TOKYO: Japanese and Tibetans in Japan joined the 4-day online Tibet Festival Japan organised by the Tibet House Japan coinciding the Golden Week holiday in Japan from May 2 – 5.
In his opening speech, His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Representative Dr. Arya Tsewang Gyalpo said the festival aims to celebrate the rich culture, religion and history of Tibet and to express deep gratitude to Japanese government and people, supporters and sponsors for their unwavering support for Tibet.
He said that such festivals provide opportunity to the Tibetans and Japanese to share each other’s rich culture and thereby strengthen the spiritual and cultural bond.
The festival began with traditional songs and dance performances by noted Tibetan singers and former artists of the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts like Genyen Tenzin and Tenzin Kunsang from Japan, Tsering Bawa and Tsering Youdon from the US, Kharag Penpa from Korea, Tenzin Choegyal from Australia and Loten Namling from Switzerland. Noda Megumi, a Japanese artist also presented a Tibetan song with Dranyen (Tibetan lute).
On the second day, Mr. Kunchok Sither from the Potala College in Tokyo gave a talk on Sand Mandala and its purpose and significance. The talk was followed by questions and answers session. In the afternoon session, staff from the Tibet House Japan, Mr Lobsang and Mr. Jigme, introduced Tibetan dishes like Thenthug, Pag and Butter tea.
The third day began with a talk on introduction to Buddhist meditation and practice by Geshe Tenzin Woeser, who is teaching Tibetan language and Buddhism at the Koyasan University in Japan. Later in the afternoon, video messages from the foster children from the Tibetan Children’s Village in Dharamshala, Central Schools for Tibetans, Tibetan Homes Foundation Mussoorie and Manjushree Orphanage in Tawang were streamed to thank their foster parents and sponsors in Japan for their generous and unwavering support in their education.
On the fourth day of the festival, Representative TG Arya gave a talk on Tibetan religion, culture and history. He talked on nine points relating to Tibetan religion and culture which the Tibet house members have suggested to speak on.
He also spoke on the importance of the Social, Emotional and Ethical Learning (SEE Learning), an academic collaboration that began in 1998 between Emory University and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. SEE Learning provides educators with a comprehensive framework for the cultivation of social, emotional and ethical competencies that can be used in K–12 education as well as higher education and professional education.
The festival was broadcasted through BlueJeans and Facebook Live. Most of the viewers joined Facebook live.
In their messages, the Japanese viewers of the festival said the festival was a precious opportunity to learn about Tibetan culture and Buddhism. They thanked Tibet House for organising the virtual event when people can’t go out from their homes during the Golden Week holidays given the Covid situation. Some viewers said the talks on meditation and breathing techniques were very helpful to practice in their daily lives.
-Filed by OOT, Tokyo