The mission of Slovak – Indian Friendship Society
Covers a broad range of interests, reflecting the concerns of its founders to strengthen Slovak-Indian Friendship.
In 1985 group of people guided by Dr. Anna Galovičová has been organizing 1st Colour Full India Festival in Piestany focused on bridging East and West, strengthening Cultural and Educational Exchange and Friendship between India and Czechoslovakia till today. Some other Slovak towns were involved as Bratislava, Trenčín, Prešov…etc.
It helps Slovaks better know Indian culture, traditional dance, spiritual songs bhajans, folk music, exhibitions of art photos, traditions and spiritual heritage and art of life.
Ambassador Soni from Indian Embassy in Czechoslovakia during the 4 th Festival Colourfull India in Spa Piestany Congress Hall.
Yoga, Ayurveda and Health
In 1985 has been opening 1st Yoga course in the Spa gym-hall Balneotherapy which helped both physicians and patients to practice yoga exercises. After 1986 is Yogic exercising included in the rehabilitation as „Innovation of the Rehabilitation through Yoga“ focused on the education of the rehabilitation workers in the Slovak Spas under Slovakoterma, general directoriat of Slovak Spas and Ministry of Health.“ During 1987- 88 was succesfully implemented the research work of Sedlakova, Rohova, Zelenayova, Galovicova on effects of yoga on the Bechterev ˇs illness patients. Yogic practice helped them in all 15 measured indicators. The patients felt better also subjectively without pain. They changed also diet habits towards vegetarianism. During the Czechoslovak Medical Congress in Košice 1988 this research work was presented and evaluated as the best one.
In 1989 Slovak Spa Piestany in cooperation with Anna Galovičova published 1st Yoga book in previous Czechoslovakia written by Indian Yogi Swami Maheshwarananda, who has been visiting Slovakia since 1973(10 000 books). In 1990 we published 1st Edition of Colourfull India book with the lectures of Swami Maheshwarananda about ancient Vedic wisdom, Ayurveda, Indian philosophy and psychology (10 000 books). 2nd enriched Edition of Colourfull India was published by Slovak-Indian Friendship Society in 2002 (10 000 books)
In September 1989 at Town Cultural Centre in Piestany was established by Anna Galovičova and the pioneers of vegetarian diet - Czechoslovak Vegetarian Union. This step helped to publish Vegetarian kitchen and officially could be organised seminars about healthy food. In Piestany Malá scéna I. Krasku was opened 1st Vegetarian snack bar in 1990 and 1st Tea room and bookshop with the spiritual books till today.
Film production Light of Yoga
In 1990 was produced 1st Yoga Documentary film called Light of Yoga in Czechoslovakia. Cameraman and film director Miloš Hulman from Piestany Film Club described Yoga lesson guided by Dr. Anna Galovicova in the Spa Gym Hall with the dialogues and commentary during exercising about effects of Yoga on the practitioners under the umbrella of Town Cultural Centre.
In 2004 Slovak-Indian Friendship Society established own Film Studio Váhy focused on the documentary films from our journays to India and health topics. It produced 12-ve parts Serial „Healthy Mind in Healthy Body“ in cooperation with the Czech rep., Austria, Hungary, and Malta, sponsored by EU.
Journeys to India
We have been organising Journey to India since 1990, after Fall town of Totalitarian Regime and opening the border. Till 2004 it was especially focused on Rajasthan where Gurus of Swami Maheshwarananda lived. Then we chosed other parts of India, especially Haridwar and Rishikesh, Himalaya district, Varanasi and Mahakumbhamela places. Since 2008 we focused on the places were Indian seers called rishis lived. Since 20012 we has been visiting Ramashram under holy mountain Arunachala in South India, Tamil Nadu. The 1st book of great Indian Yogi Ramana Maharishi was published abroad in Czech language in 1940 and he is very famous and beloved in previous Czech-Slovakia.
Slovak group received permit of the Indian Ministry of foreign affairs to participate on the Christmas Teaching by 14.Dalai Lama in Bylakuppe and Mundog last 3 years.
Regularly we visit Lonavle Research Yoga Centre called Kaivalyadhama and we cooperate with the Dr. R.S. Bhogal in the field of Yoga for Mental Health. We walked in the footsteps of Christian Apostle St. Thomas, and St. Francis Xavier.
Participation in EUROTOUR International Film Festival
EUROTOUR International Film Festival in Piestany since 2005 organised in Town Cultural Centre Fontana by Town Piestany, Production Studio C9-Bratislava about the travelling, foreign countries and man. Including short films competition. Slovak-Indian Friendship Society has been participating since 2005 by short films about Journays to India. In 2011 Mr. Malek received the Mayor´s award as a producer of best short film called In the footsteps of Indian Rishis –Prashar Lake. In 2015 he received the Town Cultural Centre Piestany Award for his 10 years successful participation in EUROTOUR.
International Youth Activities
All these activities helped us reach higher quality of our work. Yoga courses and Cultural events completed by discussions and film presentations both for our members and sympathises and students. As Youth organisation we has been involving in EU Youth Program and Youth in Action since 2000. We focused to prepare and implement youth projects between India and Slovakia in future. We were involved in European Volunteer Service, too. We hosted 12 volunteers (from Czech r., Germany, Egypt, Turkey, France, Netherlands, etc.) for long-term (1 year) under title Protector of Life (Vedic wisdom how to become Protector of Nature and living being, Ahimsa ethical principle.
We organised tenths International Training Courses and Seminars, Conferences, with 16 European and neighbour countries focused on strengthening of the intercultural, environmental awareness as EnvironMental, Multi-kulti, monantropism (Vedic vision: one world- one human family) Help and don´t fight! – win-win way of thinking and acting, etc.
Interfaith Movement and Interfaith Dialogues
Since 1985 our oldest members are involved in Interfaith Movement bridging East and West, knowing other cultures, traditions, Faiths, religions, and pre-religion Vedic period.
In 1992 we published 1st book of 14.Dalai Lama in middle Europe called Opening of the Wisdom Eye. During the preparation and implementation of the project Multi-kulti sponsored by Norwegian Foundation we organised intercultural dialogues, panel discussions and festivals in 22 counties and towns of Slovakia in 2008-9. We involved into our activities also refugees from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Vietnam living in half-way house near Trenčín.
In 2011 we adopted one Indian boy Tashi from S.O.S. village in Dharamsala. He should study the medicine in Slovakia in few years.
We invited to our Centre in Piestany many scholars from India, yogis and other experts and artists living with us and participating on our programmes. All of them did good job and helped us raised quality of our work.
Children Painting Competition and Artetherapy
In 2013 we opened Ganesha club in Piestany and organised there various programs with the vegetarian refreshment. Teachers of children gardens liked yoga exercises, vegetarian diet and together we prepared and successfully implemented several projects as Painting Competitions during 2015 and 2016 on the Indian Fairy-tales under Umbrella of Indian Embassy in Bratislava and its great support. We received more than 1050 beautiful paintings. Two books with the stories and best illustrations were published. The books were distributed to the libraries, hospitals, at schools and children gardens.
In 2007 we prepared and implemented successfully Yoga Hospital Model in the Green Tree Sanatorium for Children in Piestany in cooperation with the Dr. Boldišová - director of Green Tree, later Chief Doctor of the Spa Piestany. Very ill children had benefit from yoga exercises and yogic deep relaxation under the guidance of Dr. Anna Galovičova and yoga teacher Ivan Malek. We organised painting program linked with the reading of Indian Fairy-tales in S.O.S. Orphanage village Zlatovce near Trenčín.
There are many other activities very important for the empowerment of our Society, as team-building including more Indian immigrants and students, Indian families living in Slovakia. Very important is networking with other organisations during common projects, especially from India, leadership and strengthening the position in our society that we can help to flow pure wisdom from India. That’s why we are very thankful for blessing of Indian Masters, understanding our mission and aim especially to H.E. Param Jit Mann and for the chance work together with the Indian Embassy in Bratislava.