Art and Culture Report May 1, 2004 This News item expired on Aug 1, 2004. Expired news items remain listed in our News archive, however the information may no longer be accurate. Please do contact the office if you require any clarification. Art and Culture Report Taken from the TF Newsletter 43 In the wake of present campaign against terror threat, yet the world's top leaders choose to give very little attention towards global responsibility to resolve our differences through peaceful means. Many politicians, scholars, peace campaigners and religious figures like His Holiness the Dalai Lama have often openly spoke against the decisions leading to use of military actions by our world's most powerful leaders. Perhaps in a very small way, at Tibet Foundation, we try to organise events reflecting our patron, His Holiness' message of peace and vision to bring people of different faiths and traditions together. It was 1984, when His Holiness visited the United Kingdom and gave public lecture at a Christian Monastery in England, he then spoke on the importance of living in harmony and said that all religions have the same goal - Peace. So, in January, we screened the film - Peace: A Goal of all Religions as part of our ongoing cultural events. Screening of this film on His Holiness after 20 years also coincide with the re-visit of the Tibetan leader to the United Kingdom in May/June during which He will give a series of public talks including Inter-faith Lectures and Buddhist teachings in England and Scotland. His spiritual followers and well-wishers have made countless telephones, emails and walk-in inquiries at the Foundation about his public engagements during the forthcoming visit. We are very pleased to hear that so many of our Tibetan friends and supporters are encouraged by His Holiness's life-long message of peace and understanding of imparting genuine compassion and love to others. I hope the readers will join with us and wish His Holiness a very pleasant time during his weeklong stay in the country. To friends and supporters of the Tibetan people, the Wood-Monkey Year of Tibet does seem very familiar. Each Losar (Lo = Year, Sar = New) has new beginnings and hopes. And already, in February, the Tibetans celebrated the first day of their lunar calendar 2131 on the 21st. Back home in Tibet, the Losar celebration sometimes lasts up to 15 days during which families are united and all looks to a better year ahead. But, the Tibetan communities in India and Nepal celebrate this special occasion for 5 days and sometimes even more. In London, we organised Tibetan Losar Eve Party, which brought many of our friends, supporters and fellow Tibetans together, sharing their thoughts of happy moments with each other in a congenial atmosphere at the Culture Centre. Those who attended the evening did not see the very traditional way of celebrating the special occasion but certainly they did enjoy the evening with home-cooked food and Khabsey (Tibetan cookies specially made during Losar) and drinks. Of course, the continuous flow of modern Tibetan and other world music attracted almost everyone onto the dance floor until in the early hours of the morning! We hope to organise more traditional ways of celebrating the Tibetan Losar and festivals around the Tibetan New Year in the coming years. We feel it is important to share with our members and supporters that each year our beneficiaries in India, Nepal and Tibet send Losar Cards. Very often, their cards carry messages of sincere gratitude to all our members and supporters for the continued supports the Tibetan communities have received over the years. This shows, how little it may seem, the help they receive from us does make a lot of differences in their life. Today, as nations' political boundaries become increasingly important, Tibetans are unfortunately much affected, especially those who once traded with the Indian border people. A documentary film - 'They Who Walked Mountains' made by an Indian writer and filmmaker, Manju Kak was screened in March at the Culture Centre. The film reveals that the trade passes used by both the Tibetans and Indians before the Indo-Chinese War in 1962 were immediately stopped after the war between the two neighbours. Trade came to an end and with it also ended a centuries' old culture that had bonded the Tibetan and Bhotia communities in familial friendships. (Bhotia is a name given to people of Tibetan origin living in India) But, today in exile, the Tibetan communities are not only fighting for their own survival but also towards preservation of their culture and identity. It is wishes of His Holiness to preserve the unique cultural heritage of the Tibetan people and since its inception the Foundation has been working towards this. With continued support from our members and donors, we have succeeded to help the Tibetan people in many ways to preserve their identity and culture by giving opportunities to study in Tibetan monasteries, schools, medical colleges, performing arts institutes and others. In May, as part of the celebration of the Fifth Anniversary of the Tibetan Peace Garden, we have arranged Tibetan Monastic performances and Folk songs, music and dance by the visiting monks and artistes from India. We sincerely hope that many of our members and supporters enjoy the live performances and perhaps develop some interactions with the visitors! Please do share the pleasure of their performances and our ongoing cultural events with your friends and colleagues. If you would like to see visiting artistes performing in your areas in the future, please contact us at the Foundation. Thank you.