“Creating a strong sense of community through a dialogue of cultures” was the motto of a two-day series of events in the rural Somogyvamos, Hungary, organized by Mayor Dékányné Károly Marianna and Member of Parliament Móring József Attila. The goal of the event was to emphasize the importance of tolerance and the power of cooperation of local communities in changing people’s lives for the better.
Local villagers (native Hungarians and Gipsies) helping ISKCON devotees to plant tens of thousands of trees on the lands of Krishna-valley
The cul-de-sac village of Somogyvamos, Hungary, inhabited by a thousand people sets a very good example of cooperation: Hungarians of diverse religious and social backgrounds, Romas (commonly known as gypsies) and Hare Krishnas – putting aside all their differences and focusing on finding common grounds — have been working harmoniously together for over 20 years to serve their village.
Tourists riding a bullocks cart at Krishna-valley, Somogyvamos, Hungary
When ISKCON devotees purchased lands and established their Krishna-valley Indian Cultural Center and Organic Farm near Somogyvamos in early 1993, it was the local Hungarian farmers who taught them about agriculture, the Romas who offered extra hands in cultivating the land and doing all kinds of permanent and temporary services, and in exchange, the Krishna-believers provided teachers, doctors, artists, local activists, environmental specialists, and have brought a thriving tourism to the remote village, from which the locals have been benefitting both socially and economically.
Sivarama Swami accepting an award for inspiring a fruitful cooperation among different cultures
Recognizing his outstanding services in creating this harmonious cooperation of communities of different cultural backgrounds, on August 21, 2013, ISKCON Hungary’s spiritual leader, Sivarama Swami was awarded a medal by Mayor Dékányné Károly Marianna and Member of Parliament Móring József Attila.