Report Filed by Office of Tibet, London
Riga, Latvia: The monks from Tashi Lhunpo Monastery were welcomed by local host and Tibet supporter Mr Janis Martin Skuja, Mr Janis Ziemelis, Ven. Margarita Putnina and other members of local Tibet support group upon their arrival in Riga.
The monks started creating the Peace Mandala on 5 September inside the stunning Fon Strika Villa where the monks are accommodated, an extraordinary venue used for a wide range of activities which is also a few minutes walk from Ganden Centre.
Peace Mandala is devoted to the elimination of negative actions in order to bring peace and harmony to the universe. The process of creation begins with a blessing ceremony and the mandala is created within two days, followed by the destruction and dispersal of the mandala, in order to spread the benefits of it as widely as possible.
On 6 September, the monks performed the Buddhist ritualistic dance (cham) at Origo Summer Stage, a modern shopping centre in the very centre of Riga next to the central city transport hub to an enthralled audience. The thunderous applause in the end said it all.
Over the past couple of days in Riga, visitors flocked to the Fon Strika Villa to observe the monks at their artistic work and interact with them. The locals and tourists alike were exposed to a wonderful sample of Tibetan Buddhist culture and tradition which spurred them on to take notice of Tibet and its history.
To sum up the Latvia leg of the Thank You Year Baltic tour was successful in creating more awareness about Tibet and its culture.
The support from Drikung Kargyu Centre, Rocketbean Café, Cysonia restaurant and Save Tibet to the monk group during the visit could not have come at a much better time. The group now moves on to Tallinn, Estonia for the last leg of their three-nation Thank You Year Tour to Baltic States.