June 23, 2014, London: The first ever meeting of Tibetans of mixed parentage concluded successfully in London on Sunday evening after two days of workshops, guest speakers and informal evenings. Over 20 participants from UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, India, USA & Canada took part and shared their experiences.
In his message to the participants of the Meeting of Tibetans of Mixed Parentage, His Holiness the Dalai Lama said:
“At the present time one of our principal concerns is the preservation of the Tibetan language and culture, a culture focused on peace and non-violence, I would like to take this opportunity to encourage those of you who have a Tibetan father or mother, and an affinity for your Tibetan heritage, to strive for a deeper understanding of our Tibetan Buddhist culture so that not only you will benefit from it but also explore how you can help your Tibetan brothers and sisters to meet this challenge.”
Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay said in his message to the participants: “Your gathering is a visible affirmation of your Tibetan identity and a manifestation of the unity that is crucial to us, particularly at this difficult time.”
At the concluding session of the gathering, the participants planned to stay in touch and organise similar meetings in the future, possibly in Europe, USA and Dharamsala. “Coming into the room on the first evening it was an incredible feeling seeing faces who were so similar to my own. I grew up in the UK and lost touch with the Tibetan community when I was young so this has been the perfect way to reconnect,” said Georgina Doji, 28, from Cambridge, UK. Another participant, Dominik Chimey Knoepfel, 28, from Arizona, USA, said, “It was really important for me to attend this gathering. I’ve been in Dharamsala for the 5 past weeks and am heading back to India tomorrow to continue exploring my Tibetan heritage. I can really see myself playing an active role in Tibetan society.”
The participants collectively send the following message to the wider Tibetan community:
“As mixed Tibetans, we feel that we have a unique role to play in Tibetan society. Our mixed heritage gives us a perspective that is a little bit different but not in a negative way, our diversity is what makes us an asset to the community. We have to overcome setbacks in order to be included in Tibetan society, such as the language barrier or having different appearances, but we have a right to be here, we understand our place in history, and we feel that the unity of Tibetans is very important for the future of Tibet. To other mixed Tibetans out there, we encourage you to join us at future meetings and connect with us. Above all, this gathering has shown each of us that we are not alone, there are many other Tibetans of mixed parentage like us and we all share many similar experiences.”
The gathering for Tibetans of Mixed Parentage was held with the support of Tibet House Trust, London.
Chonpel Tsering, Tibet House Trust: firstname.lastname@example.org, +44 7823 322545
Kunsang Kelden: email@example.com, +44 7473 930476
For details of the weekend progamme see: http://mixedtibetans.tumblr.com/post/89407618344/first-ever-gathering-of-tibetans-of-mixed-parentage
For the full message from His Holiness the Dalai Lama see: http://mixedtibetans.tumblr.com/post/89444629684/message-from-his-holiness-the-dalai-lama-to-the
For the full message from Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay see: http://mixedtibetans.tumblr.com/post/89459627394/message-to-the-participants-of-the-gathering-for
For photos of the gathering see: https://www.facebook.com/groups/MixedTibetans/