The Unity Pavilion, located in the International Zone next to Savitri Bhavan, acts as a coordination centre for overall development of the zone, and is meanwhile seen as a transitional space, focal point and experimental ground for the emergence of the individual cultural pavilions of the various nations. Presently it hosts a range of activities related to the International Zone and research work on Human Unity and Unity in Diversity. It provides office space for the International Zone Group and for the Pavilion groups, as well as the Auroville International Association.
Auroville wants to be the first realisation of human unity based on the teaching of Sri Aurobindo, where men of all countries would be at home.
The Mother, January 1972
It is no longer towards division and difference that we should turn our minds, but on unity, union, even oneness necessary for the pursuit and realisation of a common ideal.
The aim of the Unity Pavilion in Auroville is to promote understanding between individuals, cultures and nations, as living human unity is part of Auroville’s ideals and the basis for the realisation of world peace. It also has an educational function: by means of research, workshops, exhibitions and various events in the field of Human Unity. At the moment, the Unity Pavilion collaborates with the existing 25 National/Cultural Pavilion groups, with the various institutions of the International Zone in Auroville, as well as with universities and educational organisations, both in India and abroad.
The Unity Pavilion Complex consists of:
- A multi-purpose hall for exhibitions, lectures, workshops and other events and activities related to Peace, Human Unity and Unity in Diversity and, especially, to the Pavilion Groups in the International Zone.
- An office building hosting the International Zone group, Savi (the Auroville volunteer and internship program), AVI (Auroville International) and several Pavilion Groups.
- The Hall of Peace, home to the Peace Table for Asia, which was gifted to Auroville by the Nakashima Peace Foundation in 1996.
Programs and Activities
- The International Zone Coordination group, as well as the International Zone Forum, have their secretarial office and hold regular meetings there.Presently, the Africa House, the America House, the Spanish, the Swiss, The Scandinavian, the Korean, The Philippines, the Kazakh and the Russian Pavilions use the Unity Pavilion for different purposes, such as office space, meetings and events. There is also a small library. Since 2010, the Unity Pavilion is also very actively supporting the African Pavilion, and regular events take place involving African students studying in Tamil Nadu. These participants originate from countries such as Ethiopia, Sudan, Rwanda, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa and Nigeria.
- Savi receives and processes applications and interviews the volunteers on their arrival so as to find appropriate placements for them. It also keeps contacts with universities and other educational institutions. The opportunity for young people to come and participate in the building of Auroville promotes interaction based on the ideals of Human Unity. Thus, mutual understanding is enhanced of both, our common humanity and everyone’s social, religious, cultural, political and economic background.
- The University of Human Unity (U.H.U) conducts lectures and classes at the Unity Pavilion, partly in collaboration with the Living Roots Program.
- The Russian Peace Bells program (every Sunday) is very much appreciated. When there are functions at the Unity Pavilion, the bells are often played establishing a beautiful atmosphere for the events.
- The Peace Table of Asia. This table is one of a series destined for each continent of the world. The first one was placed in New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the second in the Russian Academy of Arts in Moscow, the third one is in Auroville and will have its home in the Hall of Peace, and the fourth one is ready to go to the Desmond Tutu Peace Centre in Cape Town. There is a growing focus on the Peace Table and the work that will emerge around it. With the Peace Table in place and the work around it activated one more dimension of Auroville will start unfolding.
Research and Workshops
Presently in the Unity Pavilion, there is an ongoing research on the Nation-Soul, for finding “the soul of each nation” and its dharma – its true work, as a part of the development of humanity and the evolution of life on earth. Thus, interested people are invited, both within Auroville and from outside, to interact through lectures, seminars, bodywork and artistic creations.
Participating in this research so far have been members of the Pavilion groups, who meet regularly on this topic, as well as other Aurovilians. A creative collaboration emerged with Auroville healers and practitioners as well as with Aurovilians working with art, music and body work for workshops on this topic. One such workshop using the Hladina method took place in March 2011. The workshop was an experiment to see how this method could enable us to go deeper. It was very inspiring and there will be a continued collaboration with the International Zone group on this research.
In collaboration with the International Zone Group, an exhibition presenting all the aspects of the International Zone has been prepared as well as a very inclusive brochure on the International Zone.
Embodying a Spirit of Peace
In working towards a peaceful, harmonious world, everyone must be brought into the play. The gaps that have been growing must be narrowed by a conscious effort and the realisation that humanity is one. We need to stretch out and embrace. The Unity Pavilion wants to embody this spirit.
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