Younger generation should pay attention to their culture: Karmapa
Dharamsala, 13 April 2003: The 9th ‘Shoton’ (great curd festival) concluded on the 11th of April in the presence of His Holiness the 17th Karmapa..
The last group to perform for the 9-day long Opera festival was the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA). They presented the life story of ‘Nangsa Woebum’: the story of a girl’s ordeal in the cruel world of her in-laws and her indomitable qualities of spirituality and compassion. It was a day filled with laughter, tears and intense moments. The performers of TIPA lived up to their title as professionals by regaling and endearing the audience with their irrepressible humor and perfect portrayal of the different characters.
One would probably describe the irregular weather on that day as an auspicious sign. Much of the morning was warm and pleasant yet, in the afternoon the bright day was punctuated by light rain, resulting in a lovely rainbow over the hills. At one time, the rain nearly brought down the huge marquee under which the whole world of ‘Nangsa Woebum’ unfolded. However, the show continued and the loyal audience remained undeterred.
The program ended with the presentation of Khatas (traditional scarves) and words of felicitation from the His Holiness the 17th Karmapa. He thanked the participants for having come from far and wide to make the festival a great success. In his speech, he said it is important for the Tibetans to preserve the unique Lhamo (opera) tradition. He urged the younger generation of Tibetans to pay attention to their culture, whilst acknowledging the challenges of living in exile amidst modern and diverse cultures. He pointed out Nangsa Woebum has dual significance for the Tibetan audience: the first of which is simply to convey the important religious message on compassion etc, but there is also the fact that ‘ it is the only story in the Lhamo tradition which is purely a Tibetan story, while most of the others have elements of Indian background.’
The 17th Karmapa also pledged to work for the wellbeing of the Tibetan people and to fulfill the wishes of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.