Dharamshala: Getting nostalgic about the childhood spent in Tibet, His Holiness the Dalai Lama in his address to the participants of 25th Shoton festival on Thursday here said, “I am delighted over the commencement of the Shoton festival adding that the festival brings fond memories of Tibet where it is celebrated with much fervour and gusto. Tibetans in exile must continue to protect and preserve that culture.
He added, “We cannot resort to violence and banish the Chinese out of our land. However, we can definitely learn to coexist peacefully through the approach of middle way policy while we continue to preserve our own identity.”
“Moreover, there is widespread interest among the Chinese today toward Tibetan Buddhism and its scientific approach that relies on logic and reasoning through investigation. Even scientists around the world are experimenting with the viability of the correlations of science and Buddhism” added His Holiness.
The eight participating troupes of the 25th Shoton festival being held in Dharmashala along with participants of the Middle Way Approach Conference had a special audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Thursday In the courtyard of Tsuglagkhang. the main Tibetan Temple In Dharamsala HP India.
“We owe extensive gratitude to King Songtsen Gampo for introducing Buddhism and Tibetan script that we so proudly promote today” the Dalai Lama said, urging Tibetans, particularly the millennials to continue to preserve Tibet’s heritage.
Following His Holiness’s address, the representative of each opera troupe presented a segment of Namthar (biographical stories) to His Holiness.
A total of 8 opera troupes are currently in Dharamshala to participate in the weeklong Shoton festival – a grand official cultural event that began on 6 April and will conclude on 13 April. The Tibetan opera festival, known as the ‘Shoton’ or ‘Yogurt’ festival is being held at the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA). Sikyong (CTA President ), Penpa Tsering gave the inaugural address and announced the commencement of the festival.
“Performance drama is also a form of knowledge production. The legendary stories have morals that we can apply to ourselves. I congratulate all the participants of the festival for coming out here today. I am delighted to see a lot of young Tibetans participate in this festival today.” Penpa Tsering said in his inaugural speech.
The eight troupes participating in this year’s edition of the Shoton festival are from Mussoorie, Poanta, Chaksamapa, USA, Kalimpong, Bhandara, Kollegal and Nepal the 8-day festival will conclude on April 13 with each group performing a different Lhamo story.
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.