Dharamshala: The Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA) celebrated its 62nd founding anniversary today with its annual summer festival and culture competition ‘Yarkyi’ between its two houses: Ngonpa and Gyalu. This year’s overall winner of the culture festival is Ngonpa House.
The chief guest at the ceremony was Sikyong Penpa Tsering of the Central Tibetan Administration, and the special guest was Shri Jambay Wangdi, Chairman, Department of Karmik and Adhyatmik (Choe-Rig), Government of Arunachal Pradesh. Shri Jambay Wangdi is currently in Dharamshala with a group of students from MIPA for a three-month crash course on vocal, music, composition, and dance performances at TIPA.
Other guests include Chief Justice Commissioner Sonam Norbu Dagpo and the two justice commissioners Karma Dadul and Tenzin Lungtok. Heads of the autonomous bodies, and Secretaries of the various departments of the Central Tibetan Administration were also present at the annual festival.
In his address, Sikyong Penpa Tsering spoke about the rich cultural bond shared by Tibet and its neighboring Himalayan regions particularly in the form of Tibetan Buddhism and medicine. He highlighted the increasing number of monks and nuns from the Himalayan regions enrolled in Tibetan monasteries and said this is all because of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s vision and blessings.
“Since Tibetan Buddhism is of immense benefit to all humanity, it is the farsighted vision of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to transform the Tibetan monasteries into something like the Nalanda university of ancient India or an institute of international Buddhist studies. Whether this vision becomes a reality or not is entirely in our own hands. Therefore, we must exert concerted efforts to make it come true,” Sikyong said.
Speaking about this year’s Yarkyi festival, he lauded the artists for their hard work and said it is obvious from the performances that a lot of effort has gone into the preparation. He said that the themes of the performances have deep-rooted meanings and evokes strong emotional reactions.
Addressing the issue of Tibetan internal politics, Sikyong emphasized the unity of the three traditional provinces as crucial for the advancement of the collective Tibetan movement. He explained that the inability of the Tibetan parliament to function properly has become a source of concern for all including the Tibetans inside Tibet, and noted that the Chinese government could misuse this situation for their own propaganda purposes.
He further explained that the current geopolitical situation vis a vis China is a great opportunity for the Tibetan movement but lamented the fact that we are engulfed in internal squabbles borne out of narrow partisanship. He said that we should realise that this internal conflict is extremely detrimental to the greater Tibetan cause.
“We don’t have a country or even a small plot of land to call our own. On top of that, our adversary is a superpower like China. Therefore, it is high time for us to come together and consolidate our efforts,” he said and appealed to everyone to come together and work for the common cause.
In his address, Shri Jambay Wangdi from the state government of Arunachal Pradesh, read out the congratulatory letter from Shri Pema Khandu, Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh. Expressing gratitude to TIPA on behalf of the Arunachal Pradesh people for providing training to the MIPA artists, Shri Jambay Wangdi spoke about the importance of preserving one’s own culture and traditions and hailed TIPA as a source of inspiration for all including the Monpas.
Sikyong also launched a few books published by TIPA on the occasion including a book on Tibetan emperor Tri Ralpachan, and three books on the core music curriculum of TIPA.