Sunday, 22 July 2012

Tuesday July 17th, 2012

Go For The Essence

Thunder Bay, Ontariop

After a 12 hour drive from Serpent River, our bus finally rolled into Thunder Bay for a 3rd annual Krishna Culture Festival of India. The venue is great every year. A park overlooking Lake Superior with a rock formation of The Sleeping Giant set into it is the perfect location. There’s a huge stage with a massive canvas marquee to shelter the performers. The free Indian feast is a main attraction.

By 5 PM the area was thick with curious people, eager for the food, music, and an overall sattvic or heavenly atmosphere. The mayor came offering a welcome address. The emcees did a great job. There was music, dance of all traditional kinds, exhibits and books on spiritual life.

People sometimes wonder what IS the culture of India anyway? Can the current lifestyle of India reflect the REAL India? Is Bollywood the best representation of the culture?

In essence, India is spiritual, or so, at the heart of it, that’s what you’ll find, spirituality and dharma. That’s what our presentation of dance, drama and kirtan reflected, the spiritual side of life.

I met and asked an upcoming law student, what is the philosophy of law, what is at the core of law? And he explained that it depends on who you ask. For him, it meant to protect, to regulate, to follow what’s natural. It sounded a little like dharma, which refers to duty and to honour the natural order of things. We discussed briefly about absolute law being eternal and man’s law being relative.

After the festival a good number of people, 4000 came. Channa (chickpeas), rice and naan bread just wasn’t being turned out fast enough. But the cooks were doing their duty. It came as a surprise that in the relatively small city was such an incredible turn out. The festival was over by 10 PM (now had there been a beer garden, said one acquaintance of mine, “People would have stayed for hours on end.”) For 5 hours there was a jam packed program of what is Indian culture. Nutshelled, it was colour, smiles, optimism, and ultimately spirituality.

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