Vara-Nayaka, Nandini, Radha Sakhi Vrnda, and I arrived a few minutes early, and the mayor's secretary had us wait in the reception room. Suddenly a television crew from TVN 24 (the Polish version of CNN) burst into the room. The woman reporter apologized to the secretary for being late.
"I'll say you're late," the secretary said. "You were supposed to be here an hour ago!"
A few seconds later the mayor opened his door and saw two sets of visitors waiting.
Smiling, he said, "I'll see the Hare Krsnas first they're more important."
He opened the door wider, and we walked in. Closing it, he asked us to sit down. Two seconds later, the door was flung open again, and the television crew entered with cameras at the ready.
Turning on a big light, the reporter asked the mayor, "You don't mind if we film your meeting with the Hare Krsnas, do you? It will make a great story!"
Calm and collected, the mayor said, "Not at all," and he began praising our participation in the Woodstock Festival.
"The members of the Hare Krsna movement have brought a wonderful culture to the Woodstock Festival," he said. "We were proud to have them in our town. They have an important message for the young people of our country. And just see how they are always so happy!"
The reporter soon asked to speak to the mayor alone, and we left the room.
Just as we were going out, she asked that we wait outside the building. She wanted to ask some more questions. A few minutes later she came out with the cameraman.
Setting up in front of the town hall, she said, "This will be on the national news. Here's your chance."
As the camera began filming, I stood under the Polish national flag and spoke to the nation: "As members of the Hare Krsna movement, we are very happy to be participants in this great event of Woodstock. Jurek Owsiak invites us every year because we truly imbibe the two themes of this event: non-violence and working to help young people overcome drug abuse. Our formula is very simple: We chant names of God Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. And we distribute vegetarian food offered to God. These simple activities can purify anyone's heart."