Sunday evening at cruise and cargo facility: Candle lighting memorial merges with peace event

POSTED: 05/16/12 1:37 PM

St. Maarten – The Art of Living Foundation and the Aids Foundation are teaming up to mark the 29th anniversary of the world’s largest annual community-based candle lighting memorial event and to bring to St. Maarten the biggest multicultural peace event this Sunday at the A.C Wathey Cruise and Cargo Facility.
The event begins at 6:00 p.m. with the candle lighting memorial followed by ‘I Meditate SXM’ a large scale cultural event with the theme Celebrating Humanity.
The meditational aspects of the event will be led by Art of Living Foundation founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, a world renowned humanitarian leader, spiritual teacher and ambassador of peace. His vision of a stress-free, violence-free society has united millions of people the world over through service projects and the courses of The Art of Living.
Sri Sri will lead the meditational aspect of ‘I meditate SXM’ via a live feed from an ashram Germany. Guest speakers include Prime Minister Sarah Wescot Williams and Public Health Minister Cornelius De Weever.
St. Maarten Aids Foundation President Gerard van Osch said, “The merging of these two events and groups showcases the importance of both issues. Our foundations are pleased to be part of a gathering aimed at celebrating humanity, which underlines the importance of taking care of one self and each other. There is strength in uniting diversity. ”
According to HIV Program Manager Suzette Moses-Burton, the theme of this year’s international Aids candlelight memorial is Promoting health and dignity together. The theme aims to raise awareness around HIV and to promote respect for the human rights of people living with HIV. “The international candlelight memorial wishes people to remember how HIV has touched the lives of so many of us; and how international solidarity has a positive impact on the lives of people living with HIV worldwide,” she said.
‘I meditate SXM’ will bring together very unique aspects of St. Maarten arts, culture, politics, community and religion. Topping the list of unique aspects will be the merging of the harp and steel pan. Visiting Scottish based harpist Mary Sommerville and local steel pan artist Mighty Dow will take the stage to perform a duet merging the sounds of the two musical instruments.
President of the local chapter of Art of Living Ashok Aswani said this event is intended to bring together all the people and cultures of St. Maarten. “It will be amazing to see and experience people from all walks of life and cultures sitting together with the aiming of bringing peace and tranquillity,” he said.
He said he looks forward to the presentations from various political, business and religious leaders, who will be given various topics and asked to say a few words with the theme being peace and love.
Clara Reyes is expected to offer the audience a blend of the multicultural in dance that reflects the diversity of St. Maarten. Gate opens at 5:00pm and persons are asked to take along a form of identification.

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