By Greece News Team (Originally in English)
On November 5, 2016 our Association members in Athens, Greece attended Vegan Life Festival, the country’s first-ever vegan festival, at the beautiful venue Technopolis. The event, which attracted many like-minded organizations and individuals, showcased various innovative products and services. Our Association members worked hard to prepare for the event, lovingly trying to make our stall look beautiful. As soon as the festival opened, the venue became packed with enthusiastic visitors, and new guests were still arriving at 8:00pm! All the stalls selling vegan food quickly sold all their supplies and had to bring in more.
Many people stopped by our booth to read Supreme Master Ching Hai’s spiritual books, take pictures of our displays, and watch Master’s television interview with journalist Charles Norton for the The House magazine, a United Kingdom publication. One schoolteacher was deeply impressed by the beauty of Master’s books and said she would read The Noble Wilds to her pupils. We distributed copies of Be Vegan, Make Peace and Alternative Living flyers in Greek. One restaurant manager asked for flyers to distribute in his shop. Many also spoke with us at length to learn more about our organization and Master. Some already knew of us because they had dined at Loving Hut restaurants in other countries. A young man told us he came because he had watched Master’s lectures on the internet. Another gentleman had attended Master’s 1999 lecture in Athens during Her European tour.
During the event we also had the opportunity to taste delicious vegan dishes, and were impressed by the fantastic Greek cuisine. Moreover, the festival featured original products made by families over generations. We were delighted to learn that many people present at the event plan to open vegan cafés, restaurants and shops in Greece, and we experienced great humor, joy and benevolence while visiting other booths. For instance, one of the exhibitors had a large sign stating that his products were “100% made in Greece by really happy people.” At the end of the festival, the organizers thanked us and invited us to participate again in future events.
Overall, more than 6,500 visitors attended the event, exceeding the expectations of both the exhibitors and organizers. Our team was tired at the end of the day, but felt blissful because of all the kind, open-minded people we met who were willing to change their lives for the better. We felt encouraged by the positive feedback from the first vegan festival and are planning to attend the next one in December, and organize a vegan potluck gathering as well. We thank our beloved Master for the chance to participate in such a joyful, constructive activity and be in the company of positive people! We saw a sure sign that Greece is turning vegan!
Antheo 1st Vegan-Vegetarian Exhibition
After taking part in the Vegan Festival, our team attended the Antheo 1st Vegan-Vegetarian Exhibition, the first vegan and vegetarian trade show in Athens, on December 4, 2016. With the enthusiastic help of our Association members from other countries and also a local member who lives on Lesbos Island, we were able to complete the preparation work in only two weeks.
The trade show venue was full of stalls selling or advertising their products or activities. Interesting lectures on various vegan-related issues attracted many attendees. Participants had a chance to taste delicious vegan food, receive therapy treatments such as acupressure, massages and more, plus explore books, food supplements, jewelry, flower essences, herbs, etc. More than 850 people visited the event and many stopped by our booth to receive information on the vegan diet and Master’s teachings. In addition, some visitors requested cooking classes, which we will explore in the future. We felt a positive, joyful atmosphere at the event, where people were receptive to new information and wished to enhance their lives by looking at alternative ways of living.
While in Greece, we were delighted to note the rising trend of veganism, and met many people who had recently converted to the plant-based diet. There are more and more vegetarian and vegan restaurants opening in Athens, and many wonderful vegan products are appearing on the market.
We continued distributing Alternative Living and Be Vegan, Make Peace flyers in Greek, and found new outlets in some Athens city shops and cafés where the owners were happy to receive our flyers for people to take. Many attendees were grateful for the information and asked for more.
We also continued to correspond with many of our refugee friends who we met over the last year, and we really value our connection. It is a great privilege to be able to know so many people of different nationalities, and be able to share Master’s love and words of wisdom with them.
View Video: First Vegan Festival in Greece, November 2016
Vegan Life Festival – November 5, 2016
Antheo 1st Vegan-Vegetarian Exhibition – December 4, 2016