[Tuesday, 5 July 2011, 9:08 a.m.]
DHARAMSHALA: Tibetans and Tibet supporters living in the US, Taiwan and the UK celebrated His Holiness the Dalai Lama's 76th birthday on their last weekend holidays.
The day was celebrated with great fanfare by the Tibetan Associations of New York and New Jersey at an auditorium near the Office of Tibet, New York. Over 1,000 Tibetans, comprising of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's Representative, Kasur Lobsang Nyandak , heads of the monastic community and NGOs and general public, participated in the event.
In his address, Representative Kasur Lobsang Nyandak urged the Tibetan community to reinvigorate their pledge to work in accordance with the vision and wishes of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. “The celebration of His Holiness' birthday would become meaningful if we reaffirm our commitment to strengthen unity and preserve our culture and identity,” he said.
“We should never get forget the remarkable accomplishments of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the indomitable courage of Tibetans inside Tibet in keeping alive just cause of Tibet in the international arena,” he said.
Kasur Lobsang Nyandak also praised the Tibetan community for their co-operation and support towards closing four gambling houses operated by some Tibetans.
In his address, the president of the Tibetan community, Mr Tsering Sangpo, urged the Tibetan youngsters to put efforts in learning and preserving their own language and culture.
The schoolchildren, members of the performing arts and different associations, presented Tibetan folk songs and dances, much to the delight of everyone present on the occasion.
In Taiwan, the Tibetans gathered at International Conference Hall in Taipei City on Saturday to celebrate the day.
About 400 Tibetans and Taiwanese, including 60 Tibetan monks from different Tibetan Buddhist centers, attended the event organised by the Office of Tibet. The day began with a prayer congregation and offering of long life prayer for His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
|Prayer ceremony in Taipei on the occasion of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's 76th birthday
Addressing the gathering, Mr Dawa Tsering, His Holiness the Dalai Lama's Representative to Taiwan, gave a brief account of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's remarkable accomplishments, He also spoke about Tibetan history, religion and culture.
Mr Dachompa, the President of Tibetan Association, spoke about the activities of the association and its major activities since its inception. The major activities carried out by the association were screened through a slide show. He also appealed to all the Tibetans to unite and work together to uphold and strengthen the identity of Tibetan people, which he said are ways to work in accordance to the wishes of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
The day ended with the screening of a documentary titled “50 years of Tibetan Refugee in Exile”, followed by a tea reception hosted by the Office of Tibet.
The birthday was celebrated with great fanfare by Tibetans and Tibet supporters in London. Over 250 people gathered for "Trunkar", a special evening of Tibetan culture, food and dance.
The hall in Chalk Farm was brightly decorated with Tibetan door hangings and Tibet flags, with Tibetan prayer flags strung across the auditorium. The stage area was backdropped with a large picture of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in front of which there was an altar with candles and khatags (traditional greeting scarves).
The evening began with a long-life prayer for the Dalai Lama and an introduction by Thubten Samdup, His Holiness the Dalai Lama's Representative to the UK and Northern Europe. The entertainment began with the Tibetan Community Dance Group performing traditional dances in a variety of colourful Tibetan costumes. The undoubted highlight was the performance by the Group's
youngsters, who ranged in age from 3 to 15.
|Tibetans perform traditional folk dance to mark the 76th birthday of His Holiness in London on Saturday, 2 July 2011
A special award was presented to Sonam Frasi who served 10 years as a member of Tibetan Parliament in exile and many years of service to the Tibetan Community in Britain and the Tibet movement in general.
Following a lively game of bingo, dinner was served, featuring the ever-popular Tibetan momos, cooked by the members of the Tibetan Community in Britain. The second half of the entertainment consisted of modern Tibetan music, and included Ugyen Choephell on acoustic guitar performing several foot-stomping, modern versions of traditional Tibetan songs.
The birthday celebrations were organised by the Tibetan Commemorative Committee, which comprises the Office of Tibet, London; Tibetan Community in Britain; and Tibet Society.