GEIFN | GOES | VESAK Multicultural Friendship Dinner 2018 | Saturday 7 April 2018 | 6-9.30pm

[Report is compiled from multiple public addresses, multiple sources made over multiple publication dates]

An evening of delicious multi-cultural vegetarian banquet and fun that is the "Vesak Friendship Dinner”. Raising funds for this year's Victorian United Nations Day Vesak Commemoration and Celebrations - Sat 12 May in Melbourne CBD.

An assembly of over 600 people, Ordained Sangha, Lay Sangha, friends supporters and non-Buddhists alike. A wonderful occasion to see living exemplars of what founders taught.
An experience of wonderful delights of Chinese Vietnamese vegetarian hospitality, demonstrations by a range of migrant groups encompassing monastic chanting and performance including song, instrument-playing and dance.

On the surface, a humble dinner looks like an INTRAfaith occasion: different congregations of the one religion (Buddhism) coming together.

But look a bit deeper, and its also:
INTERfaith (different language/ethnicities/cultural groups coexisting);
MULTIfaith (different religions/generations/genders/backgrounds actively engaging in a shared higher purpose; ie, inclusion of Acknowledgement of Country, sharing space, place, company, performance, purpose and time);
TOGATHER: determined, consistent, sharing a goal to assemble with a higher sustainable purpose (ie, large strong Sangha/Congregation with surplus sharing with smaller or less well established Sangha, fundraising for Victoria’s VESAK Commemoration)
NOBLY: The Buddha’s embodiment and wish for a world of happiness, peace, harmony and understanding.

GEIFN used this occasion to bring together a contingent of 20 individuals, most arriving at 6pm for an informal walk and chat around sculptural garden.
The event, succinctly described by a GEIFN guest:
“We had a great judged by energy expenditure through talking and laughing and energy intake through amazing food. Thanks for your generosity.”
On behalf of Buddhist Council Victoria Interfaith (bINTER) and Glen Eira Interfaith Network (GEIFN), thankyou to Hosts, Organisers, Volunteers and Participants working to reduce misunderstandings, build collaborations, celebrate diversity and foster team approach to addressing today's society. Received with gratitude.

Victorian United Nations Day of Vesak Inc (UNVESAKVic)