Today is July 6th, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama’s 76th birthday. Photos of the Dalai Lama and speaking about him openly are banned in Tibet, but that will not keep Tibetans inside Tibet from celebrating. Outside, with no fear of political repercussions, there is a lot of celebration to be found.
His Holiness celebrated in Washington, D.C. this morning, and was honored by Martin Luther King Jr.’s son and Gandhi’s grandson at a celebration downtown that was streamed live to viewers across the globe. Today is the beginning of the Kalachakra for World Peace, a sacred Tibetan Buddhist ceremony that His Holiness is presiding over for the next ten days.
Wednesdays happen to be the Dalai Lama’s “soul day,” which makes this year’s birthday even more special. Every Wednesday, in honor of his “soul day,” Tibetans have been commemorating through a new movement called Lhakar. On Lhakar, Tibetans and Tibet supporters practice the art of nonviolent resistance and make a pledge to take action and assert Tibetan identity. Read more about Lhakar at http://lhakar.org/.
Lhakar Diaries has been officially launched today, which is an inspiring blog written by Tibetans every Wednesday, examining their identity, highlighting the situation in Tibet, and showing solidarity for Tibetans in Tibet. Read the incredible posts at http://lhakardiaries.com/.
Today, His Holiness gave a speech in Washington D.C. to Tibetans everywhere. He spoke in Tibetan, offering a summary in English afterward. He told Tibetans to educate themselves, and to focus on learning Tibetan well.
If you want to assist Tibetans’ quest to further their language and identity, please donate to Students for a Free Tibet, which is asking for donations in honor of His Holiness’ birthday in order to continue our work in nonviolent action and education for the Tibetan Freedom Movement.
SFT is a firm advocate and participant in Lhakar, recognizing that the expression of Tibetan culture and solidarity with Tibetans inside of Tibet is crucial to the end goal of freedom.
Today, SFT is asking that you donate some or all of today’s pay to ensure that we have the financial resources to continue building the global movement for Tibet’s freedom.
SFT is putting on three events during the course of the Kalachakra, and you are welcome to attend if you are in the D.C. area:
1. “Lhakar in Tibet” Teach-in
WHEN: Sunday, July 10 TIME: 5 – 7pm
WHERE: International Campaign for Tibet (1825 Jefferson Place NW, Washington, DC)
Come learn more about Lhakar, the most significant grassroots movement to emerge inside Tibet following the 2008 uprising. Every Wednesday, the Dalai Lama’s soul day, Tibetans are reclaiming and embracing their Tibetans identity by wearing traditional clothes, singing Tibetan songs, and eating Tibetan food. Tibetans are also refusing to buy from Chinese businesses in an effort to undermine their Chinese occupiers and support Tibetan businesses. For more information, go to: http://www.Lhakar.org Teach-in organized by Students for a Free Tibet
2. Global Day of Action for Kardze, Tibet
WHEN: Wednesday, July 13 TIME: 10 – 1pm
WHERE: Chinese Embassy (3505 International Place NW, Washington, DC 20008)
Daily protests continue in Kardze, eastern Tibet, as the Chinese government plans to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the “Peaceful Liberation” of Tibet with a propaganda celebration in Lhasa. Join Tibetans and Tibet supporters at the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C. as part of a Global Day of Action to stop the arrests and beatings in Kardze and to highlight the true reality of 60 years of failed Chinese policies in Tibet.
3. Tibetan Nomads’ Rights: An Evening of Poetry, Songs, and Activism
WHEN: Thursday, July 14 TIME: 5:30 – 7:30pm
WHERE: International Campaign for Tibet (1825 Jefferson Place NW, Washington, DC 20036)
Tibetan nomads – the keepers of Tibetan culture and tradition – have lived on the grasslands of the plateau for millennia. Today, the Chinese government is systematically forcing nomads off their land and into reservation-style housing blocks. Join Students for a Free Tibet for an evening of music and poetry and to find out how you can stand with Tibetan nomads as they stand for their rights.