Global News

Unity in Diversity - Amma's 30th Visit to Switzerland

To celebrate Amma's thirty years of visiting Switzerland, honorary guests, long time devotees, and those attending the program all participated in a special ceremony before the start of darshan.

The ceremony began with special words from Heidi Fürher, President of Amma Association Switzerland. Fürher, the first person to invite Amma to her home in Switzerland 30 years ago, spoke fondly of how Amma's visits, first small, have grown into incredibly wide-reaching, beautiful programs.

Among the honorary guests was Swiss ambassador to India, Amandeep Singh Gill. Gill spoke of the enormous honor it was to be present with such a renowned humanitarian and spiritual leader, as well as honor an organization that fosters compassion in every individual it comes into contact with.

Elly Pradervand, founder of Swiss non-governmental organization Women's World Summit Foundation (WWSF), spoke on behalf of the recent designation to 20-year- old Amrita SeRVE staff member Choti Kumar of Patna, Bihar. The young woman was awarded the "Women's Creativity in Rural Life Award" from WWSF for her efforts in uplifting the Musahar community, considered the lowest and most downtrodden in the state's caste-ridden social system. Pradervand spoke to the energizing strength of Embracing the World, whose energy remarkably runs entirely on the efforts of unpaid, enthusiastic volunteers- "with Amma's leadership, the organization has been able to support and foster young women like Choti."

To conclude the ceremony, long time devotees gathered in various groups - exemplifying the unity in diversity that is unique to Amma's program in Switzerland. Representatives from the five regions of Switzerland dressed in the traditional attire of their people. The remarkable crowd offered trees to Amma to be planted in the Swiss ashram. As a token of appreciation and to thank Amma for continuously coming to inspire and touch the hearts of the unique country, the entire hall waved flags of all regions represented. The ceremony ended with the releasing of colorful heart balloons as crowd clapped and cheered - in awe of the mark of compassion
Amma has made on their home.

- Elizabeth Brown