• World Harmony Run

    World's Largest Torch Relay
    World Harmony Run

  • 1,000,000 Participants

    Across 6 Continents
    1,000,000 Participants

  • Dreaming of a more harmonious world

    100 countries
    Dreaming of Harmony

  • Schools And Kids

    Make a Wish for Peace
    Schools And Kids

  • Sri Chinmoy: World Harmony Run Founder

    World Harmony Run Founder
    Sri Chinmoy

  • Carl Lewis: World Harmony Run Spokesman

    World Harmony Run Spokesman
    Carl Lewis

  • New York, USA

    New York

  • London, Great Britain

    Great Britain

  • Shakhovskaya, Russia


  • Around Australia

    15,000 kms, 100 days
    Around Australia

  • Around Ireland

    14 Days, 1500km
    Around Ireland

  • Wanaka, New Zealand

    New Zealand

  • Arjang, Norway


  • Rekjavik, Iceland


  • Beijing, China


  • Prague, Czech Republic

    Czech Republic

  • Belgrade, Serbia


  • Lake Biwa, Japan

    Lake Biwa

  • Kapsait, Ethiopia


  • Pangkor Island, Malaysia

    Pangkor Island

  • Bali, Indonesia


  • The All Blacks, New Zealand

    The All Blacks
    New Zealand

USA 21 Feb: NY Central Park

In Honor of International Mother Language Day, 21 February 2011,*

dedicated to promoting linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. The World Harmony Run Team brings you this report of

A Guinness World Record set in August of last year in New York.

(*For more information on International Mother Language Day: http://www.worldharmonyrun.org/un_years/mother_language_day)

“Be Like a Child” Poem by Sri Chinmoy, World Harmony Run founder, Recited in 146 Languages, From Bengali and Maori to Newari and Zulu

as part of the Sri Chinmoy Poetry Festival (August 25-27) 2010.

Olympic legend Carl Lewis, Guinness top record holder Ashrita Furman,

UN Ambassadors and Consulate General Representatives

as well as a large international team,

Set a new Guinness World Record by reading a poem from

The “Jewels of Happiness” written by Sri Chinmoy in the most languages ever—146!

The festival was opened the previous day by Edward Hirsch, Chancellor of the American Poets, and ended at 5 pm on 27 August with a Poetry Youth Forum.

From Bengali and Maori to Newari and Zulu, “Be Like a Child”

Was expressed with some of the most unusual

And charming communication sounds around the globe.

The poem reads:

Be like a child,

Act like a child.

Go from one flower to another

In your heart-garden

Until you find complete joy

And perfect satisfaction.

When asked why he selected this poem, Ashrita replies: “I think it is important that we remember in this complex world that we are children at heart. If we develop our childlike qualities, then we will be always happy.”

Furman dedicated the record to the UN Literacy Decade and has been working on organising the world record every day for a few hours two months before the event. The poem is part of the first internationally published book in English language written by Sri Chinmoy—poet, author, composer and humanitarian—since his passing in October 2007. Archbishop Desmond Tutu has written the foreword to the book, entitled The Jewels of Happiness.

Carl Lewis introduced the program connected with the Guinness World Record attempt by stating,

“I just want to say that Sri Chinmoy inspires everyone who has met him and everyone who learns about him to go beyond what you think you can do. And, at the same time, he helps bring everybody close to you.”

World Harmony Run and Torch

The Executive Director of the World Harmony run, Salil Wilson of Australia, was requested to present the Harmony Torch and address the gathering. He noted that this year the Harmony Run is supporting the UN and the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures proclaimed for 2010. This is the final year of the Decade for a Culture of Peace declared by the UN General Assembly and is dedicated to Cultural Diversity and to bringing people together.

The President of the UNESCO General Conference, Davidson Hepburn, has sent a message to the Harmony Run in which he stresses the value in bringing different types of people together and how "the communal sharing of our hopes and dreams is fundamental for building the foundations of peace and harmony." We see on the sign, the IYRC logo and year in 6 languages. Having a poem read in so many languages is a perfect way to bring people together and to share the unique sounds and other ways that we communicate. The poem chosen is quite simple, like the concept of passing the torch, but it too speaks powerfully to a common experience in our hearts that unites us.

The Harmony Run has gone to over 140 countries since it was founded by Sri Chinmoy 20 years ago. In a sense this torch represents all the places around the world where hands and hearts have held it to share a common dream for peace and harmony. It also represents the various languages heard in the diverse communities which share their cultural gifts like todays poem "Be like a child".

Salil presented the torch to Carl Lewis, Ashrita and others to share and thanked them for including the Harmony Run in this oneness encouraging and experiencing event.

In February 2010 on International Mother Language Day (IMLD), Harmony Run representatives participated in a cultural program hosted by the Society of Foreign Consuls in NY.

IML Day, which is also supported and encouraged by the UN and UNESCO, is dedicated to promoting linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. 

This multilingual poetry event 6 months later, reading Sri Chinmoy's poem in so many languages, seems like a fitting and practical example of the ways the wonderful spirit behind IML Day can be carried forward, appreciated and experienced on more occasions throughout the year. (See note at end for more on Languages and IMLD also at: http://www.worldharmonyrun.org/un_years/mother_language_day).


Furman had been working on organising the world record every day for a few hours over a two month period.

“The greatest challenges are in finding translators for languages, which are spoken only by a few thousand people. For example, Bislama is only spoken by 6200 people in Vanuatu and New Caledonia”, he said.

Ashrita Furman currently holds 122 Guinness World Records, including the record for the most Guinness records.

The poem was read by Carl Lewis in English and by notables from the international community including

Ms. Josphine Ojiambo, Ambassador of UN Mission to Kenya,


Ms. Sabine Ulmann-Shaban, Deputy Consul General of Switzerland, Mr. Francisco Flaminio dos Santos, Vice Consul of Angola,

Dr. Thietmar Bachmann, Head of the Cultural Department of the Consulate of Germany and

Mr. Piere Joris, famous poet of Luxembourg.

Collectively they set the Guinness world record for “A Poem / Literary Passage Recited in the Most Languages“.

Ashrita has been breaking Guinness World Records since 1979. His first entry in the Guinness Book he achieved by completing 27,000 jumping jacks. Since then he has broken 299 records on all seven continents, including racing against a Yak in Mongolia to set the mile sack-racing record, doing underwater Aqua Pogo for 3 hours 40 minutes in the Amazon River in Peru and bouncing the fastest mile on a kangaroo ball along the Great Wall of China.

For information on Ashrita's other records go to: www.ashrita.com

For NY Daily News story on Ashrita's 2009 record with 111 Languages:

- see http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/queens/2009/04/15/2009-04-15_100th_simultaneous_guinness_world_record_for_ashrita_furman_for_mass_poetry_reci.html

Note on International Mother Language Day

International Mother Language Day is celebrated each February. Dedicated to promoting linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism, it was proclaimed by UNESCO's General Conference in November of 1999.

For further information on International Mother Language Day and related resources see:

See also Information on:

Full Message to Harmony Run Participants from The President of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) General Conference, Davidson Hepburn

and Most Recent:



The World Harmnoy Run proudly supports the International Year of Youth (IYY) and the International Year of Forests (IYF) proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly.

See also recent Youtube video which illustrates IYY slogan "Our Year Our Voice"  International Year of Youth - Zambia World Harmony http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6qehMiIWuYRun

– input from Adhiratha Keefe, Nishtha Baum, Shatapatri Mahar, Salil Wilson and others

Team Members:
Olympic legend Carl Lewis, Guinness top record holder Ashrita Furman, UN Ambassadors and Consulate General Representatives as well as a large international team (from many countries)

You can send a message to the runners or read the messages.

  USA 11 Mar UNESCO Special Event at UN >