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Ecovillage Day 2012 - Reports from Ecovillages

Sustainable communities andecovillages around the globe joined on Earth Day, 22. April, this year. They invited their neighbours and the broader public to an Open Ecovillage Day in their communities to see, taste and experience aspects of resilience first hand.

With communities participating in Spain, the UK, India, Japan, Italy, Switzerland, Denmark, Germany, South Africa and many more it was a beautiful and diverse symbol - an expression of our hope for a collective change towards a more sustainable future in this world.

Activities ranged from presentations, fire ceremonies, open spaces to prayers, shared meals, tree planting, music and guided tours. One of the highlights was a mutual time of silence all around the globe, where manyecovillages and communities gathered to unite in their shared vision for 45 minutes.

Here are some selected reports from Ecovillages around the world:

Son Rullan, Spain

Earth/Ecovillage Day was simply beautiful and beautifully simple. 

The meditation was attended by about 20 people and the evening talk I gave about GEN and Gaia Education by about 40 ... with coming and goings there might have been about 45-50 folks who showed up. 

The open space went well. Elisabeth Sathouris was one of the surprise guests who offered a talk during open space.

Damanhur, Italy

It was a nice day, about 40 people visited Damanhur and the meditation was beautifully held by Stambecco Pesco, who lead the people into a deep contact with Gaia before and after the silence. A magical atmosphere in the amphitheater of Damanhur with sunshine, blooming trees and plants and singing birds. 

Center of Unity Schweibenalp, Switzerland

Early in the morning, 22 April, the clear sound of steps on the gravel, a concerto of birds, fresh, cold air and a bunch of passing clouds over Brienzersee in the Schweibenalp Centre of Unity. A few early risers join the fire ceremony of today. We celebrate Earth Day and Ecovillages Day. Schweibenalp has been a member of Global Ecovillages Network since 2011. On this Sunday we follow the call of the global network to connect in meditation and celebration. Through the ceremony we practice unity and presence with the meaning of the day. In the Dhuni, the place of the sacred fire, near the Unity Temple some of the community members set an intention to honour and cooperate with each other, the earth, the global community and the Divine. What a great way to start the rest of our lives!  

Ecovillage Sieben Linden, Germany

We had a beautiful time celebrating Ecovillage Day 2012 yesterday in Sieben Linden, Germany. At 2pm we gathered outside for 45 minutes of silent meditation at our biotope, a very powerful and energetic place. About 10 people came to enjoy the mild temperatures with mainly sunny weather and just when we finished a few drops of rain fell from the sky - "mother earth is touched", one women concluded.

Srirampur village in Mayurbanj district of Orissa state, India

On Earth day, 22nd April, Global Ecovillage-Orissa in collaboration with thread, siddharthvillage celebrated Earth Day in Orissa with a difference. Ecovillage concept and philosophy is one of the best solutions to address the issues of the peak oil, communal disharmony, poverty and starvation, food insufficiency and dependence, peak oil crisis, and catostrophy in the world scaring all people. THREAD siddharthvillage which spearheads the movement ofecovillage in India initiated this celebration with the support of srirampur village.

The first model ecovillage in Orissa was demonstrated at Srirampur, Mayurbanj for all to come and learn. Fifty families in this village were equipped with the facilities of sanitation, kitchen garden with reused water, clean water through pot filter. Health education in this regard was conducted on this day. Community cultivation, community grain bank, community seed bank, community cow shed and cow urine collection for fertilising the soil some of the practices of permaculture was demonstrated for 15 other villages which participated in this celebration.

The village demonstrated different organic manure making units in the village to reintroduce to the concept “Back to Basics”. The dire need for organic cultivation for food security for each village which is the dream for these villagers in the face of dumping of chemical fertilisers and pesticides - the slow killers of the humanity which enables speeding up the mass destruction was explained to all the villagers. The traditional spiritual practices which emphasise worshipping the earth was the high light on this day.

Cottage industries and formation of co-operatives for each village for earning income for support for the families was discussed and the village decided to initiate eco tribal tourism. Community kitchen, community work which bind the people with equal feeling for each other was demonstrated here.

Empowerment for every one through different committees to tap all the rightful resources from government was formed officially. They have different committees ICDS, National Rural Health Mission committee, MNREGA watch club, Forest right act and Public Distribution system committee, Right to information committee and their simple village offices inaugurated. The tribal dance with the meaningful song praising earth contribution to the humanity was as usual a programme where all the villagers joined including Journalists who came from a long distance tolerating the heat of 40 degree Celsius.

It is a celebration with a difference, a celebration which gives meaning, a celebration which renew our commitment to respect earth and humanity. The celebration which started at 10am went on till 4pmThree students from Metropolis university from Denmark joined this programme that educated them. Print media high lighted the programme in the daily local news paper in the state and national English daily gave a coverage. This celebration marked the beginning of the indigenous ecovillages in Orissa which will spread all over Orissa through tribal womens organisations and also in India. 

When we (John, three students from Denmark university) who went from the state capital to this interior villages departed after two days, the villagers felt sad. They want to celebrate this every year.

Ecovillage Design Education Course South Africa

The EDE South Africa participants visited a near by biodynamic wine estate called Spier. They have a strong social focus and farming more than wine - poultry, cattle, vegetables. Projects include a Waldorf school, bird and cheetah sanctuary. As time over ran, we entered a silent walking meditation in celebration at 2pm GMT, connecting to Earth, the inner community, global community and gave Gratitude to Gaia Trust.

Duemosegård, Denmark

We celebrated Earth Day and Gaia Trust’s 25 years at the same time. 7 short introductions were followed by discussions. Hildur told the story of Gaia Trust and thanked the members present for their efforts all those years. Frederica Miller told about Permaculture in cities in Norway and about the difficulty of getting ecovillages on the land. Randi Gerdrun also Norway told how they have gotten official money to promote the idea of ecovillages in Norway. May East gave us a powerpoint with where Gaia Education is just now, which families work together in this. Everybody had a gift from Gaia Trust, a booklet with postcards from 15 projects from all over the planet, which teach the EDE. It will be given to the ecovillages and taken to Rio+20.

A festive lunch buffet for 50 was accompanied by local jazz and made people feel very light and happy.Then a special Gaia Award was motivated by the local major, Ole Bondo and given to a local couple, Jens Otto and Elisabeth Rasmussen, who in 15 years have managed to get a local ecosupermarket going, selling their own vegetables and eggs and meat from the store. They created 6 local jobs and much local interaction.They produce the feed for all their animals and get enough manure for the vegetables.

As it started raining the last of 100 fruittrees were planted. Everybody had a fun and inspiring experience. Hildur Jackson, Denmark

Konohana Family, Japan

Konohana Family is located at the foot of Mt. Fuji which is considered as a sacred mountain. We joined the Ecovillage Day on Earth Day on 22nd of April, 2012 as an entire community.

We generally have a community meeting every night after dinner for two to three hours. On this special day, we decided to meditate with original music that is titled "Towards Light" and original "Light Meditation".

With the light meditation, we imagine the earth is wrapped with light that is emitted from various parts of the globe. 

Here are  some comments from our participants of the event:

  • I felt that all restricted energy around me was released. I could experience that my body is used to create this world with divine team. It was such a precious time. Thank you! (Y.M.)
  • I felt my heart was washed away for cleansing. Naturally I shed tears. (K.K.)
  • I could imagine a white and round earth. The song and voice was just fit to this meditation. It was such a pleasant time.  (A.M.)
  • During the meditation, I went through various process. I received a message that says, "we are always with you", and felt very strong connection with divine energy. Also, the earth was so beautiful and just think of it, and that brings teas just thinking of it. I am very grateful to land on such a beautiful planet. (M.F)


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