The Federal Government says it will partner with the Art of Living Foundation to host this year’s World Cultural Day. The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said this on Sunday in Lagos at an event to commemorate the 2022 World Happiness Day.
At the event held at the newly opened Happiness Centre in Lagos, the minister said the date and venue of the World Culture Festival 2022 would be announced later. According to him, it will mark the 40th anniversary of the Arts of Living Foundation.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports the Arts of Living Foundation is a volunteer-based, humanitarian and educational Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO).
Mohammed recalled that the last edition of the World Cultural Festival was held in India in 2016 and attracted 3.5 million people.
Speaking on the newly inaugurated Happiness Centre, the minister said it was the Arts of Living Foundation’s contribution to the well being of Nigerians.
He commended the efforts of the centre in offering several stress-elimination and self-development programmes based on breathing techniques, meditation and Yoga.
“I found this very impressive because it reminds me of the popular saying, a sound mind in a sound body, which explains the interconnection between physical exercise, mental equilibrium and the ability to enjoy life.”
“The establishment of the Centre, especially in a megacity like Lagos, where residents seem to be in a perpetual state of activity, is a welcome development.”
“The alternative health and holistic wellness place offers a range of services which Lagosians in particular and Nigerians, in general, can take advantage of in order to ensure optimal living. I commend and congratulate the proprietors of this centre,” he said
The minister said that the establishment of the centre was an affirmation of the Foundation‘s willingness to contribute to the overall well-being of Nigerians through a holistic approach to health.
He expressed delight that 90 per cent of the patrons of the Happiness Centre are Nigerians seeking to harness the power of alternate medicine, herbal remedies, yoga, breath-work and meditation to achieve physical, emotional and mental balance for individuals.
In his remarks, the Managing Director of the Happiness Centre, Askay Kumar, said the Art of Living Foundation, which was founded in 1981 by Gurudev Ravi Shankar, has centres in more than 156 countries, touching more than 450 million people.
He said the Centre had taken the mission to bring smiles to people’s faces and build bridges across cultures.
In his virtual message, which was played at the occasion, the Art of Living Founder, Gurudev Ravi Shankar, said the Foundation would promote relaxing of the mind.
According to him, it will also promote a healthy diet to make Lagos and indeed Nigeria the happiest place on earth.
Also speaking at the event, the wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu commended the Foundation for establishing the happiness centre in Lagos.
Represented by Mrs Oyindamola Ogunsanwo, the governor’s wife said being happy improves the quality of life as well as life expectancy.
Prof. Pat Utomi, a member of Trustee of the Art of Living, Nigeria branch noted that anybody could be at peace even in the most troubled environment.
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