In his address as chief guest at the ceremony, the Karmapa said, "We all know the world is changing continually, as well as sources of community and culture. Particularly, science development is changing rapidly. We have to meet the century.
"On the other hand, there are two questions: How we can protect our culture? And how we will be able to follow the century, especially those Tibetans who were born and grew up in exile? How we can stand on our own feet whilst living within a new community and also be self-reliant. To protect our culture is an very important issue at the present time.
"In answer to the first question, it seems as time passes within a new community, and as it faces difficulties, it needs to be self-reliant. However, I would like to take this opportunity to urge all young Tibetans, including students, to hold on firmly to the golden times of their education, and continue their efforts without wasting opportunities for study. I also hope and pray that you will be able to build good foundations for the future of Tibet as well as for your own futures.
"Many students from TCV came to India after crossing many rivers and mountains for an education and for freedom, whilst keeping their provenance strong. So, become a complete Tibetan in India, or wherever you live, after finishing your studies in exile, including Tibetan religion and culture, and hold your provenance inside. It is also important to keep your hopes and strength to serve our Tibetan community."
Speaking on the importance of education, the Karmapa said, "We should think of both moral and modern education as being equally important. Being a Tibetan, it's important to be loyal to our moral education, culture and language and and keep an interest in them. For example, just as we plant a tree, then see its branches develop, we need modern education, like science, with other forms of modern education as branches. However, if we cannot build a stable trunk, the branches will not flourish. Therefore, all young Tibetans should always be proud of being Tibetan, without losing their own traditional values."
The Karmapa also praised His Holiness the Dalai Lama for his great efforts and contributions in the last 50 years of the development of Tibetan education in exile. "Looking towards the future," he said, "we should always remind ourselves about the past. As His Holiness said, Tibetans inside Tibet have great strength even under a very difficult situation. Tibetans in exile live peacefully and happily because of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
In his address, Mr Penpa Tsering, Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in exile, told the audience, "Due to the Chinese occupation of Tibet, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and around 80,000 followers escaped to India. Then, in 1960, His Holiness founded the Tibetan Childrens' Village - a great development which was continued by the efforts of His Holiness' sisters, Tsering Dolma and Jetsun Pema,"
Kalon Pema Chhinjor applauded TCV’s development since it’s founding by the late Mrs Tsering Dolma, elder sister of His Holiness, and later under the leadership of Kasur Jetsun Pema. “In the past 52 years, TCV has produced hundreds of bright students who have contributed to our society by serving the Tibetan community after their education,” he said. He added that the 14th Kashag has outlined education as one of its top priorities and urged Tibetan students to concentrate on specialisation and professional studies.
Speaking on the situation inside Tibet, the Kalon said over 57 Tibetans have set themselves on fire calling for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet and freedom for Tibetans.
The day's ceremony also marked the arrival of the ‘Flame of Truth’ torch relay to Dharamshala.
Founded in 1960, with its head office in Dharamshala, the exile seat of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration, TCV has branches ranging from Ladakh in northern India to Bylakuppe in the south, with over 15,000 children under its care.