Home BREAKING NEWS 27th Tibetan Shoton Festival Begins in Dharamshala, Kundeling Tatsak Rinpoche Graces the...

27th Tibetan Shoton Festival Begins in Dharamshala, Kundeling Tatsak Rinpoche Graces the Festival’s Inaugural

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Kyabje Kundeling Tatsak Rinpoche addressing the gathering during the opening ceremony of the 27th Tibetan Shoton Festival. Photo / Tenzin Jigme Taydeh / CTA

 The 27th annual Tibetan Shoton Festival (yoghurt festival) in exile kicked off today at the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA) in Dharamshala to celebrate Tibetan opera from 10 – 22 April 2024.

By  —  BT NEWSDESK

Kyabje Kundeling Tatsak Rinpoche Jetsun Tenzin Chokyi Gyaltsen graced the opening ceremony of the festival as chief guest, along with officiating Sikyong Tharlam Dolma Changra, Kalon (Minister) of the Department of Education, and Deputy Speaker Dolma Tsering Teykhang from the Tibetan Parliament in Exile.

Election and Public Service Commissioner Wangdue Tsering Pesur, Standing Committee Members and Dharamshala-based Parliamentarians of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile, Secretaries and staff of the Central Tibetan Administration, Secretaries of the Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Dharamshala Tibetan Settlement Officer, Members of Local Tibetan Assembly and Tibetan Freedom Movement, and representatives of the Tibetan NGOs and institutions also attended the festival’s inaugural.

Following a day-long display of each opera story’s preview from the participating troupes, chief guest Kundeling Tatsak Rinpoche delivered a keynote speech. “Despite Tibet’s continued difficulties and the geographical separation of Tibetans inside and outside of Tibet, we should be proud of our capacity to host the Shoton Festival of this magnitude in exile, drawing ever-larger crowds of participants,” said Rinpoche while commending the members of opera troupes for their devotion and dedication to preserving the rich opera tradition of Tibet. The chief guest went on to say that it was His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s leadership that empowered the Tibetan people to preserve and honour their rich cultural heritages and hence advised all the Tibetans to remember the benevolence of His Holiness time and again and adhere to His noble guidance. Rinpoche further emphasised the collective efforts of every Tibetan in maintaining Tibet’s unique traditions, including Tibetan opera.

After concluding the address, Kundeling Tatsak Rinpoche handed over a cheque of 1 Lakh rupees to each troupe group, a small contribution from the Department of Religion and Culture, CTA, for their sustenance.

Over the course of the 13-day Shoton Festival, Tibetan troupes from various settlements will present different Tibetan opera performances.

Access the Shoton Festival’s Program Schedule below:

Date Time Troupe Story
11 April 9.00 am Kalimpong and Odisha Opera Association Drowa Sangmo
12 April 9.00 am Nepal Opera Association Choegyal Drimey Kunden
13 April 9.00 am Chaksampa Opera Company Sukyi Nyima
14 April 9.00 am THF School Kenlop Chosum
15 April 9.00 am Mainpat Opera Association King Jigten Wangchuk
16 April 9.00 am Kollegal Opera Association Chungpo Dhonyo Dhondup
17 April 9.00 am Bylakuppe Opera Association Pema Woebar
18 April 9.00 am Bhandara Opera Association Chungpo Dhonyo Dhondup
19 April 9.00 am TCV Chauntra Mila Repa
20 April 9.00 am TCV Upper Sukyi Nyima
21 April 9.00 am Mundgod Opera Association Choegyal Norsang
22 April 9.00 am TIPA Dhepa Tenpa

Director of TIPA, Dhondup Tsering, delivering opening remarks on the first day of the 27th Tibetan Shoton Festival. Photo / Tenzin Jigme Taydeh / CTA

Tibetan Parliamentarians and Secretaries of the Central Tibetan Administration observing a minute mourning for the sudden demise of Secretary Chime Tseyang. Photo / Tenzin Jigme Taydeh / CTA

Officiating Sikyong Kalon Tharlam Dolma Changra and Election & Public Service Commissioner Wangdue Tsering Pesur seeking blessing from the Kyabje Kundeling Tatsak Rinpoche upon the latter’s arrival. Photo / Tenzin Jigme Taydeh / CTA

Deputy Speaker Dolma Tsering Teykhang during the opening day of the 27th Tibetan Shoton Festival. Photo / Tenzin Jigme Taydeh / CTA

A group of artists performing Ache Lhamo. Photo / Tenzin Jigme Taydeh / CTA

Members of a troupe displaying their performance during the inaugural of Shoton Festival. Photo / Tenzin Jigme Taydeh / CTA

Kyabje Kundeling Tatsak Rinpoche delivering a keynote address at the opening ceremony of the 27th Tibetan Shoton Festival. Photo / Tenzin Jigme Taydeh / CTA

Kyabje Kundeling Tatsak Rinpoche presenting sustenance fund from Department of Religion and Culture to a representative of troupe. Photo / Tenzin Jigme Taydeh / CTA

A school girl savouring yoghurt during the inaugural ceremony of the Tibetan Yoghurt Festival. Photo / Tenzin Jigme Taydeh / CTA