Fujisan's Kyareng

Monday, February 25, 2013

Kalon Pema Chinjor in San Francisco

February 24, 2013 Sunday

དབུས་བོད་མིའི་བཙན་བྱོལ་སྒྲིག་འཛུགས་ཀྱི་ཆོས་རིག་བཀའ་བློན་སྐུ་ངོ་པདྨ་ཆོས་འབྱོར་ལགས་ཨ་རི་སན་ཕེ་རན་སི་ཀོ་ལ་ཆེད་ཕེབས་ཀྱིས་ས་གནས་མི་མང་ལ་ད་ལྟ་བོད་ནང་གི་ཛ་དྲག་གནས་སྟངས་དང་། བཙན་བྱོལ་བོད་མིའི་སྒྲིག་འཛུགས་ཀྱི་ལས་གཞི་ལས་འཆར། ད་བར་གྱི་ལས་བསྡོམས་སྙིང་བསྡུས་དང་བཅས་བཀའ་སློབ་ཟབ་རྒྱས་བསྩལ་གནང་བ།

San Francisco: Kalon Pema Chinjor visited San Francisco bay area today and addressed the Tibetan people at the Community hall in Richmond. He said that the visit was a part of effort by the Kashag [Tibetan cabinet] to reach the general public and Tibet supporters abroad. He said the Central Tibetan Administration stands for pure and genuine democracy, and in this democracy people plays a very important role, therefore, the Kashag’s effort to reach the people.
He talked about the on-going self immolation in Tibet. Since 2009, 104 people from three provinces of Tibet have burnt themselves to protest the brutal Chinese regime, and called for the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet. Most of the self immolators are young people brought up under the Chinese occupation. Chinese government has claimed that they have turned Tibet into a socialist paradise and that the Tibetan people are happy under their rule. But these self immolations by the young people convey the real situation in Tibet. Chinese government should accept the reality and resolve the Tibetan issue.

Tibetans in Tibet are not happy under the Chinese rule; this self immolation spat is a clear message to the world and to the Chinese government. We should all respect their sacrifice, and do our best to inform and reach their message to the international community. People in Tibet are relying heavily on Tibetan community abroad who are living in a free world. We should not let their sacrifice go astray.
Language is an important part of any culture. Tibetan language is the important link that connects the Tibetan people in unity; it is our identity and our cultural strength. When the Chinese government has failed to disintegrate the Tibetan unity, they are now trying to root out this important link, Tibetan language. Their policy is to destroy the language; this would lessen the cultural and religious strength, thus destroying the Tibetan identity.

Kalon also talked about how under the leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the exile-Tibetan are able to have a vibrant democratic setups. In order to make this democratic system strong and sustainable, Tibetans around the world should take active participation in it. In the next the election of Chitue, we should have many young and educated people aspiring to serve in our parliament, and in the election of Sikyong we should have number of Lobsang Senge and Dikyi Choyang to lead our struggle.

After the talk, the Kalon accepted questions from the audience, and there was an active discussion on number of issues relating to Tibetan situation, and the administration of Central Tibetan Administration. Answering a question related to Shugden, Kalon warned the Tibetan people of the Chinese government’s effort to create dissension among the Tibetans through the use of Shugdhen followers. People expressed happiness over the Kalon’s visit and thanked him for clarifying on many issues, and showed their unwavering support to the Kashag of Central Tibetan dministration.                              


Friday, February 15, 2013

Losar Decoration and Derkha

During Losar, altars in every Tibetan home are bountifully decorated with offerings. It is a Tibetan way of saying thanks to the nature, yulha and shidag for the good things they had in the passing year, and seeking blessing for the New Year.  Let me give a brief description of what is commonly found at the altar during the Losar celebration. They are: Derkha, Chemar / Chang-phuth, Bo, Yon-chab, Lug-go, and Lo-phuth.

Choeshom (མཆོད་གཤོམ།) is the altar where the Buddhas, gods, goddesses and deities dwell. It is also known by thongdrol chenmo (མཐོང་གྲོལ་ཆེན་མོ); meaning the great one that will liberate you on seeing it, and kunga rawa (ཀུན་དགའ་རྭ་བ།); meaning the great circle of happiness. On this Choehom, the choezes (མཆོད་རྫས།) are offered and displayed.
Derkha (སྡེར་ཁ།) is a pile of Khase (Tibetan cookies in different, mainly elongated shapes) offerings with other eatables. Der means plate; and Kha means mouth. So, it is a big plate in which lot of eatables are presented. Bongbu Achok literally means donkey’s ear. Why it is called donkey’s ear, nothing specific could be found; it may be because of its physical shape. Usually it is about one-feet in length and 5 inches wide. As it is soaked and prepared in hot boiling oil, it comes with an average height of 3 to 4 inches. It is sturdy and hard.
This Bongbu Achok is the pillar of the Derkha. Number of Achok for Derkha could be eight, ten, twelve and so on in even number. It can also assume odd numbers, when the base is made of three Achoks. Derkha is composed of six different khases. Achok, Nyashag, Tashi mugdhung, Kongche, Bolug khorlo, and Pinpin dhog dhog. All these are khase of different physical forms. Construction of Derkha is done to assume the shape of Tashi Taggye (the eight auspicious sign) in union. While official and monastic derkha are mostly constructed with its mouth facing downward, private home have the derkha with its mouth facing up. It is said that the private Derkhas are faced up so that various delicacies and sweats could be put inside the mouth of Achoks, while this is not done in official or formal Derkha.

It is also said that in order to have a harmony in the society, public authorities and public should have good communication. To indicate good communication and proper listening to each other, authorities’ derkha has the face down; and public derkha facing up, forming proper union facing each other.
Pic: Chemar in Bo [at Tibetan Association of Northerna California (TANC) Altar, 2013]

There is other theory as to why Achoks at Derkha are facing down. In Tibetan society, usually all the utensils, bowls, cups and containers are kept face down. If you keep any empty container facing up after washing it, you will be admonished to keep it facing down. This is because Tibet is a land of deities and spirits or ghost. Deities are propitiated often to subdue the malignant ghostly spirit harming the human beings. When the deities pursue the malignant ghost, the later often try to hide inside the utensils and containers. As the deities are sacred and clean, they can’t go inside the utensils and containers used by human beings. So, the ghost escapes from being caught by the deities. Therefore, all empty utensils and containers in Tibet are kept facing down. Official Derkha’s Achoks, which are empty, are kept faced down. Private home have their Achoks facing up because it is filled with other delicacies and sweets.
          Festival of Tibet, edited by Kalsang Khedup and Chung Tsering, Dept. of Education, CTA
          Bod-rgya tsigs mZod chenmo, dictionary
          Legend of Amche Raru by TG Arya

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Losar; The Tibetan New Year


ལོ་གསར་ཟེར་ན་ག་རེ་རེད།  དེ་ལོ་གསར་པ་དང་ལོ་ཏོག་གསར་པ་ཞེས་བོད་པ་དང་ཧི་ལ་ཡ་རི་རྒྱུད་དུ་ཡོད་པའི་མི་རིགས་ཀྱི་དུས་ཆེན་གལ་ཆེ་ཞིག་ཡིན།  ཕྱི་རྒྱལ་སྐད་ཡིག་ནང་ New Year ཞེས་གསར་པ་ལོ་ལབ་ཀྱི་ཡོད་འདུག་ནའང་། བོད་སྐད་ནང་ལོ་གསར་ Year New ལབ་ཀྱི་ཡོད། དེ་ཡང་ལོ་དེ་གསར་པ་ཡིན་དགོས་པ་ལས་གསར་པ་ལོ་ཡིན་དགོས་པ་མ་ཡིན་ཟེར། གསར་པ་གང་ཡང་ཡིན་སྲིད། དུག་ལོག་གསར་པ། དེབ་གསར་པ། གྲོགས་པོ་གསར་པ་སོགས་ཡོད། ལོ་དེ་བརྗོད་གཞི་ཡིན་པའི་ཆ་ནས་སྔོན་ལ་སླེབ་དགོས་པ་དང་། གསར་པ་དེས་བརྗོད་གཞིིའི་ཁྱད་ཆོས་ཡིན་པའི་ཆ་ནས་རྗེས་སུ་ཡོང་དགོས་ལ་སོང་ Year New དང་ལོ་གསར་ཡིན།
What is Losar? It is an important festival of Tibetans and people living along the Himalayan ranges to celebrate New Year or the New Harvest. Lo in Tibetan means Year; and Sar means New; therefore, Year New. Now, why Year New and not New Year as used commonly?  Tibetan language contends that it is the Year that is New, so the Year New (Lo-sar). New cannot be Year only, it can be anything; new dress, new book, new friends etc. As the Year that is subject of the topic, it should come first, and new being an adjective and ornamental to the subject should come later, therefore, Lo-sar; Year New.
ལོ་ནི་བོད་སྐད་ནང་ལོ་ཏོག་ལའང་གོ་གི་ཡོད། ལོ་གསར་ནི་ལོ་ཏོག་གི་ལོ་འགོ་གསར་པ་ལ་གོ་ཐུབ། འདི་ནི་ཤར་ཕྱོགས་དང་ནུབ་ཕྱོགས་རྒྱལ་ཁབ་མང་པོའི་རིགས་གཞུང་ནང་ལོ་ཏོག་གི་མཇུག་དང་འགོ་གཉིས་དེ་དུས་ཆེན་གལ་ཆེ་ལ་བརྩིས་ཏེ་སྲུང་རྩིས་བྱེད་ཀྱི་ཡོད་པ་དང་འདྲ་པོ་ཡིན། དེ་ནི་འབྱུང་བ་དང་། ལྷ་སྲུང་མ་དང་གཞི་བདག་རྣམས་ལ་འདས་ལོར་ལོ་ཏོག་ཡག་པོ་གནང་བར་ཐུགས་རྗེ་ཆེ་ཞུ་རྒྱུ་དང་། མ་འོངས་ལོ་གསར་པ་ལའང་ལོ་ཏོག་ཡག་པོ་ཡོང་རྒྱུར་འབོད་སྐུལ་དང་བྱིན་རླབས་ཞུ་རྒྱུ་ཡིན། བོད་པའི་ལོ་གསར་གི་མཆོད་གཤོམ་ལ་ལོ་ཕུད་དམ་ལྗང་ཕུད་འབུལ་སྲོལ་ནི་དེ་ལྟར་མཚོན་གྱི་ཡོད། འདིར་ལོ་ཟེར་ན་ལོ་ཏོག་དང་ཕུད་ཟེར་དང་པོ་ལ་གོ་གི་ཡོད། ལོའི་ལོ་ཏོག་དང་པོ་གྲོའི་ཉེ་མ་ལྗང་ཐིང་ངེར་ཡོད་པ་དེ་ཕུད་ཀྱི་ཚུལ་དུ་མཆོད་པར་ཕུལ་བ་དེ་ལོ་ཏོག་ཡག་པོ་ཡོང་རྒྱུའི་སྨོན་ལམ་དང་རྟེན་འབྲེལ་མཚོན་བྱེད་ཡིན་པར་སེམས།
Lo in Tibetan may also means harvest. It comes from the word ‘Lotok’. Here the Losar means the New Harvest. This is in conjunction with many eastern and western cultures, where the end and beginning of harvest is celebrated with great festivities. It is to thank the nature, gods and deities for bestowing a good harvest, and praying and seeking their blessing for a bountiful harvest in the coming year. Tibetan Lo-phuth, also called Jang-phuth, offered at the altar is symbolic of this fact. Lo here means Harvest as well as Year; Phuth means, the first offering. Young shoot of wheat grass, symbol of healthy harvest is offered at the altar to pray for good harvest.