Dharamshala, 27 September 2022: As a part of the Tibet Museum’s Travelling exhibition, a 10-day-long (from 15 to 25 September) outreach program was held in Sonamling settlement, Ladakh, and three Tibetan nomadic camps (Nyoma, Hanley and Sumdo) in Jangthang areas of Ladakh. The program was drafted exclusively to reflect upon the life and struggle of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama for the Tibetan people through a pictorial exhibition that highlighted His Holiness’ tireless endeavours and extraordinary leadership. The program was also intended to create awareness about the new Tibet Museum and simultaneously express gratitude to the artefact donors who had played a prominent role in the success of the new Tibet Museum located in Dharamshala.
Under the guidance of Sonamling settlement’s Chief Representative Officer (CRO) Dhondup Tashi, along with sincere cooperation from the staff of the settlement office and administrators, staff, and students of Tibetan Children’s Village (TCV) Choglamsar, the first-day program was held on the 16 September 2022 (from 10 am to 4 pm) at TCV Choglamsar’s Auditorium. A panel exhibition titled ‘Pictorial biography of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama’ was put on display and also screened a short animation movie titled ‘In search of the Jewel’, which features searching for the reincarnation of the 14th Dalai Lama. Lhundup Namgyal, principal of TCV Choglamsar, gave an opening speech followed by an introductory note about the aims and objectives of the program from the Tibet Museum staff. An estimated 1000 students, teachers and staff attended the program.
The next day, on 17 September, a similar day-long program was held in the community hall of Sonamling Tibetan settlement. With profound assistance and support backed by CRO and Cooperative society of Sonamling, around 500 Tibetan residents from Choglamsar attended the program, treating the exhibition with great Importance. Simultaneously, the visiting team introduced the new Tibet Museum to the gathering and expressed gratitude to the object donors. CRO Dhondup Tashi addressed a welcome speech, followed by the screening of ‘In search of the Jewel’ and a short video on the collection, storage and conservation of artefacts at the new Tibet Museum. According to the visiting staff of The Tibet Museum, “The program was interactive, engaging and the public reaction was particularly emotional.”
On 18 September, the exhibition was displayed in the school auditorium of TCV Agling for class I to III students. Despite Sunday’s day off, there was no compromise in the gathering and the school administrators, staff, and students equally treated the exhibition with the utmost gravity and attended with great enthusiasm. Jigme Lhamo, the school’s computer teacher, helped the museum staff in arranging the projector and sound system and assisted in touring students. Since a large number of Tibetan reside in the Agling camp of Ladakh, the same program was held in the community hall for the general public on 19 September.
250kms away from Ladakh’s Leh, close to 2500 Tibetans live in Jangthang region, where the Tibet Museum carried forward its outreach program at the community hall on 21 September with support and coordination of Gen Urgen Dhondup, the camp leader of Nyoma. The exhibition was attended by TCV Nyoma’s 56 students and eight teachers in the afternoon, followed by the attendance of Tibetan residents (mostly herders) in the evening. “Their unwavering faith and devotion to His Holiness made the exhibition more than mere display”, said the Tibet Museum staff.
Subsequently, on the morning of 22 September, the same program was organised at the auditorium of TCV Hanley school, situated 2 hours away from Nyoma. The school’s Headmaster Karma Sonam and the camp leader generously coordinated and gathered as many public as possible for the exhibition, consisting 167 students, 30 staff and more than 50 Tibetan residents. The Tibet Museum staff gave a detailed explanation of all the panels to the students and general public during the program and also screened ‘Finding the Jewel’ and a short video featuring the museum’s storage and conservation of artefacts.
Eventually, the three-day program in Jangthang concluded with an exhibition in Sumdo Tibetan settlement on 23 September, where students of class I – III of TCV Sumdo school, teachers, and many settlement residents attended the exhibition with great fervour. The Tibet Museum staff toured the visitors throughout the exhibition panels and explained their role in the successful completion of the new Tibet Museum. Additionally, the team of Tibet Museum paid homage to the artefact contributions they have made during the museum’s object collection tour in 2018.
Throughout the programs held in different camps and schools in Sonamling settlement, teachers, students, and residents showed strong interest, eagerness and inclination toward the exhibition. Recalling the outreach program at Ladakh, the museum’s staff remarked, “The Tibet Museum is deeply grateful to the executives of the settlement office of Ladakh, School Administrators of TCV branches (Choglamsar, Agling, Nyoma, Hanley and Sumdo) and Camp leaders of Jangthang Tibetan settlements. As per the request and feedback received, the Tibet Museum wishes to organise more programs in the future.”
-Report filed by The Tibet Museum