Indonesia 16 November: Kuta, Bali
Grand Finale Parade and Celebration!
Video of this remarkable ceremony.
Our final day started with a special parade celebrating the completion of Southern Hemisphere Peace Run. We began this auspicious procession from Sunari Loka Junior High School in Kuta, where we had begun this round-the-world adventure back in the end of January this year.
Sunari Loka Junior High School, who are now so dear to the Peace Run, was the main organizer of this grand celebration, with the help of their Alumni. It is part of the foundation Yayasan Pembangunan Desa Kuta (YPDK). Today the foundation's other schools: TK Indraprasta (kindergarten) and SMA Kutapura (High School) also joined for the Grand Finale of Southern Hemisphere Peace Run.
Last Formation: Students of Sunari Loka Junior High School are holding 100 flowers to be given to the audience and spectators at Kuta Beach, the procession's destination.
The parade proceeded cheerfully along the busy streets of Kuta with many shops, where locals and visitors alike on both sides curiously and joyfully looked on.
As we arrived at Kuta Beach, we were joined by these kindergarten children, who had been waiting for us at the entrance.
The parade proceeded along the popular Kuta Beach. It was packed with international and local visitors. And many were curious, excited and happy to see this long procession!
This Peace Torch with the special inscription "Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run Southern Hemisphere" began its journey here in Bali at the end of January, and traveled through 44 countries around the world. After being held by thousands and thousands of peace-loving people and children, it is now back, here in Bali, to conclude this epic journey.
Next in the program was the release of 50 baby turtles to the sea. Here, Kanyaka, our Balinese organizer for the day, is holding one of the baby turtles in a container.
We each placed the container with a baby turtle along the line, the releasing point. Releasing them on the sand this way is important because they will then remember where they are released, and one day, when they survive, they will be able to come back to the same place.
And off they went! From behind we cheered them on saying "Go! Go! Go!" These tiny creatures' sincere effort to reach the ocean was so touching.
It took a while for them to reach the water. The gentleman leading the program said the baby turtles will not eat for 3-4 days and will just keep swimming.
Each item of the program was so soulfully and professionally announced by the two emcees. Ni Wayan Suma Wardani (left, English) and Ni Kadek Yunita Dewi (right, Indonesian)
The kindergarten TK Indraprasta had a very cute play called Barong Bangkung. It is mostly performed by children, especially after Galungan and Kuningan day--a big holiday in Bali. Here is Barong.
This little girl came with holy water to sprinkle and revive the boys who had been defeated by the Barong.
Students looked on. Behind the spectators on the beach were the Peace Run team's national flags flying high.
Indonesian and international Peace Runners were enamoured by the extremely well-prepared and soulful performances.
Here is the iconic dance of Sunari Loka called Sunaryanam Widya Anandam. It portrays goddesses' descent on earth to free human beings from ignorance.
Mr. I Made Mandi from Badung Regency Youth and Sport Department spoke, representing their Chief Widia Astika, who was unable to attend because of their 10th anniversary function happening at the same time.
This extremely talented 1st year student at Sunari Loka, Chandra, performed a special dance called Baris.
Mr. Ir Gusti Ketut Sujana, Chairman of YPDK School Foundation, receives a Jharna Kala painting entitled "Peace feeds the children" by the the Peace Run founder Sri Chinmoy.
Sunari Loka was presented with this special recognition: "Peace Run School Ambassador", for taking such a wide variety of peace initiatives.
This was the right moment to present Peace Run jackets, our token of deep appreciation, to both SMP Sunari Loka Principal I Nengah Cipta (centre) and Vice Principal Mr. Yudana (left). Earlier, the Principal had been the first one to receive Torch Bearer Award.
Peace Movie Award was originally announced in Rome on September 20 for Colors of Peace, celebrating the UN's International Day of Peace. There were two Indonesian recipients of this award. Subimal Alfredo De Joannon, Director of Colors of Peace, presented the plaques to the recipients here, as they had been unable to attend the ceremony in Rome.
The first one was for the Open Category, and Mr. I Putu Sutama was the winner.
The second one was for Junior and High School Category, and this team from SMPN 2 Kuta Selatan Badung won the award. These peace-loving, creative students are: Ni Luh Putu Pranjipani Dyah Pramesti, Dewa Ayu Tirta Jiwantari, Ni Made Ayu Trisna Angreni, Ni Made Anggi Puspiyanti, Ni Komang Witia Priyastiwi, Putu Ayu Pradnya Gita Maharani, Ni Putu Intan Sri Diana, I Dewa Ayu Candra Gita Dewi P, Kadek Agus Susila Putra, and Ida Bagus Made Yoga Permana. Each of them received a certificate of Peace Movie Award.
The award-winning movie was directed by their teacher Mr. I Made Priyana Ginada. Torch Bearer Award was presented to him as well, in recognition of his devoted and significant work with his students.
Sunari Loka Choir then sang "A New World of Peace", a song composed by the Peace Run founder Sri Chinmoy, in three languages: English, Indonesian, and Balinese. The lyrics goes:
A new world of peace,
A new world of light,
A new world of height,
Can alone give me
You can hear their beautiful voices in our video embedded at the beginning of this report.
Back at the beach, there was a special performance of Kecak Dance, depicting some important scenes from Ramayana.
The last item in the program was at this special peace-prayer shrine created by the organizers, and the Peace Torch was placed at the centre.
We were each given a candle, and with it in front of us, we together had about 10 minutes of silent prayer and reflection.
Some students started placing their candles around the Peace Torch. Then, more and more started doing the same.
The flame of the Peace Torch, together with those of the hundreds of candles, kept burning bright and high, carrying all the participants' prayers and yearning for peace.
We are extremely grateful for this most memorable and soulful day, with so many activities, performances, and reflections for peace. Flames of our hopes and dreams for peace, together with those of thousands and thousands of people from the 44 countries we have visited during this Southern Hemisphere Peace Run, will continue to climb high, higher, highest.
Aum Shanti Shanti Shanti Aum.