Tibetans celebrate Losar



CHICAGO:  Tibetan New Year Losar was celebrated with joy and fervor at the Tibetan Alliance Center of Chicago, in Evanston recently.  Losar is celebrated over a period of  5 -10 days. This year is the Tibetan year of the Iron Mouse. Delicacies like “Khapse”and other sweets were made and distributed.

Dressed in ethnic clothes with turquoise and coral-encrusted belts and earrings with bright shining “Chubas” or long flowing embroidered garments, Tibetans celebrated the occasion. “Sangsol” ceremony or incense burning was also performed.

The Tibetan community did prayers in the morning followed by lunch and then the ladies formed a circle dance called “Dorshe”in sync with Tibetan songs. Tsering Dolma said she comes every year for the New Year celebration with her husband.She was dressed in her traditional attire – the “Chuba.”

Chinese restrictions on Tibetans have been imposed in Nepal due to a recent Sino-Nepalese Trade agreement.Nepal has agreed not to recognize Tibetan refugees and has also repatriated some Tibetans born in Nepal back to Tibet.

“Local Tibetans will participate in the March rally,” Current TibetanAlliance President Dawa Chodak said. He was born in Tibet and came to India at a young age and studied at Tibetan children’s Village (TCV) school in Mundgod in Karnataka.

Tibetan women form a circle to dance "Gorshe" dance at the Tibetan Alliance of Chicago in Evanston, IL.
Tibetan women form a circle to dance “Gorshe” dance at the Tibetan Alliance of Chicago in Evanston, IL.

Tibetan Uprising Day, observed on March 10, commemorates the 1959 Tibetan uprising against the presence of the People’s Republic of China in Tibet. The failure of the armed revolution led to a violent crackdown on Tibetan independence movements and the flight of the Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso into exile to India.

He visited China last year and said he could not access YouTube, Facebook, and Google in China as the Chinese Communist Party imposes restrictions and spreads only that news it approves.

“China lies, People die,” Chodak said. Of the recent Coronavirus spread through China Chodak said that the whistleblower doctor Dr. Li Wenliang who first exposed the truth about the spreading of the virus, faced government penalties and died soon. He warned doctors on Dec. 30 of the virus and urged them to wear protective clothing. He was accused of “making false comments” that had “severely disturbed the social order.” Police investigated him for spreading rumors.

Chodak said, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is doing a lot for Tibetan people to check China for its human rights violations with the Reciprocal Access Tibet Act (RATA). U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote on Twitter in December last year “From #Tibet to #Xinjiang, the Chinese Communist Party’s repressive campaigns are not about combating terrorism. The #CCP is attempting to erase its own citizens’ faith and cultures. All societies must respect and protect religious freedom.

According to International Campaign for Tibet, the first standalone Tibet legislation to ever make it through the United States Congress, RATA requires the State Department to revoke or deny U.S. visas to the Chinese officials substantially involved in creating and executing policies that keep Americans out of Tibet.

The last State Department report, released March 25, 2019, documents outrageous attempts by Chinese authorities to keep Americans out of Tibet in 2018, including repeatedly denying requests to visit from the U.S. ambassador and other US officials, directly threatening to expel journalists and cruelly preventing Tibetan-Americans from seeing their homeland, which has been in the grips of a brutal Chinese occupation for the past 60 years.

Jeremy Pardoe, who keeps the data and historical records about Tibetans living in Chicago, had organized an exhibition celebrating 25th anniversary of Tibetan community coming to Chicago at the Noyes Cultural Art Center in Evanston. The exhibits included photos, letters, and portraits.