'Festival of Tibet 2000,'
a six-day long event organised by Friends of Tibet (INDIA)
and Tibetan Youth Congress was inaugurated by
His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama
in Bombay on March 12, 2000 at 4pm.
After an introduction by Sanjana Kapoor, industrialist Mukesh Ambani
welcomed the Dalai Lama, describing him as "a great philosopher
and teacher, the epitome of peace and goodwill...a messenger of
Lord Buddha's message of peace." He also said the city of Bombay
is blessed to have him here.
On his 90-minute speech on 'Ethics For The New Millennium', Dalai Lama made a strong appeal to the world to practice compassion if they wanted to be happy and at peace with themselves. Speaking in English with occasional help from his Tibetan translator, Dalai Lama said 'India is our Guru and we Tibetans are from a small land as disciples' and described Tibet's relationship with India as 'close' and 'something very special and unique' and thanked Indian citizens and the Government for preserving Tibetan culture while a cultural genocide is taking place in Tibet. The spiritual and temporal leader of Tibet and the winner of Nobel Peace Prize, Tenzin Gyatso, the XIV Dalai Lama said that it is important to realise that we all have the same potential of good and bad. Therefore, it is important to use the good potential to be a happier human being. If you have negative potential, you should be clear of the consequence of your actions. 'I believe that Tibetan spirituality and its unique cultural heritage is based on compassion and peace and therefore we can say that Tibetan culture is the culture of peace. He further stated that because of the influence of Buddhism, there is much emphasis on altruism in Tibetan culture' though there were different philosophies and religions, they proclaimed the same principles of love, peace, compassion, forgiveness and contentment.
Welcome Speech: Mukesh Ambani welcomes HH Dalai Lama
'Ethics For The New Millennium'
talk was followed by a question-answer session. Answering to
one of the questions Dalai Lama hoped that Tibet would soon be
free of Chinese rule. "If you look at Tibet from inside, it looks
hopeless. But, Tibet is also a part of the world. The Tibetan spirit
is very strong, specially among the younger generation.
Compared to the major illnesses in the world, my headache is much better"
Later, Dalai Lama released a book called
'Breaking Silence: In Support of Tibet'
published jointly by Friends of Tibet (INDIA) and Tibetan Youth Congress.
'Cham,' dance by the monks from Zongkar Choedhe Monastery and students from the SOS Tibetan Children's Village welcomed HH Dalai Lama at YB Chavan Auditorium and Prince of Wales Museum of Western India, two important venues of the six-day long event. Celebrated at five different venues in Bombay with more than 150 participants from all over the world, 'Festival of Tibet 2000' covered a gamut of activities — from films, music, dance, food, photo exhibitions and seminars.
The second and third day of the festival was dedicated to documentary, animation and feature films made on different aspects of Tibet. 'The Cup' was presented by Mahesh Bhatt, 'Kundun' and 'Tintin In Tibet' by Tulku Jamyang Kunga Tenzin, 'The Tibetan Book of the Dead' by Acharya Nyima Tsering and 'Shadow Circus: CIA in Tibet' by Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam, followed by a question-answer session. 'Dances From The Roof of The World', a package of 21 traditional dances and songs from different regions of Tibet were presented by the students from Tibetan Children's Village and monks from Zongkar Choedhe Monastery.
Other attractions of the festival were the four hundred year old tradition of the 'Butter Sculpture Making' by the Gyumed Tantric University; Poetry Reading by Tenzin Tsundue; exhibition and sale of 'Handicrafts' by Charitable Trust of HH Dalai Lama; 'Books' and Audio by Paljor Publications, Marg and Chetana; 'Thangka' (scroll) painting, 'Wood Carving', 'Carpet Weaving' by the Norbulingka Institute, free medical consultation and 'Pulse Diagnosis' by Men-Tsee-Khang and a 'Tibet Kitchen' to serve momos and butter tea.
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The 'Festival of Tibet 2000' has been an ambitious project,
which would not have been possible without the collaborated support and hard work
of many people. Chief among the people who made this possible, have been
our sponsors Reliance Industries and Piramal Enterprises
and hundreds of volunteers from worldwide who put in so much enthusiasm and effort.