By Tenzin Dharpo
Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon
DHARAMSHALA, Oct. 24: The foremost Tibetan school in exile, the Tibetan Children’s Village yesterday kicked off the commemorations of the 56th founding anniversary with cultural programs, display of performances by the students as well as the congregation of noted dignitaries who took part in the event. The theme of the 2016 edition of the TCV ‘Linka’ (picnic) as it is referred to as was ‘unity among the people of Tibet’ in its collective struggle.
The chief guest, Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorjee, presided over the first day of the three day anniversary celebrations. The head of the kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism emphasized the revitalization of the Tibetan identity and it’s furtherance through the Tibetan children who he said represent the coming generations. “The most important duty of each Tibetan, in the face of the ever changing time and events, is to be mindful that one’s action contribute in ensuring the survival of Tibetan identity and dignity. Secondly, the school administrators, teachers and parents as the guardians of Tibetan culture, must assert the traditional Tibetan knowledge and values to the young and new generations of Tibet.”
Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon
The young lama also said that the younger generation of Tibetans should bear in mind the foundation of the exile community which was the culmination of efforts by the older generation Tibetans.
Minister for Religion and Culture of the Central Tibetan Administration Ven. Karma Gelek Yuthok spoke on the need for unity amongst the Tibetan people to propel collective efforts towards the Tibetan cause and to not stray from the cause by deviating into internal feuds accorded by secondary differences within the community. He said, “Unity is required by all units that constitute our society, which includes the educational institutions, cultural and religious centres and all organizations. The Tibetan movement can only be driven with the collective thoughts and actions of all of us, and it is imperative that we do away with our personal and regional biases to move forward.”
“The idea of incorporating secularism in the education system is befitting to today’s world of conflicts and crisis. His Holiness’ teachings of non-violence and oneness of humanity is increasingly gaining relevance and it is high time for his followers, to deliberate his noble thoughts and guidance in actions in our daily lives,” the minister said on the holistic education of younger generation of Tibetans.
The highlight of this year’s celebration is the inter school athletics meet on Monday, contested amongst the TCV schools in Himachal Pradesh state.
Speaker of TPiE Khenpo Sonam Tenphel, members of the Kashag, Secretaries and officials of Central Tibetan Administration, representatives of various NGOs, recipients of the TCV 20 Years Service Award, TCV Alumni- class of 1991 and long time supporters and donors of TCV were present among guests.
TCV Schools is considered an important institution in the Tibetan exile community, founded in 1960 as a humble nursery with only 51 children, and has since grown to support and educate Tibetan children in exile. Today, TCV has over 15,000 children under its care in contrast to the 51 children when it was first established by the sister of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the late Tsering Dolma 56 years ago.