The 40th birthday Unity Kolam Ceremony happened in the Amphitheatre on sunrise hours of February 28 and 29, 2008.
The following is the story of the preparation.
Towards a 40th Birthday Unity Kolam Ceremony
During the Auroville International (AVI) meeting in Montreal last September it was agreed that we would like to participate in the upcoming 40th birthday celebrations.
The participants initially took up the idea of a "soil ceremony" which had been proposed during the previous months in Auroville amongst the birthday organizers.
Our vision was to create an event which captures the spirit of Auroville and it's aspiration for unity, that is an outreaching to the world which has supported Auroville's growth and development over the past 40 years and can be enjoyed and engaged in by all.
What emerged after reflecting together on what this could be like was an event we are now calling the Unity Kolam Ceremony .
The idea is based on gathering samples of sand from countries all over the world: sacred places, intentional communities, nature parks etc. and collecting these in Auroville in the weeks leading up to the birthday.
During the birthday celebrations these earth samples will be ceremoniously laid in a Kolam pattern that integrates the Auroville symbol. The peak of the event will be a dismantling ceremony that involves sweeping together the soils of the world as a symbol of unity and redistributing these soils in beautiful gift packets, made in Auroville, symbolizing Auroville's outreaching to the world.
We invite your collaboration...
In the spirit of our intention to create a global reaching event, we invite you all to contribute - through your family, friends, and visitors to Auroville - a minimum of a cupful of sand (200gm). A handful of sand, hopefully in specific colour shades like black volcanic sand, white beach sand, red or ochre yellow clay, etc., may be deposited or sent to the Auroville Town Hall Reception - Unity Kolam Ceremony - 605101 Auroville - T.N. - India. There they will be carefully stored in preparation for this event.
It is important to label each sample with an email ID of the person who collected the sample, and a clear description of the place including any special features of qualities of the place, date of collection and, if possible a digital photo.
These descriptions and digital photos may be sent via email to AV40th@gmail.com . We have prepared a website which will show visually the points of collection and help us to track that samples are being obtained from as many places as possible.
We ask all Guest Houses to put this article on their notice boards and send this invitation with guest confirmations so that your guests could contribute something from their country. And mainly, please ask all your family members and friends visiting you in the coming weeks to bring a sand sample from a special place in their home country.
We will keep you informed of progress and details about this event in the coming weeks. If you wish to have further information about this ceremony, we are happy to reply your questions.
For Auroville International, Kathy, Biggie, Olivier, Surbhi