DHARAMSALA, October 30 – Come October and this hill town headquarters of the Tibetan Diaspora starts buzzing with activities of all kinds. The month of October saw three film festivals in a row already and now it is time for some Tibetan music. A guild of Tibetan singers held a two-day concert here to raise fund for a cause that is held so dear by both exile singers born in Tibet and those born outside of Tibet.
The guild has toured various places in India last year to create awareness about the situation inside Tibet and to raise money for a martyrs’ pillar dedicated to all the Tibetans who had laid down their lives for Tibet.
Tamding, a member of the guild, said that the singers have decided to erect the pillar in Bylakupee, the largest Tibetan settlement in India. “The actual construction will start in December and we are in the process of designing it.” He further said the site has already been acquired for the pillar that symbolizes unity and is a tribute to all the martyrs of Tibet. The concerts have raised six hundred thousand Rupees for the erection of the eighteen feet pillar.
Meanwhile, another concert is going to be held today. Organized by the Tibetan Youth Congress, the largest pro independence group in exile, the concert features Prashant Tamang, the winner of Indian Idol (2007), pioneer of contemporary Tibetan pop music Tsering Gyurmey and the exile Tibetan singer with perhaps the largest fan base Phurbu T Namgyal.
Tamang, a Buddhist himself, is excited to perform in front of a different audience here. “I guess the entertainment is different thing but today we are here for the cause and I hope people will support this cause,” he said.
Tamang, who met with the Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama yesterday, said it was a dream come true for him. “I feel very blessed. So, I am just happy that I came here and got blessings from His Holiness.”
Tamang said his love for Tibet and its people has brought him to Dharamsala. “I feel very pleased when I am around Tibetan people,” adds Tamang.
The proceeds of this concert, says TYC president Tenzin Jigme, will go to the relief efforts in Phuntsok Ling Tibetan settlement in Odisha, which recently suffered substantial damage from Cyclone Phailin. Jigme added that TYC executive members have visited the Tibetan settlement to survey and submitted a report of the damages caused by the cyclone.
The deepening crisis in Tibet has resulted in large scale anti-China protests and 122 self-immolations since 2009.