Lhakar at Sarah College

[Guest post by Tenzin Paksam. College for Higher Tibetan Studies Sarah, India]

Last Wednesday, Lhakar was observed at Sarah, College for Higher Tibetan Studies. My friend, Pema Namgyal from Amdo, wore the complete Amdo chupa to class. When he entered class, everyone clapped and cheered him on. Usually the girls, not the boys, wear chupa everyday to class. Boys normally wear jeans and t-shirt. Ones in awhile, some boys will wear the Tibetan shirt (Bhod-su Won-ju). This was the first time since I joined Sarah that a boy wore the full chupa to class. Later in the day, encouraged by Pema Namgyal, I overheard a group of boys discussing the possibility of observing every Lhakar by wearing Bhod-su Won-ju.

It has been more then two years since the start of Lhakar revolution. I feel Lhakar is the most successful non-violent revolution by Tibetans inside. It has organically gained more momentum and success then anything we have seen inside and outside Tibet. I believe all Tibetans inside Tibet and across the diaspora must engage in Lhakar, it is both our right and duty.

Tibetans of all backgrounds can participate in the Lhakar movement with simple acts of wearing, speaking, and/or eating, Tibetan. In short, projecting your Tibetan identity despite where you live on Wednesday’s.

Sometimes, living in a Tibetan community, being Tibetan is not observed but assumed. No one talks or questions you about being Tibetan and what that means. Through Lhakar, we now have a platform to actively engage with our identity and what that means on a personal and national level.