Emory Report
March 23, 2009
Volume 61, Number 24

Tibet Week events
For a full schedule of
the March 23–28 Tibet
Week events, visit tibet.emory.edu/news/



Emory Report homepage  

March 23
, 2009
Tibet Week marks 50 years of struggle

By carol clark

Tibet Week, which begins on campus Monday, March 23, holds special significance this year. It was 50 years ago in March when an anti-China rebellion erupted in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama XIV left to take up asylum in India. More than 100,000 Tibetans followed the Dalai Lama into exile.

While the annual event will mark a somber anniversary, it will also be filled with the optimism and exuberant cultural displays inherent to the Tibetan way of life.

In these difficult economic times, Tibet Week offers the wider Emory community both a respite, and a chance to put things in perspective, says Geshe Lobsang Tenzin Negi, senior lecturer of religion and director of the Emory-Tibet Partnership. “We will be holding chanting and prayer sessions dedicated to relieving the suffering of the Tibetan people,” Negi says.

“These prayers will also be dedicated to alleviating the great stress and uncertainty caused worldwide by the global economic crisis.”

This year’s Tibet Week features master painter Tenzin Norbu from the renowned Norbulingka Institute of Tibetan art, and Dolmakyap Zorgey, director of the institute. Norbu will give demonstrations of the painting of sacred Tibetan thangkas — the ornate silk scrolls that depict deities using distinctive colors and techniques. A panel of experts will discuss the significance of the thangkas.

Lobsang Nyandak, the Dalai Lama’s representative in the Americas, will speak during a presentation by the
Emory Tibet Science Initiative at. on Wednesday, March 25. Faculty involved in the ETSI — which is teaching modern science to Tibetan monastics in India — will describe the challenges and rewards of the initiative since it was launched last year.

One of the biggest challenges of the ETSI is translating modern scientific terms into the Tibetan language. The first International Conference on Translating Modern Science into Tibetan will be held on campus during Tibet Week, drawing translators from both inside Tibet and the exile community.

The success of the ETSI inspired the Emory-Tibet Partnership to launch a summer study abroad program on Tibetan mind/body sciences.

In May, students from Emory and other universities will depart for Dharamsala — the heart of the Tibetan exile community in India — to study Tibetan traditions of mental and physical well-being.

The Western students will have a chance to meet with the monastics who are studying modern science in the ETSI program. The itinerary will involve several field trips, including one into the Doladar mountains, to learn first-hand from traditional Tibetan doctors about medicinal plants. Tibet Week will offer
students a taste of what they could experience during the summer.