Lhakar at Sarah College ས་རཱ་སློབ་གཉེར་ཁང་ལ་ལྷག་དཀར་སྲུང་རྩི་བྱེད་པ།

Last week for Lhakar I joined three other contributors from Lhakar Diaries, Dorjee Tseten, Pema Yoko and Dawa L. along with the Editor of High Peaks Pure Earth, Dechen Pemba to talk about Lhakar at the College for Higher Tibetan Studies at Sarah, Dharamsala, India.

I’ve heard of Sarah over the years from friends and family who’ve always referred to it as one of the most well regarded schools for Tibetan language and Buddhist studies, so I was happy to finally visit for the first time.  Just over 30 minutes drive down from Mcleod you can feel the heat rising and the air thickening in just one short ride. It must be at least 10-15 degrees hotter but it feels like 20 and you can tell the difference as soon as you roll down your window and breathe in the hot, humid air. It feels so thick you can slice right through it.

We joined Dawa and Yoko who were there studying there for the summer and sat on a panel in front of around a hundred students who came to hear us talk about Lhakar. I’m not sure if it’s just because they’re used to the heat but I think we were all trying our best to stay cool in that room. Dechen spoke first, giving a presentation about Lhakar online, starting with a blogpost from 2010 about the Lhakar movement in Tibet. She spoke about the overall Lhakar presence online and in social media, giving examples from different social networking sites and sharing anecdotes from friends, which serve as examples of Lhakar in Tibet.

The room was packed full of people, who despite the heat listened patiently to each of us talk about Lhakar and our own experiences with Lhakar Diaries. We also shared our thoughts on Lhakar as a movement of non co-operation and sustainability that Tibetans all around the world can participate, as well as how each of us can think of creative ways to acknowledge Lhakar that moves beyond the idea that Lhakar is just wearing your chuba or eating momos for dinner.

Towards the end there was barely any time for questions but someone did ask how we could expand Lhakar, and how we can think of the next steps forward in terms of what people can do. It was the perfect question to end with, and one I think, that stayed with each of us as we left Sarah that afternoon.

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