Friday, September 28, 2012

ISKCON Celebrates Earthdance Global Festival for Peace

Shobana Muratee (left), Lorrie Garrick, Syamavallabhi Devi dasi, Dr. Hansa Medley, Joyce Long and Sydney Strahan.
INDO-AMERICAN NEWS: HOUSTON: On the auspicious day of Radhastami, the Earthdance Global Festival for Peace was held on Saturday, September 22, at the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) temple’s Gauranga Hall. Traditionally, ISKCON has been a major sponsor of Earthdance for the past four years. This year, the theme was ‘Year of the Woman’ and five women: Shobana Muratee (Editor, Voice of Asia); Lorie Garrick, the mother of two distinguished sons, His Holiness Tamal Krishna Goswami, the founder of the temple community, and Dr. Carl Herzig, Chairman of the English department at St. Ambrose University in Iowa; Syamavallabhi Devi das (Hare Krishna Dham); Sydney “SunShine” Strahan (Organizer of Earthdance Houston) and Joyce Long (Founder, The Wellness Institute) were honored as role models in the community. Dr. Hansa Medley, ISKCON Director for Outreach, presented a certificate of appreciation to the honorees.
Nearly, 500 guests gathered at the opportune time of the equinox and offered “Global Prayers for Peace’ simultaneously with the rest of the world.  In tune with this year’s theme, Earthdance events around the globe pledged to focus on causes that work to promote gender equality and empower women, while fostering peace and harmony with each other and Mother Gaia (personification of the Earth).  50% of the profit from this year’s gathering will go to the Food for Life – Kids Meal Project.
The event began with everyone joining in a circle to offer a prayer. Gradually, the circle began to move as the enchanting music played on. As the music grew louder, the pace grew faster and magically everyone was drawn into a ‘spiral dance’ lead by the group Ecstatic Dance.  This was followed by Chenda Melam, a traditional rhythmic drumming presented by Panjadi School of Kerala Drums. A ballet titled ‘Madana-Mohana Mohini’ was presented by the Natya Sakhi’s in collaboration with the Jiv Jago Youth Band portraying the love of Srimati Radharani, consort of the Supreme Lord Krishna. Other attractions were henna, face painting, ‘Try A Saree’, books on meditation and yoga, and captivating fire-spinners. A variety of  vegan preparations were served as Prasadam to all attendees.

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