The Third Gathering of Tibetans of Mixed Heritage started on October 9, 2017 in Dharamsala, India, with a special audience for the participants with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. It was the first time that His Holiness the Dalai Lama had given an audience only to Tibetans of mixed heritage.
Co-organiser of the gathering Kunsang Kelden, 32, USA, said: “Our participants bring with them their experiences and diverse backgrounds, all of which reflect the reality of Tibetans in exile. Our audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama lasted over half an hour and left a deep impression everyone in our group. In the audience, we were able to personally thank His Holiness for his encouragement and support of our initiative since the first gathering in 2014. His Holiness told us that we should focus on issues that unite us, not just as a Tibetan community but also work towards the oneness of humanity.”
The first gathering of Tibetans of Mixed Heritage took place in London, UK, in 2014, followed by a gathering in Zurich in 2015. In 2016, the Tibetans of Mixed Heritage were invited by the Office of Tibet to facilitate a session on mixed heritage at the Young Tibetan Leaders Summit at the Garrison Institute, NY.
Co-organiser of the gathering Georgina Doji, 32, UK, said:
“It’s exhilarating to be able to bring our participants together in the heart of the Tibetan community in exile for the first time. It brings home that while we all may be spread out geographically, we very much have a shared cultural history. Our differences bring us the valuable strength of diversity, but what we share brings us strength in our mutual support. We are a community within a community, and I can’t be prouder of what our participants are achieving.”
The 14 participants at the gathering are from India, Italy, Netherlands, France, UK, New Zealand, Canada and the USA. The ages of the participants range from 14 – 41 and include three sets of siblings. The aim of the conference is to provide participants with a space to meet together, share experiences and engage in conversation about identity, history, politics and culture. The programme will continue until Friday, 13 October with a varied formal component, workshops and invited guest speakers.
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