Serbia 8 October: Belgrade

The goal is won! European final in Belgrade...

We started our day at the banks of the Danube river in Belgrade.

Today was both a happy and a sad day. Happy, because we had such a great program ahead of us: the big finale of the European Peace Run. Sad, because it was the last day of the European Run this year, and we will all have to go back home to the ‘normal’ life.

Children from four different schools were waiting for us. The schools were Gornja Varoš, Svetozar Miletić, Sonja Marinković and Lazar Savatić.

It was our honour to present the Peace Run to them.

The children read out poems about peace…

…shared a moment of silence to feel peace in the heart…

…and ran with us!

Mayor Zoran Bulicevic (with Torch) from Belgrade's district of Zvezdara also joined us running today, after he received our team yesterday afternoon in his district.

The mayor had brought some of his colleagues with him.

After about 5K we had our second meeting with school children from the elementary schools Nikola Tesla and Jovan Ducic.

The meeting was hosted by ‘Inspector Blaza’, a well-known singer and entertainer from Serbia whose enthusiastic good spirits rubbed off on us all.

The children offered their many talents in singing…

...playing...

…and reciting their own poems and stories.

Much joy was had by all.

We were very impressed by the talent of this young violin player

The young boy holding the Torch read out a compelling story about a boy with long, flowing hair.

Thank you for your enthusiasm!

We ran on towards the city centre of Belgrade, where the final ceremony would be held.

We also paid a visit to a famous Belgrade fortress above the city, where in the past many historical battles had been fought.

There used to be a medieval castle on this location.

Now an army of peace-lovers had stormed the ramparts!

Photo with a statue of the Victor - symbol of Belgrad.

Overlooking the confluence of Danube and Sava rivers.

Make peace, no war

We had grown to quite a large group running into the city centre of Belgrade.

On a stage on the main square the final ceremony took place.

As country coordinator for Serbia Pedja stared the official part of the final ceremony by thanking all whose who had participated in the Run for the last few days in Serbia.

Vlado the clown made funny balloons for all.

A big group of spectators had gathered to watch thew proceedings.

Our global director Salil gave a brief but powerful speech, quoting Peace Run founder Sri Chinmoy’s aphorism ‘Peace is a flood of love in the world-family.’ “I feel a lot of love today,” Salil added.

European team captain Dipavajan mentioned that one of the main reasons we run is to share our message with the children we meet on the way, since they embody the future of our world. “You are the real stars of the Peace Run,” Dipavajan told the children that were present during the ceremony.

Then we could sit back and enjoy the many wonderful acts that were lined up to give colour to the final ceremony.

The famous children's choir Carolija led by conductor Leontina Vukomanovic sang two songs: 'Heal the World' by Michael Jackson and 'Zemlja za sve' ('Planet for All') by the famous Serbian rock group EKV.

The young girls had beautiful voices.

Meanwhile Sumahat grabbed the opportunity for a celebrity photoshoot.

Then the choir Bistrik led by famous singer Biljana Krstic sang traditional songs from SerbiaBulgaria and Macedonia. The beautiful songs were deeply moving. In a TV interview Mrs. Krstic voiced her surprise that she had never heard of the Peace Run before.

A young boy called Elvis Todorovic from children's home Drinka Pavlovic recited beautiful verses about friendship.

Meanwhile the Torch travelled from hand to hand.

Distinguished theatre actors Slobodan Bestic and Anja Mandic recited poems about peace by Peace Run founder Sri Chinmoy.

The women's choir Musica Viva led by Marita Topic sang traditional songs from Serbia and Macedonia.

As a thrilling finale act the youth choir Hard Chorus sang two beautiful songs. The choir is formed by accomplished Serbian pop singer Kristina Kovac, who is also a jury member of the Serbian 'X Factor' talentshow on TV. Several members of the choir made it to the last rounds of the nationwide talentshow.

After the ceremony international team members proudly posed with their own country flags. Here's Daniel, Dipavajan and Apaguha. Can you guess where he's from?

Global director Salil from Australia...

...and yours truly from The Netherlands.

Andreas from Finland.

Thank you Belgrade, thank you Serbia for an unforgettable last day of the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run in Europe!

We're done for now. See you next time around!