Lhakar is born in Calgary!
I knew within my self that I had to do something more but was a little lazy.. “life got in the way”, “I have more important things at the moment”, “someone else will go today to that rally”, “oh there are lots of people fighting for Tibet” “oh I need to make money” and so on and on. I think that there are many of us who go through a similar scenario in our head. But the fact of the matter is, if WE the Tibetan people are not fighting for Tibet, who are we kidding to believe that others will join us. I am not much of a historian but this I know- if you look at history, it was not the British that gave India its freedom – it was the people of India themselves. Similarly the anti-apartheid movement in Africa and the civil rights movement in America was led by the people, for the people who were being oppressed.
Later on, I started to think, how can I, how can WE sit idly and expect Tibet to gain freedom. It’s like the 21st century way of thinking where you wait for things to be served to you and if the problem is not at my door step then its not my problem! The more I thought, the more things seemed to be out of hand and the more intimidated I felt. Then what did I do – well not much actually, I spent some time here and there looking up Tibetan history and what was going on today within Tibet. I had zero interest in politics and that how it was going to stay. It was a brief moment of self preservation.
Then recently this summer a position opened up for a regional coordinator in Alberta and I figured there was no better way and an opportunity to get back into the Tibetan spirit. So I told my self why not apply and if I got it that would be awesome and if I didn’t then well someone more capable would get the position! I figured the biggest challenge would be getting people more interested and involved in the Tibetan movement!
I feel that as individuals, each us of have our own struggles that is constantly staring us down or up! I know someone out there would “disagree”, but being born a Tibetan outside of Tibet, I see some benefits we must not let go to waste. We are faced with a challenge from the get go, but let us not forget that we get so many opportunities and benefits, such as the opportunity to learn multiple languages. Whether you are born in India, Nepal,United States, France, Germany or anywhere in the world, we get to be a part of something that has been struggling yet still thrives for many decades – it allows us to value things that most people would take for granted, simply being Tibetan allows us to have different view point – we get to share our inherent sense of compassion, cultural and moral values with others.
Lhakar, or ‘White Wednesday’, is an opportunity to assert our Tibetanness. Although it started in Tibet since 2008, it is a movement that has taken over across the world in Tibetan communities.
Its been a good two weeks since I started as SFT’s regional coordinator in Calgary, and we have already started observing Lhakar here in Calgary. The first time we started, we had a vigil for the two recent self immolators, and during the second Lhakar, we we provided T-shirts, iron-on and fabric paint and asked people to write their names as well as other things in Tibetan. Its a really good feeling to be able to bring out and get them involved. If you are interested you can check out the pictures on http://www.facebook.com/groups/339250982817266/ I hope this is a start to a very long lasting, meaningful and good opportunity for us Tibetans within Calgary.
Lastly I would like to say that despite all the challenges we face, I strongly believe that there will come a time where all Tibetans are united, and we will stand and rise together as one.