11th International Vegan Festival
(The First Indian Vegan Festival)
At RNS Residency, Murdeshwar, Karnataka, India. From Sep.30 to Oct. 06, 2007
The 11th International Vegan Festival was held for the first time in India, a country with strong vegetarian tradition but where veganism is still largely unnown. It was in Murdeshwar, Karnataka, a site of pilgrimage where stands the biggest Shiva statue of India. The venue Hotel had nice installations and a superb view to the beach.
People from some 14 countries (Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Iran, Italy, Israel, New Zeeland, South Africa, Sweden, US, UK and of course many from India) gathered to discuss the benefit and advantages of veganism besides of the deleterious effect of a meat and animal products diet in general.
Present the founder of this Festival and organizer of 3 Vegan Festivals in Denmark, Kirsten Jungsberg, vegetarian since she was five and vegan since 1979 (some 27 years). Present also the organizer of 9th International Vegan Festival in Australia, Zalan Glen. See report of Zalan.
The atmosphere was very nice during the entire event which had excellent presentations.
Shankar Narayan, president of the Indian Vegan Society and Indian coordinator of International Vegetarian Union worked very hard for more than a year to put together this Festival. And the result was there: 6 days plenty with talks, many artistic presentation and confraternity, in a informal and friendship clime.
We started every day with a yoga class whose instructor kindly received us during the Festival in is own Indian typical home with a very good lunch and dance presentation from the villagers and an expert demonstration of coconut collecting.
Meetings like these one besides of strengthening ties among activists are inspirational moment for charging batteries for the arduous work in front of us of fighting so that veganism become more and more recognized and putting in practice.
I met there some friends of other international veg events, among them some who attended the 36th World Vegetarian Congress, in Florianopolis, in 2004 and people I met at 8th Vegan Festival, in San Diego, in 1995, as Karin Gunarson and Juan Deguara.
It is the big vegan family that goes around the seven seas to be part of this net who works for a better world; a world without cruelty and exploitation, a compassionate, peaceful, sustainable and equitable world free from famine and injustice.
On the 2nd of October, Gandhi´s birthday, we did a Peaceful March for about 2 km, from the venue to the city gate.
The trips were amusing: cashew plant, yoga teacher typical Indian home and the Jog Falls, the highest water falls in India.
Brazil and Italy presented proposals to organize the next Vegan Festivals. The Serena Coles Committee soon will inform about dates and venues.
Brazil is prepared to organize an International Vegan Festival in Rio de Janeiro in 2009.
All are invited!
Veg in Rio 2009
Marly Winckler – Latin America and the Caribbean coordinator of International Vegetarian Union, president of Brazilian Vegetarian Society, organizer of 36th World Vegetarian Congress and the 1st Latin American and Brazilian Vegetarian Congress