September 3, 2012. (Romereports.com)
More than 12,000 youths
from 104 countries and even different religions. They all made their way to Budapest
with one mission in mind. "To understand different cultures," said Elisabet of Venezuela. "To hear different languages, see different races and denominations."
“Well, if each one of us can learn from one another, I think we can truly achieve a true universal brotherhood and a united world.”
The big reunion is called 'GenFest.' The 10th edition was celebrated in Budapest under the theme: “To Build Bridges of Brotherhood.” The idea is simple: to instill respect among different cultures and creeds, so that eventually we may have a healthier world. To really get the word out, the speeches were translated into 27 languages.
Focolare Movement, President
“I couldn't wait to get here to celebrate with all of you. GenFest is definitely a celebration.”
The gathering was born thanks to the late Chiara Lubich, the founder of the Catholic Focolare Movement, who in these meetings, saw the power of universal respect. Years later, even Hungary's parliament welcomed GenFest.
“It was a very proud moment for me to represent India at the Parliament. As you know, India is a vast country of various religions and cultures.”
“For myself, I can say that being part of this was an incredible experience, because I really wanted to be that 100%”
But the mission of GenFest isn't just about ideas, but practicality. So, a big part of the meeting was based on talking about real world life examples and real conflicts. People from Cairo, the Holy Land, Burundi and even a Buddhist Thai group talked about how respect changes the playing field.
In this year's meeting, the United World Project was also launched. The initiative hopes to promote universal brotherhood through individuals, groups and nations, under the 'Golden Rule' of “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.”