Chandrika Tandon at the World Culture Festival
World Culture Festival: Sep 29 – Oct 1, 2023
In an event that brought together cultures, leaders, and artists from around the globe, the World Culture Festival, organized by The Art of Living, made history. The festival took place from September 29 to October 1 on the National Mall in Washington D.C., attracting over a million attendees on its inaugural day. Among the constellation of luminaries in attendance, Chandrika Tandon, an Indian-American entrepreneur and Grammy-nominated artist, shined brightly.
A Festival of Unity
The World Culture Festival aimed to deliver a profound message: the world is one family, where we can all coexist despite our differences. This message was emphasized by Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, who noted, “It is an opportunity for leaders from all segments of society – business, politics, religion, academia – to come together and renew their vision to work for the common welfare.”
Global Stage, Global Players
The event hosted around 17,000 artists, alongside heads of state and leaders from more than 100 countries. Prominent attendees included Ban Ki-moon, the 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations; D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser; and Bishop Emeritus Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, Chancellor Emeritus of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, among many others.
Chandrika Tandon’s Unique Contribution
Chandrika Tandon lent her musical talents to this grand event, taking the stage alongside 200 artists for a soul-stirring rendition of “America the Beautiful” and “Vande Mataram.” But her involvement didn’t start there.
Prior to the festival, Tandon visited Whitman and Clarksburg High Schools to prepare chorus students for their performance. She introduced music that she had composed, ingeniously blending “America the Beautiful” with an Indian song. Under her guidance, the students learned to sing in Hindi, walking them through every pronunciation and intonation.
Bridging Cultures Through Music
Combining two distinct songs from two different cultures, Tandon illuminated the festival’s theme of celebrating global diversity. “We can all sing in different languages, even if we don’t speak that language,” she remarked.
A Profound Impact on the Next Generation
The students who had the privilege of rehearsing with Tandon felt the weight of the event’s significance. “It’s bigger than just going to state festivals or auditioning for something,” said freshman Karolina Holit, “We’re going to sing in front of the president and other world leaders.”
Whitman Chorus teacher Michelle Kim also reflected on Tandon’s influence: “Her text and her music are so wonderful and inspiring. It’s just such an honor to be singing what she’s created for us.”
A Harmonic Legacy
As the World Culture Festival succeeded in its mission of global unity, the unique contributions of Chandrika Tandon serve as a harmonious legacy, merging two worlds in a single song, a reflection of what can be achieved when humanity sings in one voice.