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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Nourishing Tibetan Identity in the U.K.

August 5, 2009

August 4, 2009

The annual 5 day summer camp for Tibetan children
and teenagers in the UK was held from Monday the
27th July to Friday the 31st July, 2009. This was
the third camp since the inception of Young
Tibetans Educational Club (Y-TEC), in 2006. This
year’s camp had the highest attendance yet, of 48
campers including the children, youth leaders and
parents. The camp was held at the Woodland Centre
of The Ruskin Mill College in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire.

The camp uses informal education methods to
encourage the children to learn more about their
Tibetan heritage. Each day at camp began with an
assembly where the Tibetan national anthem was
sung. During the course of the camp, sessions
included "Gom" (meditation), "Bhoeyig" (Tibetan
writing/calligraphy), "Yinjo" (altar),
Citizenship and History workshops. A themed walk
of "Ne-khor" (Pilgrimage) took the children
through various pilgrimage sites in Tibet
including Labrang, Khawa Karpo and Ghang
Rinpoche. “It was memorable”, commented one of
the parents, referring to the walk and the
various people the children met along the way,
including an Amdo nomad, a Khampa businessman and a farmwoman from U-Tsang.

The penultimate day had the children taking a
trip to Cotswold Water Park where the children
had a chance to participate in
high-ropes/climbing course and also in sailing
and windsurfing. These courses are designed to
develop team work and confidence.

The final day began with Sangsol (incense
offering ceremony), followed by the children
presenting their butter sculptures, and prayer
flags with their own prayers written on, Tibetan
dance and a woodwork project. The camp concluded,
on an emotional note, with the hard work done by
the children, being dedicated to the Tibetans in
Tibet. The children were reminded that they were
the future of Tibet and in being so, had to take on that responsibility.
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