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A Tibetan girl performs traditional song for Dharamshala: 400 mothers and children made the 15 minute walk from McLeod Ganj to Tibetan Institute of the Performing Arts (TIPA).  Arriving at that hall audience members found that there was only room to stand in the warm hall that buzzed with anticipation, the rowdy crowd was quick to laugh, easily encouraged to sing along, and gave thanks and appreciation readily, thanks to the performers, but centrally appreciation to mothers to commemorate mother’s day.

The mother’s day performance lasted two and a half hours and included a variety of musical numbers, and a comedy piece.   The musical numbers reflected the uniquely diverse culture of McLeod Ganj, traditional Tibetan songs were preformed, as well as American and Hindi pop songs, and some original numbers composed by the performers.  Fathers were not left out of the celebration as the announcer kept reminding the crowed that mothers could not be mothers if there were no fathers.

TIPA was established in 1959, the same year that His Holiness arrived in India, it was the first institution in exile.  The founders believed strongly that traditional art from Tibet such as, music, dance, and theatrics were essential to preserving Tibetan culture in exile.  TIPA educates performers and instructors in the traditional art forms as well as contemporary.  Over the years, TIPA has preformed in 20 countries around the globe, sharing traditional Tibetan culture with a global audience.  Every year an average of  5 to 6 tours take place.

This weekend's performance in McLeod Ganj was the first of the kind to happen since there was unrest in Tibet a year ago.  After the deadly Chinese crackdown on Tibetan peaceful demonstrators last year, over 220 Tibetans killed, 1,294 injured and 290 sentenced, more than 5,600 were arrested or detained and over 1,000 disappeared.

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