Dalai Lama to turn 77 – day long celebrations on cards

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Dharamsala: Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso, the spiritual 14th Dalai Lama of Tibetans turns 77 on Friday, and the Tibetan Government in exile here has made preparations to celebrate the day.

Plans are afoot to celebrate the birthday in two shifts.

Morning celebrations are to be held at Tsuglagkhang complex, which is the main Tibetan Temple at McLeodganj and in the evening at the Institute of Tibetan Performing Art (TIPA).

The celebrations would be marked with traditional culture performances by the Tibetan artists and monks and nuns are to hold prayers for the long life of Dalai Lama.

The Central Tibetan Administration has formed an organizing committee to host the occasion.

“We are trying to secure more local participation this time as a gesture for expressing our gratitude towards the people of this state, said Tashi Phunstok, head of the organizing committee.

“Chief Minister PK Dhumal and all district officials have been invited for the occasion,” he added.

The birthday would be celebrated as the spiritual head of Tibetans after the Dalai Lama devolved his political powers to democratically elected leaders in exile.

Tenzin Gyatso, a shortened name of the Tibetan spiritual leader, was born on July 6, 1935 at Taktser in Qinghai (known by Amdo to Tibetans).

After an elaborate process, two years later, Tenzin Gyatso was identified as the reincarnated 13th Dalai Lama but was formally recognized as the 14th Dalai Lama on November 17, 1950 at the age of 15.

As Chinese forces began to occupy much of Tibet, the Dalai Lama fled homeland Lhasa in 1959 and took up residence here in Dharamsala.

With a life long struggle behind him but not wavering from adopting peaceful means and dialogue to obtain freedom for Tibetan people and a return home for the exiles, the Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.

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Arvind Sharma is an award winning bi-lingual journalist with more than 20 years of experience. He has worked with Divya Himachal, Dainik Jagran, Dainik Bhasker, Vir Partap, Ajit and PTI. In 2010, he was conferred the Himachal Kesri journalism award. He reports on the Tibetan Government in Exile, politics, sports, tourism and other topics. He lives in Dharamshala.

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2 Comments

  1. says: Matthew Reilly

    Greetings. Hopefully the key features of these very special celebrations can be broad cast on webcam. This way the whole world can enjoy the brilliant and colourful way the Tibetan people celebrate there devotion to His Holiness who is the supreme teacher of the Buddha Dharma in the world for this time. The great 14th Dalai Lama. Happy birthday. Mathuslagh. Swasti.

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