-year project to start a large Sauraj in Ipswich. Sushil, now president of the Sauraj, concluded the meditation with the music of the conch.
Sushil blessed the Harmony Torch by waving it over the deities. This reminded Sanjaya of a Hindu high priest who did a similar action in Bali, inaugurating a statue of the World Harmony Run's founder, Sri Chinmoy.
In Ipswich, the horse-and-cart is still used on the roads. (Well, not really. This one was being used for a wedding, and the bride and groom raised their glasses at us from the carriage.)
After these peaceful visits, with our ceremonies over for the day, Sanjaya invited us to the nearby village of Dedham.
There, we partook in a great British culinary experience: cream tea.
He explained the essential British tea customs: pour the milk first, the tea second.
But each person can choose their own method. (One person even had coffee instead of tea with his "cream tea"! The very idea...)
A walk through the charming village of Dedham... on one of our busiest, yet most relaxing days.
Video Message from Davidson Hepburn, President (2009 - 2011) of the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for 25th Anniversary of the World Harmony Run and a vision for the decade: "Toward a Oneness-World".
Full Text of the 25th annversary message and link to 25 language informal Translations: http://www.worldharmonyrun.org/25or Click on language button for separate youtube videos wth sub titles in varous languages
- Youtube video on African experience which illustrates IYY slogan "Our Year Our Voice" International Year of Youth - Zambia World Harmony. They surprisingly mention Presidents and UN Secretary-General in a unique way!
Distance: 8 km
Apaguha Vesely (Czech Republic), Sandro Zincarini (Italy), Mladen Vujaklija (Croatia), Sumahat Strohn (Germany), Noivedya Juddery (Australia), Andre Carvalho Ribeiro (Portugal), Deeptaksha Mihaylov (Bulgaria), Abhejali Bernardova (Czech Republic), Satyamurti Miotello (Italy), Vladimir Ilyasov (Russian Federation), Laszlo Szente (Hungary), Karolina Hausenblasova (Czech Republic), Simon Hausenblas (Czech Republic), Balavan Thomas (England), Devashishu Torpy (England)
Gallery: See more images!
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