now in its Eighteenth Year
By Dada Vedaprajinananda
On July 14, 1991, the first Neohumanist Ecology Festival was held at Ananda Putta Bhumi in the southwest of Poland, and since then hundreds of people have enjoyed these
summer festivals, combining holiday fun with a serious focus on improving life on planet earth.
Ananda Putta Bhumi, the venue of the festivals is a 46 hectare master unit (service community) run by Ananda Marga. Ananda Putta Bhumi is one of the larger organic farms in Poland and is scenically nestled in a valley which is overlooked by mountains that form the border of Poland and the Czech Republic. This beautiful setting lends itself to both the camping and the ecological theme of the festival.
The heart of the festivals consists of workshops on organic farming, cooperative economics, holistic health, animal rights, human rights, spirituality and related topics. Local and international experts give the workshops and the workshops are small enough to allow a lot of interaction and group participation.The festival was first held just after the end of communism in Poland, and the Polish population was yearning to explore their newfound freedom. How do we know this? With just a few posters placed in the major cities of Poland, our farm was flooded with young festival participants, and the attendance of the first festival was higher than in subsequent years. Our farm was not actually ready for such a large festival at this time, as we had just purchased it and the main building was quite old.
Over the years the facilities at Ananda Putta Bhumi have been improved and now there are comfortable indoor accommodations as well as complete facilities for outdoor camping. An old barn was converted into a large meeting hall replacing the Russian army tents which were used during the first few festivals.
While the facilities have changed the basic format and feel of the festival has remained the same over the years. First of all, it is held on the same date every year, during the third week of July. This year the festival will be held on the 16-20 July.
Secondly, the core of neohumanism is spirituality, finding the inner source of inspiration that can make our love for humans, plants and animals lasting and intense. To this end, yoga classes and collective meditation sessions are held in the morning and evenings at the festivals. These activities are optional but most attendees take part in them and they provide the festival with a spiritual core.
If you would like to come to this year’s festival then visit the websites www.ekofest.org andwww.ru.org/ecofest for more information. The address of the festival is:Ananda Putta Bhumi
58-535 Milkow Poland
tel: +48 75-761-07-16