Friday, July 07, 2006

Dhasa Celebrates 71st B'Day While HHDL Rests, Cancels Europe Trip

By Phurbu Thinley

Dharamsala, July 6, 2006 -- Exile Tibetans and their friends today celebrated the 71st Birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in great festive mood in the northern Indian town of Dharamsala, while His Holiness the Dalai Lama spent his day resting due to some minor health concerns.

(Earlier in the day it was announced that the Dalai Lama cancelled a visit to Europe scheduled for July because of minor health concerns, the Office of Tibet in Paris said."The Dalai Lama's doctors told him to rest. It's nothing serious. He's just had a very busy schedule this year with lots of trips. He needs to rest," an official said. "So he had to take the decision to cancel all his commitments and trips scheduled for July to France, Finland and Spain," she said.)

The birthday celebration started with a very early morning good-will prayer for His Holiness and continued for the rest of the day with great enthusiasm.

The official function of the exile Tibetan government, however, began little later at around 9:00 AM and was held as usual at Tsuglakhang Temple near the home of the Dalai Lama.

This year's birthday celebration was led by Tibet's Prime Minister in exile, Samdhong Rinpoche and the Kalons (ministers of the exile government).

Tsuglakhang courtyard, where the function was held could hardly accommodate all the people who had gathered in such a large number to witness the function.

It’s definitely a very special day for Tibetan here which gives them endless reasons to take rest from their regular businesses and celebrate this memorable day in full spirit and gaiety.

After a series of "official" speeches, the public was entertained by various Tibetan organisations and schools, who presented songs and dances to add onto the already festive mood of the town.

The morning ceremony finally concluded in the afternoon at around 12:30 PM. Besides, various other entertaining events were planned for the day. Among these included the final game of the Inter- Regional Tibetan Youth Congress basket ball tournament at Gangkyi in the late afternoon, where so many eager fans assembled to support their teams. After four grueling quarters, it was Seeds Team who beat the Buds by 13 points to lift this year’s trophy.

Meanwhile, the local Taxi Union members of the town has also arranged Dham, a free-for-all feast to the public and sweets were distributed in the morning to mark the celebration of the day.

Finally, a Tibetan dance and music show was staged in honour of the event and to raise fund by the Tibetan Women’s Association at the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA).

The show definitely added more fun and entertainment before the festive day finally ended here in Dharamsala.