徳島 英会話教室 

Tibetan New Year

Today is the Tibetan New Year, also known as Losar by Tibetans around the world!  The Tibetan New Year is not always the same date each year as on the western calendar, because the Tibetan calendar is made up of twelve lunar months and Losar begins on the first day of the first lunar month.  Traditionally, the Tibetan New Year is celebrated for 15 days with the first three days being the most important; however, most families today will take one day to observe the holiday.  Having grown up in the United States, I can’t speak personally for all the many rituals that take place over the 2-week holiday, but I do have fond memories of my mother preparing for each upcoming new year by making traditional Tibetan New Year food and drinks.  A weekend evening party of Tibetan families in our community were also a fun festive time to celebrate Tibetan culture and reunite with friends and family.  Unfortunately for those Tibetans living in Tibet today, there is little cause for celebration as the Chinese government has once again increased security in the region leading up today’s holiday and next months commemoration of Tibetan Uprising Day.  This increased security includes restricting international media, a tactic often used by Beijing when swift punishments behind closed doors is the preferred measure of action over due-process.  The effort to bring attention to the lack of human rights in China have taken to desperate measures this past year for Tibetans.  There have been over 20 Tibetans, many buddhist monks who have resorted to self-immolation in Tibet, in other words burning themselves to death in protest of Beijing’s restrictions on Tibetan culture and religious practice.  In my opinion, these sacrifices in this most horrific manner are both acts of heroism and desperation.  Heroism in terms of dieing for what one believes in and desperation, because the screams of injustice have fallen on deaf ears as world leaders continue to bow to the power of a growing China by allowing these civil rights abuses to continue without international scrutiny.  Today plans to be a somber beginning to the Tibetan New Year for Tibetans around the world, as the head of the Tibetan government-in-exile, Lobsang Sangay, called on Tibetans not to celebrate the new year, but instead to “pay tribute to and pray for those brave men and women who sacrificed their lives for the just cause of Tibet.”

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