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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Tibet Exhibit wins "Most Informative" prize at the Asian Festival in Virginia

August 6, 2009

August 5, 2009

The 6th Annual Asian Festival took place in
Reston, Virginia on August 1 & 2, 2009. Over
54,000 people attended the two-day festival where
16 Asian countries including Tibet, shared their
unique culture, music, food, fashion, and
handicraft. The weather was sunny as people
mingled around, sampling authentic specialty
dishes and visiting booths selling merchandise from all over Asia.

Three different stages highlighted Asian
performers and six exhibit booths were showcased
by Tibet and the embassies of Thailand, the
Philippines and South Korea, as well as Laos, and Cambodia.

The Tibet exhibit was organized by the PTA of the
Capital Area Tibetan Association (CATA)'s Tibetan
Language School. PTA President Tenzin Lhundup
said one of the main reasons for participating
was to increase the visibility of Tibet and
counter Chinese propaganda trying to show
Tibetans as a happy Chinese minority and denying
the truth of Tibet as an occupied country.

Although this was their first time participating
in the festival, the Tibet exhibit was awarded
the "Most Informative" prize. Other prizewinners
were the Philippine Embassy for "Most Colorful"
and the South Korea Embassy for the "Most Innovative".

The organizers and visitors to the Tibet exhibit
said there was not enough easily accessible
information about the real Tibet and they said
they learnt a lot about Tibet from this exhibit
which they found "fun and enjoyable" because of
the one-one interaction with the Tibetan exhibitors.

Using personal items from individual members'
homes, the Tibet exhibit's centerpiece was an
altar with statues, offerings, lamps, as well as
Tibetan New Year decorations such as Chemar,
flowers, etc. The exhibit also included displays
of Tibetan currency, figurines of yaks, people in
various regional clothing, and monks in various
ritual stances, as well as maps and pictures of
Tibet, poster boards with historical facts and
figures about Tibet, and information about the
Congressional Gold Medal Award to His Holiness
the Dalai Lama in Washington, DC in 2007. A table
included handouts, free "Free Tibet" bumper
stickers and petitions sign-in sheets for the
release of Dhondup Wangchen, the Tibetan
filmmaker who has suffered severe torture and has
been under arrest by the Chinese government for over a year.

In addition to the Tibet exhibit, children and
teachers Karma Gyaltsen and Tashi Yangzom from
the Tibetan School sang and performed dances on
the main stage. Prior to our performances, CATA
President Kalden Lodoe gave a brief speech saying
that over the last fifty years Tibetan culture
and religion is being destroyed in Tibet under a
systematic policy so we have a huge
responsibility to preserve our cultural in exile.
He pointed out that there is a group claiming to
be "Tibetan" who are performing heavily Sinicized
"Tibetan " dancing and he believes this group is
not Tibetan. He said, we are the sole group that
represents Tibet and he called on the other group
to stop their false claim to being Tibetans.
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