". . . the Chinese Vegetarian Union delegation (21 or more people)
that came to the WVC . . . were impressive - professional, outgoing,
and charming, even with pretty limited English. They joined IVU"
- Saurabh, USA
"I was in China on business trip during the congress and the Chinese
press through their English paper carried a full story of the delegation
of Chinese Vegetarians that visited the World Vegetarian congress in
Goa. The story was very interesting and a very good publicity for IVU
international image. I was very impressed when I read this in my Hotel.
They listed a lot of Vegetarian Restaurants and I visited 2 of them
and had good rapport with the owners and workers. They talked more on
the health and environmental benefits vegetarian lifestyle will bring
into China. Chinese Vegetarian Union should be supported in any way
we can to help them sustain their good work." - Isaac, South
(see: How the Chinese Delegation arrived
"I would like to congratulate Jashu Shah and all the team for
a wonderful congress. There was a buzz and that extra Indian hospitality--the
cultural programmes were superb as was the food. I was thrilled to hear
of the Vegetarian Society of Goa and of course the Chinese and Indonesian
delegations really raised the spirits! Was pleased to see so many Parsis---talks
on Yoga and alternative medicine were informative. Just a pity that
there was hardly any media coverage. The hotel was superb and I made
good use of the swimming pool and the sauna and Jacuzzi! Made so many
new friends and new contacts. The Brazilian contingent seemed to be
really enjoying the congress specially the cultural programmes and some
were in Saris looking beautiful!
I hope that those who came to India for the first time went on to see
more of India--I came by train from Mumbai to Goa as did many others---it
was a chance to experience the real India with all the humanity at the
railway terminal. Spent the whole night and arrived at almost 1pm the
next day---people in the next cabin were also going to the congress--but
with typical British reserve I only plucked up the courage to ask when
we had almost arrived in Goa! The Jains as expected were present in
good numbers and had Jain food--the rest of us also indulged in it as
extra choices! The Vegan sweets were superb and the gentleman who was
giving a 'cleansing' juice everyday seems to have done me some good!
The Buddhist monk from Thailand chanted the most soothing mantras on
my head and I really felt full of energy afterwards!
It was wonderful to see how 2 faiths-Christians and Hindus seem to
be living in perfect harmony in Goa. The Church of St. Francis was one
of my places to remember. Indian vegetarians were very willing to be
persuaded about the benefits of a Vegan diet and that is very encouraging
in a land where milk consumption is so common. The British delegation
led by John Davis, Steven Walsh and Vanessa as well as Jayant Patel
kept the flag flying! All in all it was like meeting old friends --and
there was a lot if teasing and laughter and I tried very hard to persuade
some of the hotel staff who were serving us all day long to go veggie!"
- Nitin, UK
Just to say thank you to all the organisers for throwing such a wonderful
congress. I was a World Congress virgin and I am inspired to go to more.
The venue was out of this world (will I be able to survive without
the turn down service every evening- such luxury!) The pool was the
biggest I´ve ever seen in my life. I liked the way there was a
bar midway round the circuit with music for a bit of a water disco.
The grounds were amazing and the food stupendous. The vegan desserts
were all works of art in my opinion.
I took advantage of the morning yoga sessions (ok so I made it up for
6.30am twice!) and was impressed by the quality of the teaching (yoga
for therapy). I learnt a lot and sucked up the information and support
I have been craving as I attempt the transit from vegetarian to vegan.
I feel like I´m coming out of the closet as a vegetarian and recognise
the importance of fellowship which I feel lacking in my life in this
area. I was very inspired by people at the congress and return realising
that this is indeed a big area of my life and how hard I find it in
I liked the spiritual focus to many of the talks and the holistic perspective.
It was truly mind, body and spirit as many of us got up after the traditional
dancers´ performances and started whirling about ourselves (just
what you need after hours of concentration on so many different topics).
The tour on the Wednesday was also cool. I liked seeing the temples
and the garland makers and the beach. What a wonderful adventure! I
feel blessed to have been able to go. Thanks again to everyone for all
your energy, love and dedication. - Clare, Spain.
Going to India has been the best trip I have ever taken-the food, the
exotic scenery and the wonderful, friendly people were far beyond my
expectations! The congress was great for me, start to finish. I loved
the fact that the sessions, the food and the cultural entertainment
were dintinctive to India. I spent a lot of time in sessions learning
more about Ayurveda/yoga/meditation and was very impressed with the
spiritual nature of the gathering. I also loved hearing the inspiring
stories of vegetarian groups starting up against all odds, like the
Iran Vegetarian Union and the China Vegetarian Union. Sincere thanks
to Jashu Shah and his committe and all the volunteers for a truly memorable
congress. This is my fourth congress, and I always try to meet delegates
from all the countries. I missed Norway and Indonesia this time, but
will make a point to seek them out in Dresden.
Thanks to Atul Jain and his generosity, a few of us had a whirlwind
Golden Triangle post-congress tour that left us wanting to come back
to India as soon as possible. Seeing the Taj Mahal was a dream come
true and along with the comeraderie of my new friends from the
congress made it a completely incredible experience. Incredible India-YEAH!!!
The venue, food, staff, facilities, presentations were excellent.
However September falls in the monsoon season and it did rain for a
few days. I enjoyed the Congress and was heartened to see such enthusiastic
delegates as those from China. When the Indonesian delegation talked
about 60000 members but ONLY 20000 being active I couldn't help myself
bursting into laughter. Later I went to their leader, shook hand and
said 'by those figures your are the largest Vegetarian Society in the
world even dwarfing the UK Society with its 16000 members.' Indonesians
were confident of doubling or trebling the membership. Pishu Murli from
Malaysia gave a very good example of how to use the media most effectively.
I hope many countries take part in his 'meatless day' campaign. It seemed
to me that in the coming years the focus on vegetarian movement was
going to shift from Western countries to Asia. I congratulate Jashu
Shah and his team for their hard work.
In future events, please, use the afternoon sessions for lectures.
On the penultimate day many lectures were at the same time and many
delegates were disappointed that they could not listen to all the speakers
they had wanted to. This situation had arisen at Goa due to the policy
of confining such lectures to mornings.
- Jayant, UK
". . . And then there was the fabulous food - all those wonderful
Jain dishes and then the wonderful desserts without any animal products
whatever . . . by the end of the week the new friends were like old
friends as well! I will certainly be at the next event in India myself.
My only previous knowledge of India was as a staging point in my many
journeys to China, but I knew that if I ever stopped I would be bound
to get addicted. Well, I did and I can't wait to get back!" - Vanessa,
I have learnt a lot during and after the Congress and from the wisdom
of the wise people I had the pleasure of interacting with. All these
experiences and advises are, no doubt, going to help me in organising
the Indian Vegan Society's future programs and events. - Shankar,
Jashu and his wife have certainly earned a much deserved rest after
concluding this most auspicious event that was many years in the making.
The Closing Ceremony featured many dignitaries from all walks of life
whose professions: Legal, Political, Medical, etc., were most impressive,
as was their knowledge and research on the importance a vegetarian diet
to bring health and peace to all sentient beings as well as the planet.
The research done on the history of vegetarianism, as well as the many
quotes by august world figures, as presented by the recently appointed
Judge from Goa (one of Jashu's former Law Mentors), was quite memorable.
Mrs. Shah had been so engrossed in all the efforts to bring the event
to pass, she confessed she didn't even realize the Closing Banquet fell
on her birthday. Few would have known had it not been for the vivacious,
young Chinese girl who headed up the Chinese Delegation. She rushed
up to the podium just as the ceremony had been adjourned, and called
us all back to sing a hearty HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MRS. SHAH! - Gerry,