The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said Nigeria will partner with the Art of Living Foundation to host the World Culture Festival 2022.
The Minister said this on Sunday at an event to commemorate the 2022 International Day of Happiness at the Happiness Centre in Lagos.
He said the World Culture Festival 2022 will mark the 40th anniversary of the Art of Living Foundation, which is a volunteer-based, humanitarian and educational non-governmental organization.
“The date and venue of the event will be announced later,’’ Alhaji Mohammed said, adding that the last edition of World Cultural Festival was held in India in 2016 and attracted 3.5 million people.
The Minister observed that the Happiness Centre, which is the Foundation’s contribution to the well-being of Nigerians, offers several stress-elimination and self-development programs 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,” he said.
Alhaji Mohammed, who welcomed the establishment of the Happiness Centre especially in a mega city like Lagos, where residents seem to be in a perpetual state of activity, said 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. Their decision to establish the centre is an affirmation of their willingness to contribute to ensuring the overall well-being of Nigerians through a holistic approach to health that brings harmony to body, mind and soul,” he said.
The Minister expressed delight that 90% 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 Jain, said the Art of Living Foundation, which was founded in 1981 by Gurudev Ravi Shankar, has centers in more than 156 countries, touching more than 450 million people.
He said the Centre has 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 will promote relaxing of the mind and healthy diet to make Lagos and indeed Nigeria the happiest place on earth.