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19march20110081018New YorK: - On the 12th of March a rather unusual event took place at the Vietnamese restaurant Ta in San Jose, California. A member of the Vietnamese community, Mrs Bickieu Pham, with support from the Office of Tibet NY, organized a Vietnamese-Tibetan dinner and concert named Friendship In Exile to help raising funds among Vietnamese supporters for the Tibetan Association of Northern California's new community center as well as for other Tibetan communities in the US. Close to 300 people came for this event, counting chiefly Vietnamese but also some Tibetan guests.

According to a report of Tibetan government media "Tibet Net," among theVietnamese performers were popular singer and actress Ms. Than Lan and singer Anh Tuan, as well as a local Vietnamese youth group showing traditional Vietnamese dances. The Tibetan part of the entertainment included Chaksampa, a traditional Tibetan music band specializing in Nangma-Toeshay, and a group of traditional Tibetan dance performers from the weekend school of the TANC. Also invited were monks from the Gyuto Monastery, who blessed the event and chanted an offering prayer before the dinner.

Thanking the organisers and guests for their support in his speach, representative Mr Lobsang Nyandak furthermore underlined the two communities' shared political background of Communist persecution and expressed his wish for friendship and solidarity among their people.

Half of the $20,963 raised at the event will be donated to the Tibetan Community of Northern California while the rest will be shared between the Tibetan Communities of New York and New Jersey.

President of TANC , Mr Kaydor Aukatsang, said, "This event was the first community cultural event that brought together Tibetans and Vietnamese Americans who share growing cultural ties. We look forward to a good relationship with the Vietnamese community in future."

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