Cambridge is well-known for many famous universities, including Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Every year, thousands of people, including local citizens, college students, tourists, visitors, artists, musicians, organizations, and others gather at the two biggest annual events: the Cambridge River Festival and the Carnival Festival. The Boston Center has been a valued and familiar vendor of both events for the past ten years.
On June 17, Golden Year 3 (2006), Boston Center practitioners joined the 27th Cambridge River Festival organized by Cambridge Art Work. This annual outdoor celebration of the arts drew more than 100,000 enthusiastic festival-goers to the banks of the scenic Charles River to enjoy a day of music, dance, poetry, food and visual art.
Our vegetarian food has always been one of the most popular booths. Attracted by our banners: “Supreme Master Ching Hai” and “Alternative Living”, many people approached our booth and waited to be served. Our menu was unique compared to other food vendors, not only for its vegetarian ingredients but also for its colorful, nutritious and delicious foods.
Our neighbor food vendors came and talked with our brothers and sisters, tasted our foods and asked for recipes. They were all surprised at how tasty vegetarian food could be and how easy it could be prepared. They even envied of our good business. Many people visited our community booth where Master’s publications were displayed. We handed out Alternative Living flyers and Quan Yin methods flyers as well. The organizer staff recognized our brothers and sisters right at the front entrance through our yellow uniform hat and vest. They greatly complimented our presence at the Festival and told us that they would like very much that we could keep participating. The Festival staff even helped us carrying our corn and other materials from the entrance to our booth for several times. Out of our gratitude, we offered them the freshly grilled corn, which they liked very much. We also received compliments on our Alternative Living signs posted along the river. Near the end of the event, a lady came and told us, “While walking along the river, I enjoyed reading your signs. I’d like to share this with you so that you could continue your good work.” It sounded like Master’s compliment to us and it made all of our effort worthwhile.
On August 26, the Boston Center attended the 2006 annual Carnival Festival in the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Carnival Festival featured elaborate costumes, festival parade, dancing, steel bands, arts and crafts from around the globe, live music, art and interactive activities for kids, ethnic and exotic food court and a lot of fun. This time, the Boston Center fellow practitioners prepared everything more carefully than ever because we were informed about the new rules and regulations due to pandemic and security issues.
At our community booth, we displayed Master’s publications. Alternative Living flyers and free veggie cup cakes were very popular. Although the weather was not ideal for an outdoor event due to the light rain, thousands of people still stopped by both of our booths to enjoy healthy foods for their bodies and their souls. Our young brothers and sisters excitedly distributed around 8,000 Alternative Living flyers to visitors of the Festival. Many of the recipients came back and forth to our food and community booths either to bring their friends or to try another dish or to take more printing materials.
Through these activities, we could feel that the atmosphere became better and better; people became more open than before, both in spiritual and vegetarian aspects. More and more people realized the importance of the vegetarian diet; more and more people began accepting the idea that the essence of most religions is the same.
Viet Heritage Cultural Day
By San Jose News Team, California, USA (Originally in English)
The First Annual Viet Heritage Cultural Day, sponsored by Viet Heritage Society and the City of San Jose, took place on August 27, Golden Year 3 (2006) at Kelly Park, a well-known historical park in the city.
The event organizer estimated an attendance of 6,000 guests. Joining the Aulacese community were other ethnic communities, such as Native American, Latino, Chinese, Laotian, Cambodian, Indian, and many more. Also, in this joyous gathering, our San Jose initiates were present to celebrate along with the community and to share the message of Alternative Living with event participants.
Approximately 5,000 Alternative Living flyers were distributed at this single occasion. In addition to the flyer distribution, with the help of two brothers from San Francisco, our fellow practitioners conducted video interviews with quite a few participants. Everyone interviewed seemed interested and excited about the message embodied in the Alternative Living flyer. A volunteer at Red Cross booth said that the flyer information was something good for everyone and that she wanted to share Master’s wonderful message with her co-workers once she got back to her station. So we left a stack of flyers at her booth.
Miss Little Saigon San Francisco 2006, Tran Ngoc Diem Phuc, expressed humbling thanks to our organization for the interview and for allowing her to share her thoughts about the information. She said that Alternative Living is an important lifestyle and that she would encourage people of all ages to become vegetarian.
Everyone was inspired by an incredible Native-American group dance. One of the performers in his bright and colorful costume cheerfully responded to our questions.
While catching his breath after the vivacious dance he said that the Alternative Living flyer has a great message. Since his kids and family consume mostly vegetables, beans, and grains for meals he said that being vegetarian is better for health and economy. An 84-year old elderly man expressed that this precious message reminds people to live healthy.
A few others interested in spirituality commented that being a vegetarian would help to progress their spiritual practice, as it includes the concept of non-killing. Master’s boundless love and blessings elevates the whole world’s consciousness with Her Alternative Living message. As this leaflet reaches each individual, it can subtly change a way of life and expand the love for all beings.