International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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Congress Logo 33rd World Vegetarian Congress
Chiang Mai, Thailand, January 4 - 10, 1999
'Vegetarianism is the Way'
an unforgettable visual, cultural and gastronomic experience

Namaskar dear friends,
Finally here I am on the list with you and it seems that I'm really going to Thailand after all. It's a little difficult for me to have definite plans for a period of three months. There's so much to do in the next week even, I can't think that long. But I suppose now I have to put it in my diary.

Don't get me wrong, please. It's not as if I'm not giving this congress due importance, it's just that I never really thought I would be able to make it. And it is only with a little help from some friends.... namely Margaret and the rest of the VS of Malta... that it has become a possibility.

Well, for those who don't know me, which means all of you except Vanessa and my Maltese team-mates, the first thing I have to say about myself is that I am really happy and proud to form part of the ivu, even if my participation is not very significant. Until 8 years ago I was not vegetarian, and neither was anyone in my family. The turning point came when I was introduced to Ananda Marga, a socio-spiritual organisation which teaches that a vegetarian diet is essential for physical, mental and spiritual progress, both on an individual level as well as collectively.

My husband and I became attracted to this way of life and became vegetarian overnight. In a few days all the family was vegetarian. In a couple of years, us and a couple of others founded the vs of Malta, which has grown relatively into a strong group of enthusiastic people. I have been chairperson of the society until a couple of months ago, when I decided it was time for me to step down and allow new people withn new ideas to lead the group. My dream is to have in Malta the first Neo-Humanist School, which will give priority to developing in children the sentiment of love for all creatures.

I have started working with a group of women from Ananda Marga who share the same idea, and hope to have a small school functioning in a year's time, even if it starts with 10 kindergarten children. Similar schools have started in other parts of the world, among them two in Australia which are quite established, albeit small. Of course all the children are taught about the benefits of vegetarianism and only vegetarian food is served for lunch.

On a more personal level I am a mother of three, and teach English in a Secondary Boys' School, which also gives me ample opportunity to introduce the subject of vegetarianism to a small section of the new generation. I am happy that since I have been teaching in this particular school the attitude of many teachers has changed. There are 4 vegetarian teachers now and many others are sympathetic. A good number of students have also grown to share the idea.

In these years of the VS and also in AM I have worked a lot in promotional activities and publishing. I'd like to tell the whole world about the satisfaction of living in harmony with myself... and I'm very optimistic too! I meditate regularly, and I feel that without my spiritual life everything would be meaningless. I am lucky that all my family share the same vision, and we do many things together. Pity that we won't be travelling together to Thailand.

I suppose if you wish to meet the family, we'll have to invite you all to Malta one time! You'll even get to meet the cats. Looking forward to meet you all,