What Is An Earth Anthem?

An "Earth anthem" is intended to honor the planet and the nature on it.
An "Earth anthem" is intended to honor the planet and the nature on it.

Earth Anthem: How Did The Concept Develop?

The Earth Anthem song was first written in 2008 and published in 2009 by Abhay Kumar, an Indian diplomat and poet, though several revisions followed years later. According to the song writer, the anthem is a song that honors the planet and nature. Abhay Kumar wrote it while in St. Petersburg in Russia. The main inspiration behind the anthem was the philosophical Hindu Sanskrit texts known as the Upanishads, and the "Blue Marble" our planet's image taken by Apollo 17 crew on December 17, 1972.

Initial Release Of The Earth Anthem

As a song it was released on June 3, 2013, during the World Environment Day and was first sung by Shreya Sotang from Nepal. Kapil Sibal and Dr Shashi Tharoor both Union of Ministers of India had felt the need for an anthem for planet Earth. So after its composition, they also released the song at a function organized by Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) in New Delhi.

During the function, distinguished guests including diplomats, academicians, think-tanks, media, and UNESCO officials were present. The India delegation then wrote to UNESCO to persuade them to launch a global earth anthem competition, using the anthem written by Abhay Kumar as a model, and select the best entry as the official anthem of the earth.

Language Translations

In response, UNESCO lauded the message of the Earth Anthem as creative and inspiring, and one which would unite the world together. To date, the Earth Anthem, has been translated into over 30 global languages including Chinese, Hindi, Spanish, Arabic, Japanese, French, German, Portuguese, Dutch, Russian, Korean, Italian, Turkish, Finnish, Nepali, Czech, Estonian, Swahili, Thai and Bhasa.

Contemporary Use And Endorsement Of The Earth Anthem

Abhay Kumar believed that the anthem would be accepted by people from all countries and connect them together and also inspire future generations to put the goal of protecting nature and the planet before their individual. He also believed that the Earth Anthem would become applicable at all levels including local and international bodies, general public, school children governments, and even the UN General Assembly.

Kumar’s vision has come to be realized to a great extent today as the anthem is sung at many national and international ceremonies across the world. Also, many schools around the world perform the Earth Anthem in their morning assemblies and occasions like the Earth day and the World Environmental Day.

Habitat for Humanity has also endorsed and lauded the Earth Anthem as inspiring and continues to promote it. On November 16, 2014, Habitat for Humanity played the anthem during the Everest Build III event at Nepal.

Kumar continues to encourage collaboration with world’s leading musicians to create many versions and editions of the Earth Anthem. The poetic four verses Earth Anthem song praises the Earth’s beauty and diversity. Some celebrities have also endorsed the anthem like Bollywood actress Manisha Koirala, actor Robert Lin, cricketer Paras Khadka, and social worker and CNN hero Pushpa Basnet, among others.


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