Dharamshala: The week-long Tibetan Shoton Festival concluded on 13 April with a day-long opera performance on “Prince Norsang” from the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA) at the institute’s premises.
Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel of the 17 Tibetan Parliament in Exile attended the festival’s closing ceremony as the chief guest along with education Kalon Tharlam Dolma, DIIR Kalon Norzin Dolma, Pro-tem Chief Justice Commissioner Karma Dadul, Justice Commissioner Tenzin Lungtok, Deputy Speaker Dolma Tsering Teykhang, Public Service Commissioner Wangdue Tsering Pesur and Auditor General Arya Pema Dadul. The event, gathered by Tibetan residents and students, also saw the presence of Secretaries and staff of CTA and Gaden Phodrang.
Before kicking off the opera presentation, TIPA’s Interim Director Sonam Choephel thanked USAID and Tibet Fund for financing the festival with Kashag’s backing while comparing the different opera traditions of the world including Tibet (14 CE), the European Opera (16th CE) and Peking Opera (18th CE). He also expressed concern at the dwindling number of participants and new enrolments into the Tibetan opera troupes at various locations which enhances the risk of losing the tradition in the future.
Emphasising the preservation and promotion of Tibetan Opera, Chief Guest Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel spoke about China’s systematic annihilation and manipulation of Tibetan culture which has left Tibetan culture in a precarious state. Hence, he commended every performer for their participation in conserving the Tibetan Opera, saying it indirectly benefits the Tibetan movement.
The members of the troupes were presented Tibetan ceremonial scarfs following the Speaker’s concluding remarks, and later in the evening of the same day, the Tibetan Opera Troupe of Nepal presented cultural dance and song at the Sikyong hall as a gesture of gratitude to CTA’s civil servants for their dedicated services.