on Aug. 29, 2009
ISKCON Moscow has celebrated Janmastami since 1988, but this year several local dignitaries expressed their support by attending the celebrations despite the bad weather.
On the 14th of August ISKCON Moscow was visited for the first time by the new administrator of Northern Moscow. He was accompanied by several important government authorities: the head of local district council Vadim Rodionov, Moscow Duma deputy Ivan Novitsky, United Russia party member Ivan Novitsky and Moscow's Social Security representative Nina Krupennikova. Also among distinguished guests were ambassadors from the India, Mauritius, Sri Lanka and Nepal.
The festival opened with words by the chairman of the Janmastami 2009 committee Mr. Sanjit Kumar Jha, "Ladies and gentlemen! All honored guests! It is a big honour for me to welcome all of you on behalf of the festival committee. Thank you all for coming despite the rainy weather."
"Sri Krishna Janmastami, or the Indian Christmas, is one of the ancient holidays on Earth. It is widely celebrated in India by over billion people. And not only in India; this holiday is being celebrated all over the world. And in the last 30 years this holiday is being celebrated in Russia as well."
The Indian ambassador to Russia, Mr. Prabhat Shukla, thanked the Moscow government, especially Mr. Mitvol, for his support and cooperation. He also noted the significant role that the Russian Society for Krishna Consciousness is playing in strengthening the relationship between Russia and India.
Moscow city Duma, United Russia party member Ivan Novitsky greeted everyone with "Namaste! Hare Krishna!" He congratulated everyone and said that Russia and India have always been friends and it is very good that this festival is taking place during the year of India in Russia.