International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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Vegan Music Festival

September 20, 2008

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The Vegan Music Festival (VMF) was organized by the Indian Vegan Society  on Saturday, 20th Sep.2008 at Sai Vishram Vegetarian Non-alcoholic Beach Resort, Byndoor ( to commemorate the first anniversary of the 11th International Vegan Festival –IVF .

Vegan Mohan Santhanam ( and his troupe from Chennai performed a Carnatic Classical Music Concert for 105 minutes in front of an invited audience of about 150 people.  The discerning audience came from different places, as far as Goa in the North, Mangalore in the South and Bangalore in the East representing a cross section of society. There were people of different ages, religions and walks of life.

Before the concert, there was a movie show of the 11th IVF and a short talk by Vegan Shankar Narayan, President of Indian Vegan Society and IVU Regional Coordinator on his experiences of travelling in Europe after attending the International Vegetarian Union’s 38th World Vegetarian Congress (Centenary) in Dresden, Germany in Jul-Aug.2008.

At the end, delicious vegan buffet dinner was served to all. Indian Vegan Society's and International Vegetarian Union's efforts to make this world a kinder place to everyone with the help of the positive aspects of music and food are well appreciated by all the people present.

I was very happy and proud to be a part of the Vegan Music Festival.  Kudos to Shankar for making this happen so successfully.

The Sai Vishram Vegetarian Beach Resort, Byndoor, Karnataka is a beautiful place and Shankar could not have selected a better venue.  I could clearly see and comprehend the kind of single-handed prodigious effort that Shankar would have had to put in to organize everything. One of the most heart-warming aspects that day was that there were people of all religions, age groups and people even came from several places outside Byndoor – some as far as Udipi, Kollur and even Bangalore (a journey from Bangalore to Byndoor is “just” 12-14 hours by bus!).  Speaks volumes about Shankar’s single minded dedication in order to make the evening a success.

The evening vegan meal was delectable and I think on no account did anyone feel “deprived” in any way.  I also had the pleasure and satisfaction of being congratulated on my performance by a cross-section of people.  It was a great forum to meet wonderful people like Praveen and to meet Mr. and Mrs. Bhaskar Rao again.  The motto of the evening was summed up precisely by Shankar when he both began and ended his speech with, “Veganism is all about being happy!”

Amen to that!

Mohan Santharam (photo right)