(From left to right)Tenzin Tsundue, Kyinzom Dhongdue, and Tenpa Dugdak speak at a forum titled, “I am Tibet” at the Festival of Tibet in Australia.
DHARAMSHALA, February 7: After months of hard work and preparation, the five-day ‘Festival of Tibet in Australia’ concluded with a sold out musical dramatic monologue titled ‘Exile King’ – a journey through the experiences of a Tibetan refugee at the Brisbane Powerhouse.
In a release yesterday, the organisers of the event said the festival highlighted Tibet’s “ongoing struggle for freedom, most recently brought to the world’s attention by the alarming increase in self-immolations within Tibet”.
“The fourth annual Festival of Tibet at the Brisbane Powerhouse celebrated Tibetan heritage and way of life, founded upon the principles of compassion and non-violence,” said Tenzin Choegyal, an Australia based Tibetan musician.
Throughout the festival, approximately 3,000 people attended the various events, which included talks by Geshe Lobsng Jamyang on “Happiness by expressing your real self” and Dr Tsering Thakchoe on Tibetan medicine and the creation of a ‘Chenresig’ sand mandala by monks of the Tashi Lhunpo monastery.
Sonam Dagpo, Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Australia headed a forum on grassroots activism, discussing ways to promote human rights and to “encourage a peaceful and lasting solution for Tibet”.
Well known Tibetan activist, Tenzin Tsundue shared stage with Tenpa Dugdak, author of the 2008 book “Our Tibet” and Kyinzom Dhongdue, a campaigner with the Australia Tibet Council to speak at a forum titled, “I am Tibet”.
The speakers presented accounts of their personal journeys and experiences of living in exile, their “frustrations, hopes, regrets and the struggle to survive in spite of the fractured nature of displaced identities”.
The release said the attendees at the festival found themselves “inspired and encouraged” in their resolve to ensuring that support for the Tibetan freedom movement will “endure into the future and the heritage of Tibet is never lost or forgotten”.
The proceeds of the festival have gone to the Tibetan Children's Village schools and the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery.
Following Kalon Tripa Dr Lobsang Sangay’s call for a global vigil on February 8, Tibetans and supporters in Canberra will be organising a protest outside the Chinese Embassy in the Australian capital. Vigils and protests will also be organised elsewhere in Sydney and Melbourne.