Experience of India in Vukovar, Croatia
During the first weekend in March 2017, the city of Vukovar in Croatia hosted an exceptional event. Under the title 'Experience of India in Vukovar', Vukovarians had a two-day opportunity to enjoy various events organized by the Indian Embassy in Croatia and the Association of Yoga in Daily Life.
India, a land of strong colors, aromas and tastes, was greeted by Vukovar in just the right way - a warm, sunlit day framed by the River Danube. For the first time this year, after a long cold winter, temperatures rose to a pleasant 20 degrees, so on Friday and Saturday many residents of this beautiful city on the Danube, took a walk to the Vukovar City Museum, where the event was held.
The traditional hospitality of the area shone through in each moment - the curator and museum representatives, representatives of the city administration, representatives of Yoga in Daily Life from Vukovar and Vinkovci, as well as all citizens, made every effort to make the guests feel welcome.
With the opening of the exhibition 'Himalayas - where the clouds carry messages' in the City Museum Hall, housed in the beautiful historic Eltz Castle, the Experience of India in Vukovar began. Introductory words and a presentation of the exhibition was given by His Excellency Mr. Sandeep Kumar, Ambassador of India to Croatia, followed by words from Mahamandaleshwar Swami Vivek Puri, the president of Yoga in Daily Life Croatia; Mr. Marijan Pavlicek, Deputy Mayor of Vukovar; Ms. Rosanka Savic Mitrovic, Museum representative; Ms. Ivana Pavlovic, representative of the group of authors; and Ms. Emina Tešnjaković, representative of Yoga in Daily Life Vukovar.
Saturday began with morning yoga practices to which everyone was invited, as a chance to experience such an important part of Indian heritage given to the whole world. Alen Minic, a long-time instructor of Yoga in Daily Life, guided a yoga session enjoyed by all and inspiring the conclusion in many that yoga is surely the best way to start a new day.
After the hour of yoga practice, the large crowd of local citizens and members of Yoga in Daily Life, led by the Indian Ambassador, and joined by Mr. Josip Ivancic, Head of the Department of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and International Cooperation, Mahamandaleshwar Swami Vivekpuri, and Mr. Zoran Simunovic, the museum's curator, ceremoniously planted a young Peace Tree beside the historical museum Ružička's House.
Mahamandaleshwar Swami Vivekpuri noted that the planting of Peace Trees is now deeply rooted in the Yoga in Daily Life System and that this initiative began in Croatia back in September 2001. Thousands of Peace Trees have since been planted around the world and now a poplar tree will also "witness the peace" in Vukovar. He added that a saint, a tree, rain and a river are examples and symbols of selfless giving to all, without discrimination, and that this symbol is therefore of the utmost importance in Vukovar. "A tree gives its fruit and shade to all without distinction and division, always equally, and this quality should also be cultivated among people."
All the assembled locals enthusiastically participated in the Peace Tree planting by adding at least a clod of earth, and have committed to each other to ensure that this Peace Poplar grows peacefully in Vukovar.
It would be difficult to fully encompass the experience of India without the wonderful flavors of India. So, after the Peace Tree ceremony, a lecture was given about the vegetarian cuisine and spices of India, followed by the presentation of a typical vegetarian Indian meal, and, of course, the inevitable tasting of the prepared dishes. This lecture and the presentation were organized and held by a long experienced cooks Sadhvi Anandi and Daniela Serenčeš from the Yoga in Daily Life Association. It is said that you can say whatever you want about the food you ate, but your facial expression tells the truth you cannot hide. Therefore the happy and relaxed faces showed that the Experience of India in Vukovar was indeed complete.
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