DEHRADUN: The 22nd Tibetan Shoton (Yoghurt) festival began on 19 April at the Tibetan settlement of Dehradun in Uttarakhand. The Shoton festival celebrates the unique Tibetan artistic heritage of opera or Ache Lhamo.
The festival was inaugurated by Kyabgon Vajra Ratna Rinpoche, the 42nd Sakya Trizin at Norling Kyimoetsel. Rinpoche was welcomed at the inaugural function to the tune of musical performances by Mr Pesur Wangdue, Director of Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts along with the settlement officer and members of the local Tibetan assembly of Dehradun.
The inaugural function began with an offering of Mendrel Tensum (the three representations of the Buddha’s Body, Speech and Mind) to Rinpoche by Director Mr Pesur Wangdue. Following the offering, the idol of Mahasidha Yogi Thang Thong Gyalpo, the founder of Tibetan traditional opera was brought on stage. It was followed by introductory remarks by the director and the keynote address by chief guest Vajra Ratna Rinpoche.
The inaugural function also included a thirty-minute presentation of opera by each of the regional opera groups participating inn this year’s festival.
– Report filed in Tibetan by Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts –