Mini Tibet in Delhi commemorates 50 years in exile (With Images)

March 26th, 2009 - 6:07 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 26 (IANS) Prayer flags in varied hues fluttered, ornate handicrafts, paintings and ornaments were displayed inside tiny tents and women dressed in traditional Tibetan attire sat in the open weaving carpets.
If you have never been to Tibet, then a walk through the week-long “Thank You India” festival organised in the capital will surely give you a glimpse of “the roof of the world”.

Commemorating their 50 years in exile in India, the Tibetan community has decided to hold a special thanksgiving festival to show their gratitude to the Indian community for giving them shelter over the past five decades - ever since they fled China after a failed uprising in 1959.

The festival started in the capital at the India International Centre (IIC) Thursday and will culminate March 31 in the presence of the Dalai Lama. Then it will travel to other parts of the country.

Tenzin Kunga of the Tibetan Bureau office in the capital said the festival not just aims to show the Tibetan community’s gratitude to the Indian government and its people, but to also show that while living all these years here, they have not forgotten their own culture.

“Through some photographs you will see that the Tibetan community is making steady progress in various fields like education while living their life in India, but amid all that we have conserved our traditions as well,” Kunga told IANS.

Thus you have women of the Tibetan Women’s Centre weaving carpets and shawls in one corner of the exhibition area, ornaments like amethyst and lotus seed necklaces displayed close by, and a range of paintings of religious significance ornately done on silk (called Thangka) being displayed in a tiny tent with a dragon painted on its roof.

There is also a large stall of Tibetan handicrafts, statues and other items under a canopy of red, yellow, blue and green prayer flags.

There is also a photo exhibition tracing the life of the Dalai Lama, ever since he was four years of age to the moments when he met important world leaders including former prime ministers Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

“The only disappointment was that we wanted to offer Tibetan cuisine but in accordance to the IIC’s rules we can’t cook here. Therefore, now we have two of our cooks working in the IIC kitchen in order to prepare three Tibetan dishes for the exhibition - thukpa, dumplings and aloo khatsa,” Kunga said.

“One of the highlights of the festival is the sand mandala. In this, coloured sand is used to make beautiful designs on a base, and then it is destroyed. This signifies the Tibetan philosophy of the impermanence of life,” he added.

Free consultation with Tibetan herbal doctors and astrologers is also available.

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