World Peace Day finds expression in art, music and introspection

Shillong: This year World Peace Day celebration was initiated by veteran artiste Lou Majaw who, through his Foundation, helped organise an art exhibition featuring paintings by local artist Madhumita Ghosh, at Asian Confluence on Monday.
Madhumita,  a self taught artist and otherwise trained in interior decoration, displayed paintings of Buddha in his different avatars.
When asked why she only exhibited paintings of Buddha, Madhumita said, “Buddha is a true symbol of inner peace which he achieved through renunciation and I wanted to send that message on World Peace Day.”
In the evening the audience which had assembled at the Asian Confluence were treated to songs revolving around the theme of peace sung by Lou Majaw himself and accompanied on the Blues Harp by R.G. Lyngdoh, Vice Chancellor, Martin Luther Christian University.
Noted flautist and artist Benedict Hynniewta entertained the audience on the Sansa an African musical instrument played by plucking the chords. It consists of a number of metal or split cane tongues over a small round wood board. The tongues are held in position by a cross. It was quite a novelty for the Shillong audience.
A brief panel discussion on the theme of World Peace Day featured R.G. Lyngdoh, Low Majaw, Patricia Mukhim and Khalid Khan.  Each of the speakers delved on the theme of peace and what it means at the personal level, in the family, clan and society.
“Peace is not just the absence of conflict but it is a positive feeling that we communicate when we are still and calm within ourselves. Peace spreads from the self to the family, clan and society and each one of us have the responsibility to be peace builders.”
Senior advocate, Khalid Khan pointed to Lou Majaw as a person who spreads peace through example.
“Lou Majaw is a simple person who is happy with little and lives with self respect. We have seen him for decades now and his lifestyle has always been one of humility. To me he is a peace-maker. These days many families have everything but cannot handle their lives. Parents lose touch with their children and children lose themselves in gadgets. We need to reclaim our lives,” Khan said.
When asked to speak Lou Majaw said he believed in looking within because that is where his strength to face the world comes from and that is the fount of peace. Lou also explained the genesis of World Peace Day which he said started with Saint Cecilia.
Editor of The Shillong Times, Patricia Mukhim said, “Peace is found in silence and meditation but most of us are too busy to take time off to look into ourselves and find ourselves. Daily quiet time is necessary to find our souls especially in a stressful profession like ours,” she said, adding that many young people today are eaten up by anger and frustration and have no way to channelize their suffering. She felt that conversations like these and a non-judgemental, non-threatening space was needed for young people to express themselves and find peace.
Several art aficionados visited the Asian Confluence through the day to take a look at Madhumita’s paintings.
Asian Confluence Director, Sabyasachi Dutta expressed his delight that the venue was chosen to observe World Peace Day.
“This place is open for such innovative and creative ideas, for silence and meditation and not only for cerebral discussions,” he said.

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