DHARAMSHALA: Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay today flagged off a three-day event organised by DIIR’s Tibet Museum to celebrate the 39th International Museum Day. The inauguration was attended by the two secretaries of the Department of Information and International Relations – Mr Sonam Norbu Dagpo and Mr Tashi Phuntsok – along with representatives of Tibetan non-governmental organisations based in Dharamshala.
The three-day event which is being held from 18 – 20 May include guided tours of the permanent exhibition “A Long Look Homeward”, live demonstration of Thangka (scroll) paintings and displays, showcase of costumes of the three traditional provinces of Tibet, talks and lectures on Tibetan history and culture, and screenings of documentary films on Tibet.
Lighting the Tibetan butter lamp, Sikyong inaugurated the three-day event and lauded the relentless hard work and awareness campaigns carried out by The Tibet Museum to highlight the Tibet issue. He said that museums remain one of the most powerful mediums to preserve the rich cultural heritage and political narrative of the Tibetan struggle and called on Tibetans, particularly those still in schools and colleges to visit the Tibet Museum to gain a deeper insight into the Tibetan political struggle and life of Tibetans in exile.
“It is important for students to visit The Tibet Museum because we are mostly in the third or fourth generation of Tibetan refugees. Our generations have not faced the hardships of our forefathers. The struggles of the older generation are preserved only in our memories and school textbooks. Therefore, it is imperative for us to visit The Tibet Museum to transform that imaginary struggles into reality,” Sikyong said.
Mr Tashi Phuntsok, DIIR’s Secretary for Information, in his address said that since The Tibet Museum’s inception in 1998, it has become a repository of information which conveys the story of Tibet’s history, culture, religion and the plight of Tibetans under Chinese rule. Its collections have been collated in an institutionalized and scientific way, he said.
Mr Tashi Phuntsok, Director of Tibet Museum, read out a brief report on the Tibet Museum’s activities and campaigns over the last three years. He explained that one of the distinguishing features of the Tibet Museum is that, even though there are a few museums around Dharamshala, most of them presents only cutural or spiritual aspects of the Tibetan people, whereas the Tibet Museum features Tibetan historical and political narratives as well as culture and religion. He also spoke about the Tibet Museum’s online presence and its large repository of information and photos on Tibetan people’s early life in exile.
Director Tashi Phuntsok further called on the Tibetan public as well as tourists to visit the museum as much as they can to enhance their knowledge on the Tibet issue and also to amplify the Tibetan political narrative.
Chief guest Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay also released at the inauguration Tibet Museum’s exhibition catalog – “A Long Look Homeward” and DIIR Secretary Mr Sonam Norbu Dagpo launched a promotional video compiled by the Tibet Museum.
The three-day event will conclude on 20 May with a traditional Tibetan dance and gorshey (circle dance).