23 October 2013 – Upper TCV, Dharamsala
Marking the 53rd Anniversary of the founding of the Tibetan Children’s Village School in Upper Dharamsala, today the Gyalwang Karmapa was guest of honor at a day of public celebrations. The school educates and raises young Tibetan refugee children, many with parents and families remaining in Tibet, and is currently home to around 2000 students and staff.
The Gyalwang Karmapa arrived around 9am, escorted by the school’s marching band, and took his seat on the balcony overlooking the outdoor arena. Shortly afterwards he was joined by Dr Lobsang Sangye, the Sikyong or Prime Minister of the Tibetan Government-In-Exile, while several thousand people filled the seats below.
Throughout the morning the Gyalwang Karmapa watched with enjoyment as the students offered a range of performances. The program began with a march-past of the entire student body, followed by the Tibetan and Indian national anthems and a minute’s silence in respect for those who have lost their lives in the Tibetan struggle.
After several speeches the school’s marching band then kicked off the student performances with an energetic drum piece. This was followed by a poignant song offered by the junior students on the theme of missing their parents back in Tibet, and remembering their great kindness. Next students offered a song and dance performance featuring vibrant costumes from the south-west region of Tibet.
The culmination of the morning’s program was a calisthenics display by 900 middle and senior students. Their simultaneous movements and precise arrangements created a striking effect, particularly when the students spread out and arranged themselves into large formations of words and symbols such as ‘Spread Love and Compassion’, ‘We Salute Our Martyrs’, and a symbol of the ‘Scales of Ethics’.
After enjoying lunch and paying a visit to the school’s Art Museum, the Gyalwang Karmapa then left to visit the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives in Dharamsala, where he spent time reading and researching with texts held there.