Lhakar in Dharamsala

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I never quite understood what it really meant to celebrate His Holiness’s birthday; it was a special day with sang-sol (incense offering) in the morning served with dresi (sweet rice mixed with butter & raisin) and bhoe-ja (butter tea) and followed by lots of dancing. Above all, it was always a school holiday.

It wasn’t so different until today when I realized and understood how it is not merely a celebration but something more powerful that dwells deep in every Tibetan.

One can experience it if listened carefully to the prayers of our elders during sang-sol. It can be witnessed in the colourful Tibetan traditional dress of kids playing around, It can be smelled through the trails of tsampa (barley) and incense flowing in the air.

I now understand how this has become not only a day of celebration but a moment for reclaiming our identity where once again all of us can be together in a Free and Independent Tibet.

I pledged on this Lhakar to wear Tibetan Dress every Wednesday. Now I am part of the movement.

Photos by Norbu Wangyal  and David Huang