By Tenzin Dharpo
Tibetan opera performer. file photo
DHARAMSHALA, April 16: The Tibetan opera festival or Shoton, (Yoghurt festival) due to begin from Wednesday here has been postponed by two days in a show of solidarity and expression of condolence for the families of the 27 lives that been lost in an unfortunate bus accident near here on April 9.
The Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA) announced that in light of the tragedy so close to the exile Tibetan community’s virtual capital here, the opera festival will postpone the proceedings by two days. “With deep affinity for our hosts, we have rescheduled the opera festival,” the notice stated.
TIPA said that on April 18, the opera artists will conduct a prayer ceremony for the departed souls. Opera troupes from ten different places such as Nepal, Mundgod, Bandhara, Mussorie, Chauntra, Kalimpong, Bylakuppe, Orissa, among others will perform classics such as Nangsa Woebum and Drimey Kundhen starting April 20 through to April 25.
The Tibetan residents of the Dharamshala area held a prayer ceremony on Saturday and a candle light vigil the day before in solidarity for families of the victims and the deceased, many of whom were school children.
The Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama in an emotional letter to the state Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur wrote that having lived in the state for so long, he felt an, “affinity for its people” and that, “When incidents like this occur, it is as if a calamity has befallen all of us.”
The school bus accident has claimed the lives of 27 people including 23 school children after the driver of the vehicle reportedly lost control leading to the bus plunging offf a cliff, in Malkwal near the Himachal-Punjab border.