Dharamsala: Losar start of the 2141 Tibetan New Year today was held here by Tibetan community feeling the pain and longing for a home land that they stand exiled from.
To protest the occupation of Tibet by China, a student Tenpa Dhargyal started a 72 hour fast in front of the Martyrs Pillar inside the premises of the Tsuglakhang (the main Tebetan Temple ) at McLeodganj today.
Tenpa who escaped to India after taking part in an anti China protest in Tibet during the 2008 nationwide protests, said, “I will not celebrate the Tibetan New Year, instead will sit without food and water during the first three days of New Year as a mark of solidarity with the Tibetans in Tibet.”
He added, “I wanted to extend my support to Tibetans protests inside Tibet and show my solidarity with the family and relatives of the Tibetans who have resorted to self immolation as a form of protest.”
Since 2009, 127 Tibetans, have set themselves on fire demanding the exiled Tibetan leader Dalai Lama’s return and end to China’s repressive policies against Tibetans.
“We can’t forget the brave actions of our martyrs and thousands of Tibetan who continue to fight against the repression in Tibet,” said Tenpa, who is a student at the Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies, Sarah in Dharamsala .
Loser is celebrated for 15 days, with the main celebrations on the first three days of the first lunar month. This year Losar is being celebrated as Male Wood Horse.
The Losar is also celebrated in Nepal and India as well, where there is a strong concentration of the Buddhist population in the states like Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Himachal and Ladakh in Kashmir. The Monpa tribe of Tawang and the Memba of the Mechukha valley of Arunachal celebrate Losar. Yet the Memba of Mechukha celebrate Losar one month earlier than the other Losar-celebrating peoples.
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.