Indonesia 24 January: Mataram, Lombok

A Glorious Welcome from the Nusa Tenggara Barat

Today our International Team was invited to a special program at the Governor's Offices of the Province of Nusa Tenggara Barat in Mataram.

We were delighted to have a big team, with representatives from about 30 different countries.

Before the official welcome, we were treated to a display of the traditional sport of Pencak Silat by world champion athlete Mariati(in the blue) and partner.

Vice Governor, H. Muhammad Amin, SH. Msi, enthusiastically received the torch on behalf of the Governor, DR TGH. M. Zainul Majdi, who was not able to attend the programme.

Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run Executive Director, Salil Wilson, gave the opening speech, mentioning that we are celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Peace Run this year, and that Indonesia is one of the first countries we are visiting in 2017.

He also commented that Indonesia stands as a shining example of a nation that brings together different religions and cultures in a spirit of unity and harmony, and that for many of us this is the first time we are visiting the beautiful island of Lombok, which we have found to be a paradise both in natural beauty as well as in culture and heritage.

Vice Governor, H. Muhammad Amin, SH. Msi, warmly welcomed the International Team.

Our International team sang Sri Chinmoy's song for Indonesia, as well as the Peace Run song and the World Harmony song in Bahasa, which invoked an enthusiastic response.
The words of the song by Sri Chinmoy for Indonesia follow:

Indonesia, Indonesia, Indonesia,
Softness, sweetness, oneness-ambrosia.
You are the golden link between two continents: Asia, Australia.
Your matchless prides: Java, Bali Sumatra, Jakarta.
You are your mountain-heights, you are your volcano-power.
Islam, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu — all faiths have built a oneness-tower.

We were thrilled that about 60 young local athletes, who play many different sports, enthusiastically participated in the event.

We announced our respective countries.

The spirit of the event was very joyful.

We presented an artwork by Peace Run founder, Sri Chinmoy, entitled "Peace Is Precious", to the NTB, which the Vice Governor received.

Harita from New Zealand was honored to present Mariati with The Torch Bearer Award fro her incredible achievements in the sport of Pencak Silat. She is from a village in Lombok and has been the National Champion in Indonesia multiple times, as well as the World Champion in 2015.

The Vice Governor and other representatives all helped to plant a tree for Peace.

Next, we all passed the torch and took a moment to share our own hopes and prayers for Peace.

The Vice Governor generously welcomed each one of us individually.

Mariati led the way as we ran a lap around the grounds with all the Peace Runners and athletes.

And then it was time for some Aerobics, a very popular sport in Indonesia!

We all had a lot of fun!

Staff members of the NTB were our joyful instructors!

We had a great time taking a lot of photos together. The people of Indonesia are so sweet!

A staff photo with Mariati and the team.

And a last photo with everyone- one big happy family!

In the oneness-heart
There is abiding peace.
With our oneness-heart
We are all trying to create
A peaceful world-family.

-Sri Chinmoy

Traditional musicians led us all the way to the buses, where we sadly had to say goodbye. Thank you so much to all the Officials, Staff and Athletes of Nusa Tenggara Barat for creating such an inspiring and joyful event for all of us that we will never forget!