Tibetans to thank India, raise freedom song


Bangalore : Buddhism, Tibetan medicine, ‘chaam’ dance, monastic chanting. It will be a peek into the Tibetan way of life at a festival here to thank India for providing a home to refugees from the ‘Roof of the World’ for five long decades.

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The three-day long colourful cultural festival in Bangalore begins Nov 22. The Tibetan issue will also be raised, with Karnataka home to the largest Tibetan population in country.

“The event will be to thank India, the country and its people for providing homes to Tibetan refugees for five long decades,” Kunga Dorjee, an official of the Central Tibetan Administration (South Zone), Bangalore, told IANS.

“We have organised a festival where we are going to showcase the tradition and culture of Tibetans and raise the issues plaguing Tibetans, mainly freedom of Tibet from Chinese occupation.”

The event titled “Commemorating 50 years in exile, Tibet experience…Thank You India Day” has been organised by the department of information and international relations, central Tibetan administration (in exile), Dharamsala, joined by the office of the chief representative and the five Tibetan settlements in Karnataka, at Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath here.

It’s been five decades since thousands of Tibetan refugees made India their home after a failed uprising against Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1959. Of the 120,000 Tibetan refugees in India, about 44,000 reside in the five settlements in the state – one in Chamrajnagar, two in Bylakuppe, one in Hunsur and one in Mundgod in Uttara Kannada district.

“The event through film screenings, documentary shows, panel discussions, lectures and cultural events will try to see in-depth the issues confronting Tibetans, both social and political,” said Dorgee.

Monastic chanting and chaam dance will also be part of the celebrations. Other events include lectures on administration, climate change and its impact on the Tibetan plateau, Buddhism and Tibetan medicine.

A large numbers of Tibetans from various parts of India are likely to take part in the event.

“Three generations of Tibetans have been forced to stay away from their homeland Tibet and the Chinese have forcibly occupied our land. We strictly oppose Chinese occupation of Tibet and want freedom, so that Tibetans from across the world, including India, can go back to their homeland,” Jetsun Pema, a Tibetan settled in Bangalore, told IANS.

“We have been refugees for long, forced to stay away from our motherland. Young Tibetans are proud to be born and brought up in India, but our goal is to free Tibet and go back to our motherland soon,” said Tsering Choezom.

“We have our own identity and preservation of our culture, religion (Buddhism), heritage, tradition and language are our main duty.”