Guwahati: – A five-day event titled "Festival of Tibetan Art and Culture" will be held in Guwahati , the largest city of Assam and northeastern India, from February 2-6, 2014. Organisers said the spiritual leader of Tibet and Nobel Peace Laureate His Holiness the Dalai Lama will be present on the occasion.
"In the towering Himalayas, between South Asia and China, Tibet had always been in the eyes of the world a country of peace and tranquility, its people deeply attached to their religion and their way of life," the organizing committee said in press statement, issued on 7 January.
"A land that was rich, not only in earthly wealth but in the soul of its people, its unique culture deeply rooted in Buddhism, where ritual and prayer marked all aspects of daily life, a land with a simple economy with a limited trade with India and China enough to satisfy the wants of any sturdy independent people," they stated in the statement.
"However, with the invasion of this mysterious land by China in 1959 the peace and tranquility was shaken, the peaceful peasants imprisoned, monasteries destroyed, statues of gods mutilated, monks beaten and made to dance on corpses of fellow Tibetans," it stated.
The committee said that "the Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama was forced to flee his country, followed by 80,000 Tibetans, to India. Thus began the mass exodus of refugees for the first time in more than 2000 years of Tibetan history. "
"Today, after more than five decades in exile the Tibetans have not only preserved their religion, culture, language and tradition but also spread the message of peace and love inspired by Tibetan Buddhist culture around the world. There are several people in the Himalayas whose culture has lots of resemblance to the Tibetan culture because of their common origin – Buddhism," it added.
"For the first time, the city of Guwahati or 'the gateway to Northeast India' will host a five - day event celebrating this unique culture," the committee said, adding: "Festival of Tibetan Art and Culture" will be held at the Kalakshetra from February 2 till February 6, 2014. And blessing this historic event is His Holiness the Dalai Lama who had once passed through this city in 1959 after his escape from Tibet via the Khenzimani Pass in Arunachal Pradesh."
The group added: Also present will be Shri Pema Khandu, Hon'ble Minister of Tourism and Rural Works Development, Government of Arunachal Pradesh and Chairman of the Organizing Committee, and dignitaries from the state of Arunachal and Assam. The Tibetan Prime Minister Lobsang Sangay will grace the Closing ceremony on February 6, 2014.
According to the organizing committee, "visitors can witness Tibetan traditional thangka paintings being drawn by Tibetan artists, enjoy Tibetan cuisine, watch monks create Sand Mandala and butter sculpture, see Tibetan woodcarving art and also buy traditional Tibetan handicraft products made by Tibetan refugees. "
"Photo Exhibition titled 'Tibet – A long look homeward' will display hundreds of rare photographs documenting Tibet's history, culture, religion, early days of exile and the Tibetan journey from displaced community to a vibrant democracy.
Documentary films on Tibet will also be screened during the five days followed by Q and A sessions. Books on Tibet, its culture, religion and history etc. will also be available for purchase. Doctors from the Tibetan Medical and Astrological Institute will be available for consultation at medical camps at the festival venue.
Dances: The artistes from the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts will perform traditional Tibetan songs and dances. Cultural troupes from Assam and Arunachal Pradesh will also perform their traditional dances at the festival.
Talks & Seminars on Buddhism, Tibetan culture and various other topics by eminent speakers including Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche, former Tibetan prime minister and Chancellor of Sanchi University, will also be held.
During the five days, visitors can be part of a unique experience - one that will leave a lasting impression in their minds about the beauty and the sheer magic of Tibetan culture. Through this festival, the organizers hope to bring Tibet closer to the minds of the people of the northeast including the Assamese people. "
The committee said "it is a great way of sharing the Buddhist culture and tradition with the people of the northeastern states, and also a wonderful way to build a lasting friendship with our brothers and sisters from the northeast."
Members of the Organizing Committee
- Sh. Pema Khandu, Minister for Tourism & RWD, Arunachal Pradesh, Chairman of the organizing committee
- Ven. Guru Rinpoche, Abbot of Tawang Monastery
- Sh. Karma Yeshi, Member, the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile, Dharamshala (H.P.)
- Km. Yangchen Dolkar, Member, the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile, Shillong (Meghalaya)
- Sh. Tseten Chombay Kee, President, Yuva Arunachal, Arunachal Pradesh
- Sh. Ranjan Engti, Chief Co-ordinator of Metropolis, Assam