Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Gitagrad Varnashrama Festival 2012

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From: Dhanesvara (das) (ACBSP) (Kiev - UA)
Date: 31-May-12 01:45 (03:45 +0200)
Subject: Gitagrad Varnashrama Festival 2012
Although the weekend began wet and windy the weather subsided and a
delightful time was had by all. In previous years the festival was held at
Magdalenavka Retreat center in cold January so as not to interfere with
spring planting. This year we decided to hold it after the planting was done
and Bhakta Oleg agreed to be the host at New Vraja Bhumi, the Gitagrad
village at Bezvodnaya, near Nikolaiv in southern Ukraine.

Attendance was from 50-60 participants, nearly half of which were women, in
contrast to earlier years when the ladies numbers were much smaller. Many of
the participants this year were "village hopefuls", that is, they are
interested in village living and are preparing themselves for the

Given the village venue, the discussions were much more practical and
hands-on than before, with such seminars as building with saman
(clay/straw), straw bale construction, making efficient wood stoves,
raising, training and working with bulls, care of cows, agriculture, bee
keeping, soap making, natural cosmetics, conservation of foods, Varnashrama
culture, additional upcoming Ukrainian village projects near Odessa, and

The festival was held in two adjacent villages--Bezvodnaya, where we had the
use of the Cultural Center for indoor activities, and Mikailovka where the
cows are kept. On Sunday afternoon everyone went out to meet and brush the
cows, pet the calves, and to try a hand at milking. Then we all had as much
fresh, raw, un-pasturized, un-homogenized straight-from-the-cow milk as we
wanted! Yum! (pity that people in America are being harassed by the govmint
for drinking such wholesome milk).

I have put a number of photos of the festival on Flikr for you to browse,
and many, many more should be online soon. Additionally, today I had my
debut into video-making putting together the various clips I took of our fun
with the cows. I hope that you will enjoy it!

Find the links and video on my Gitagrad blog:
(Text PAMHO:23532011) --------------------------------------

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