Mahatma Gandhi Community Forum

I have recently (Nov 27, 2008) been to Argentina to speak about Gandhi at the Festival of India organized by the Embassy of India in Buenos Aires. The talk had an unexpected repercussion and I am still receiving letters from professionals that are interested in applying gandhian principles to their activities, As co-founder of Associação Palas Athena, that has been working on the practical applications of gandhian principles for almost 30 years in Brazil, I had much to say about our experience. We have created many projects that teach and build upon 4 basic guidelines: 1) foster peaceful coexistence; 2) avoid excess and waiste; 3) participate in the management of public spaces; 4) turn differences into assets.
For example, our Gandhi Weeks have been going on along the last 27 years. Every year on the first week of October a full program with over 200 paralel activities is launched. These activities are organized by volunteers, and the resources are obtained by cooperation between the many artistis, teachers, social agents, intelectuals, craftsmen, singers, dancers, actors, and other professionals that donate their time and talents to the task of creating educational and cultural activities to inspire and teach gandhian principles in practice. These activities are carried out in schools, universities, prisons, squares, parks, streets, and other private and public places. Admitance is free and the public in general take part in talks, roundtables, readings, video projections followed by dialogs, plays (on Gandhi), cooperative art creations (such as huge patchwork projects or mosaics, origami, and any other in which people must cooperate peacefully to attain beautiful results), silent walks, meditations, culinary lessons on how to make bread or tea out of vegetables we scarcely use, and many other activities. Every year the public grows and the project is presently in many Brazilian states and cities. In 2009 we will print a manual in Portuguese and Spanish on how to organize a Gandhi Week in your community, as many friends in Latin America would like to join.
I'll be sending more news on other projects presently.
Lia Diskin

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