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Successful Vegetarian Festival in Vilnius/Lithuania

from EVU News, Issue 1 /1997

At the end of November 1996 the Centre of Vedic Studies and Translations and the Healthy Town Project of the Vilnius Municipality organised the "Festival of Discoveries".

Opening of the Congress

The purpose of the festival was to promote vegetarianism in Lithuania by uniting ideas, establishing the basis for the scientific and ethical reasons for a vegetarian nutrition, by making people aware of the huge heritage of various vegetarian cultures and religions of the world and by making known a natural and healthy way of life. The festival, which was subsidised by many sponsors, was a big success: up to 600 people were present at the various events.

On the 20th of November there was already an art exhibition about India, "Colours of India", by the famous Lithuanian artist Saulius Kruopis.

The Congress started on November 23 with the lectures of two well-known vegetarian poets: Vytautas Bloze and Nijole Miliauskaite. It went on with several lectures :

  • Danguole Vaitkiene spoke about environmental problems and how to maintain harmony between mankind and nature.
  • Jurgis Gediminas (chairman of the society against alcohol) talked about "Alcohol, the way of material and spiritual poverty."
  • Almonas Gutkauskas: Ecological agriculture in Lithuania.
  • Dalia Brazdauskiene: Ecological products – safe food.
  • Ksavera Vaistariene (president of Lith. Veg. Union): "Various aspects of vegetarianism".
  • Eugenija Guogiene (Vice president of Lith. Physicians Union) spoke about. "Vegetarian Nutrition – guarantee health maintenance."
  • Dainius Kepenis (President of Lith Healthy People union: "Do we clean ourselves to poison ourselves?"
  • Dalia Jakaite Sarkaniene (family doctor): "Vegetarian nutrition for children and pregnant women."
  • Janina Brundziene (instructor for health yoga): "Practical advise on how to take food in different situations."
  • Janina Davidoniene (secretary of the Lith.Veg. Union): "Food that heals."
  • Thomas Stanikas (president of the No-Smoking Association, teacher at the Academy of Medicine in Kaunas): "Ethical aspects of vegetarianism."
  • Antanina Stepaitiene (teacher at the high school in Vilnius): "Vegetarianism the nutrition of the future."
  • Saulius Demarkas (representative of the Centre of Vedic Studies and translations): "Economical and ecological aspects of Vegetarianism"
  • Luca Sotto di Tella (Representative of the Veg. Ass. of Italy) said some words about the Italian Veg. Associaton.
  • Bhakti Caitanya Swami (Spiritual master for Krishna Consciousness): "Vegetarianism and Religion"
More than 130 different dishes were offered in the evening to the guests and the numerous representatives of the media.

A gigantic cake was offered...

On Sunday 24, the program started with a children’s theatre, whose director is a strict vegetarian.

In the evening about 600 mostly young people gathered to listen to various rock concerts and Indian music. Everybody was offered a piece of a gigantic cake (about 250kg) and several other dishes, all prepared excellently by "Hare Krishna Food for Life".

The festival was a wonderful event with a lot of new contacts, friends, ideas and information. We are thinking of having another festival in a year or two.

A "Thank you!" to all, who helped to make the event such a success, especially to Alma Siaudiniene, for her excellent contribution.

Saulius Domarkas
Vedy studijy, Rangiklosg. 23-1, 2024 Vilnius, Lithuania