April 3, 2023 Live from the road


Reported by Harashita Sunaoshi

At the kind invitation of Professor G. Lavanco, Dean, Department of Psychology, Educational Science and Human Movement (SPPEFF), an international team of professors visit the University of Palermo for a two-day symposium entitled: "Culture of Peace applied to Education."

The team is here in Sicily, a beautiful city of Palermo. We are spending the next two days here, with the professors and their students at the University of Palermo, sharing with them our research and teaching experiences and ideas about Culture of Peace.

The visiting professors are: Dr. Lunthita Duthely (the University of Miami School of Medicine), Dr. Mukul Ram Fishman (Public Policy, Tel Aviv University), Dr. Mahatapa Palit (Business Management, City University of New York [CUNY]), and Dr. Harashita Sunaoshi (Intercultural Communication, Kyoto Seika University).

In the morning, the team is warmly and enthusiastically greeted by Professor Lavanco (centre) and Dr. Marianna Bellafiore (left) at the departmental building.

The Department SPPEFF, through research and teaching, aims to create connections between scientific fields dealing with the psychophysical well-being, the education and lifelong learning to contribute to the advancement of the research as well as to the development of the society (from the department's website).

A special ceremony first takes place at the hallway of the department. Professor Lavanco and Dr. Mahatapa Palit, representing the visiting professors, hold the Peace Torch aloft.

Unveiling of the Peace-Blossom plaque...

the Department of Psychology, Educational Science and Human Movement of Palermo joins the worldwide Sri Chinmoy Peace-Blossom family as a new Peace-Blossom University.

At the conclusion of the peace dedication ceremony. From left, Dr. Marianna Bellafiore (Univ. of Palermo), Mukul Ram Fishman (Tel Aviv Univ.), Marina Galioto (Administration, Univ. of Palermo), Prof. G. Lavanco (Dean, SPPEFF, Univ. of Palermo), Dr. Mahatapa Palit (City University of New York), Dr. Harashita Sunaoshi (Kyoto Seika University), Dr. Lunthita Duthely (Univ. of Miami School of Medicine), and Avv. Anna Dianese of Vicenza.

A team photo with Dr. Marianna (third from right), in front of two Jharna-Kala paintings entitled "World-Harmony", by the Peace Run founder Sri Chinmoy. These paintings were offered during Palermo Peace Week (2019), a city-wide festival of peace in art, sports, music and more. The University was one of the venues. Laura Alongi (second from left), the main organizer of both the 2019 and this events, and Avv. Anna Dianese (far right), who helped us with translation.

We have now moved to a lecture hall, the venue of the day, and are getting ready for the programme for Day 1: Conference, where the four guest professors each give a half-hour presentation on how they incorporate Culture of Peace in their research and teaching.

Students file in the lecture hall.

The Conference starts with special greetings on Zoom by the Peace Run European Director Devashishu Torpy. He points to a group of school children the Peace Run is just visiting in Torino.
Also present on the Zoom call (though not shown) is Dr. Kapila Clara Castoldi (Physics, Oakland University), who has been instrumental in communication between the Italian organizers and the professor team.

Our first presenter Dr. Mahatapa introduces the concept of Culture of Peace. Her presentation discusses how she has incorporated 'empathy (oneness)' into her teaching in business, and how it has benefited her students in entrepreneurship.

Dr. Harashita's presentation introduces how she has invited Peace Run coordinators to her EFL (English as a foreign language) classes on Zoom, and how it has increased Culture of Peace in the classroom, as well as improving the students' motivation to learn English.

About 150 students including undergraduate, Master's and Ph.D. students, attend the Conference.
Here, the students experience one-minute concentration (meditation) exercise during Dr. Harashita's presentation.

During Dr. Lunthita's presentation on increasing adolescents' well-being, there is a need for translating a video material, and one of the students from the audience immediately volunteers and does a great job.

The faculty members and students enjoy the presenters' practical approaches.

The last presenter Dr. Mukul discusses how the seeming dichotomy "Globalism vs. Patriatism" can take the help of the heart, our higher self, as the bridge.

Dr. Marianna has stayed by the presenters so warmly and enthusiastically, supporting today's programme. So has Avv. Anna (far left), being ready for translation, whenever necessary.

At the end, we have a short Question & Answer session. Here, Dr. Mahatapa answers a student's question about 'empathy (oneness)', the quality she has incorporated into her class for students in entrepreneurship.

Dr. Marianna teaches and researches on sports and human movement, and she is an athlete herself as well.

We present, with admiration and gratitude, the Torch Bearer Award to Professor Lavanco, for his long-time contribution to empower young people to realise their highest potential, including his initiative in "Heroic education." Here, Dr. Marianna kindly receives the Peace Torch on behalf of Prof. Lavanco.

Then the Torch Bearer Award medal, on behalf of Prof. Lavanco. Thank you so much Dr. Marianna for your kindest and warmest welcome and support!

After learning about the significance of the Peace Torch, the students have a chance to put their wishes and prayers for peace into the Torch, as it is being passed around.

A big applause to each other at the end of the Conference!

We are grateful for the new friendship with Prof. G. Cappuccio (second left). Special thanks also go to the commendable organizational support by Marina Galioto (far right, back row).

Torch carried by
Harashita Sunaoshi (Japan), Laura Alongi (Italy), Lunthita Duthely (United States), Mahatapa Palit (Bangladesh), Mukul Fishman (Israel).  
Lunthita Duthely

Latest reports from Italy - 2024

view all

Latest reports - around the world:

view all