• 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

10 October - European Closing Ceremony in London

Tuesday 10 October


The final ceremony of the European World Harmony Run 2006 took place on the forecourt of the British Museum in central London. It is a beautiful building which attracts over 5 million visitors each year from around the world.

It was founded to promote universal understanding through the arts, natural history and science and provided the ideal stage for the celebration of our 27,000 kilometre journey through 49 European countries.

In conjunction with the UK Directors of World Harmony Run, the event was hosted by Dr Andrew Burnett, the deputy Director of the British Museum. Just after 2pm the sound of Scottish bagpipes signalled that the ceremony was about to begin.

In the audience were many schoolchildren who had come down to the British Museum to witness the final ceremony.

The ceremony began with a warm welcome to all those present by the Director of the World Harmony Run UK Devashishu Torpy. He announced that the runners would arrive within 30 minutes according to the schedule and that their arrival would be announced by Tibetan Monks sounding their Dung Chen Long Horns.

Rachel Matthews, a singer, actress and recent winner of the prestigious 'World Music Songwriting Award', opened the proceedings with a soulful rendition of 'Bridge Over Troubled Waters'.

The audience were treated to a magnificent display by Neo Japanesque, led by creative artist Hiroaki Omote. Neo Japanesque is a modern artform that combines traditional Japanese culture with modern design in an attempt to breathe new life into both visible traditional art and the hidden spirit that energises it. Mr Omote says, "Nature creates beauty. Those who recognise this beauty do not recognise conflict. With our symbol of the kimono, I wish to demonstrate that each and every one of us can reveal that inner beauty, and by sharing and offering it to the world we can allow all peoples to live in harmony".

The audience were then invited to view a video on a large LED screen, documenting the extensive journey of the World Harmony Run. It features the participation of children in various countries and shows the runners running through wind, rain, snow and burning sun.

The arrival of the runners was imminent and children attired in their national dress were invited to the stage to announce the country they were representing.

The Tibetan Monks from the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in Mysore, dressed in their full regalia, let forth an almighty sound from their Long Horns which resonated through the entire neighbourhood.

A team of thirty international runners carrying flags from various European countries and led by the burning World Harmony Torch appeared from Montague Street, ran down Great Russell Street and entered the main gates.

They were escorted through the cheering audience who had risen to their feet, past the Tibetan monks, and into an avenue of schoolchildren from the boroughs of Brent, Westminster, Islington and Camden. The children let out a thunderous cheer in keeping with all the schools we have visited around the world.

Ondrej Vesely, the team captain, handed the torch to Dr Andrew Burnett, as the rest of the team assembled by the side of the stage. Dr Burnett, holding the torch, welcomed the runners, congratulating them on their remarkable achievement. He identified the identical goals of the British Museum and the torch relay in trying to bring the people and the cultures of the world together. What the Museum does through art and natural history, the runners are doing physically, with their bodies, literally carrying the message of World Harmony from hand to hand.

Dr Burnett then lit the beacon and everyone was invited to offer their prayers and aspirations for harmony in our world.

Voces 8, a versatile award winning choir, sang a prayerful classical song, and then broke into a cheerful and inspiring arrangement of the World Harmony Run Song composed by the founder of the run, Sri Chinmoy.

With the beacon lit, and Dr Burnett holding the burning torch aloft, the young and accomplished actress Hannah Taylor-Gordon was invited to the lectern. She offered an extremely emotive rendition of a poem written specifically for the World Harmony Run by the beloved contemporary English poet, Roger McGough. The audience sat spellbound, as Hannah masterfully conveyed the quintessential spirit and significance of the global torch relay, which can best be expressed through the media of poetry and music.

Harmony Run by Roger McGough C.B.E.

Not running away

Not running in fear

Not running towards

Not running to win

Not running for country

Not running alone

Not running to please

Not running for fame

Through wind and rain

Relaying the flame

Running, running

Not running in vain.

The Mayor of Camden, Councillor Jill Fraser, then congratulated the runners and welcomed everyone to her borough which she said was honoured to host the final ceremony. She then read a message from Buckingham Palace:

'The Queen was pleased to receive your kind message of loyal greetings sent on behalf of the Deputy Director of the British Museum and the Runners in the World Harmony Run UK to celebrate the completion of their journey of seven months and 27,000 kilometres through Europe, which takes place today at the British Museum. Her Majesty sends her congratulations on this remarkable achievement and her warm good wishes to all who took part'.

Camden councilor, Flick Rea, executive member for culture, read two messages. The first was from the Lord Mayor of Cardiff and the second from the first minister of Wales, the Right Honourable Rhodri Morgan. Karteek Clarke read messages from Jack McConnell, First Minister of Scotland and Sile de Valera, Minister of State in the Republic of Ireland. Father Dwayne Bednar from Westminster Cathedral and Canon Martin Warner from St Pauls Cathedral offered a prayer and a blessing.

Rachel Matthews returned to the stage accompanied by a Gospel Choir called Many Rivers, to perform an energetic rendition of Lean On Me. She then invited Voices 8, children from Kentish Town CE Primary School and all the runners to join her to perform a final arrangement of the World Harmony Run Song .

Kevin Murphy, known as King of the Channel because he has swum across the English Channel 34 times, joined everyone on stage to offer his heartfelt support for the runners and their athletic achievement. As a champion athlete, he is well aware of the mental and physical challenges that arise in such a momentous undertaking.

Ondrej Vesely from the Czech Republic, captain of the running team, expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to have visited so many countries, and met so many people in his journey through Europe. He spoke of the overwhelming kindness and goodness of people in every village, town and country. He said that the experience had shown him that people from different nations, different walks of life and different cultures are all essentially the same.

Dipavajan Renner from Austria, the European World Harmony Run Coordinator, highlighted the participation of schools and the capacity of the run to inspire young people. Young people represent the hope and promise of progress and initiatives like the World Harmony Run sustain and nourish the confidence that each and every individual can contribute to the betterment of our world. The world is truly a family he stated, and this experience becomes a reality when you are on the World Harmony Run.

Salil Wilson from Australia, the Director of the World Harmony Run International, said that we, the team, are simply runners. It is only when people come out to support the run, when the runners are linked with individuals and groups that are sincerely striving in their own field for better welfare, greater understanding and awareness that we see the true potential of the torch relay. The run is not only a journey from city to city but a clear and dynamic expression of humanity's profound yearning for harmony.

To end the ceremony all the invited guests, the performers and the runners joined Dr Burnett on the stage for a final photograph. The atmosphere was very joyful and the torch was passed from person to person. Everyone was reminded that even though this was the final ceremony, the run is not finished, but will continue each year.

Thank you to everyone who arranged the final ceremony, especially Sahana Gero, Sahadeva Torpy, Devashishu Torpy, Janet O'Hara, Shankara Smith and the entire team at the Run And Become running store.

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

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