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Dalai Lama's 75th birthday: Tibet Festival in the Park

July 5, 2010

One day to go; weather forecast looking good and
a great line up of Tibetan performances and workshops ...
 From Tibetan Commemorative Committee -- London UK
July 2, 2010

Date: Saturday 3rd July
Time: 12noon - 6pm
Place: Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park, London SE1
6HZ (next to Imperial War Museum)

More info:

Don’t miss London’s first "Tibet Festival in the
Park!" Tomorrow, in a free festival that
celebrates the life and ideals of the Dalai Lama
and showcases the endangered traditions and
culture of Tibet, the Geraldine Mary Harmsworth
Park (near the Tibetan Peace Garden1 that was
opened by the Dalai Lama in 1999), will be
buzzing with musicians, entertainers and
performers from Tibet and around the world. There
is a great line up of Tibetan artistes,
workshops, stalls and other activities to keep
everyone occupied through the afternoon.

There will also be the chance  to write an
individual birthday message to the Dalai Lama on
a colourful windhorse (paper prayer flags). All
messages will be included in a special windhorse
display and sent to the Dalai Lama.

The afternoon’s attractions and activities include:

· Dramatic traditional sacred Buddhist dances by
the Tashi Lhunpo monks of Tibet2

· Traditional and modern songs by world renowned
Tibetan singer Soname3 and young and upcoming singer Lhodup Gyaltso4

· Mongolian overtone chanting by Michael Ormiston and Candida Valentino5

· Colourful Tibetan dances and music from the
Tibetan Community in Britain dance group

· Parade of Tibetan costumes

· Tibetan traditional cuisine, including Tibetan
tea served in a Tibetan nomadic tent and momos (steamed dumplings)

· The history of Tibetan medicine and traditional herbs exhibition

· Opportunity to write personal birthday messages
to the Dalai Lama on a windhorse (paper prayer flag)

· "Lhasa Bazaar," a variety of stalls including
Tibetan and international goods, healing areas,
Tibetan NGOs and other UK-based NGOs

· A variety of workshops to discover some of the
colourful and distinct traditions of Tibet
including the art of the sand mandala, overtone
singing, butter sculptures, traditional Tibetan songs

· Children’s activities include face painting and
making prayer flags and yak puppets

·  Special guest speakers including: Thubten
Samdup, Representative of His Holiness the Dalai
Lama at the Office of Tibet in London; Sonam
Frasi, Member of the Tibetan Parliament in exile;
Simon Hughes, MP for Southwark and Deputy Leader
of the LibDems; Fredrick Hyde-Chambers, Chairman
of Tibet Society and Pempa Lobsang, Chairman of
the Tibetan Community in Britain

Admission free. Donations very welcome ... or
help support the event by becoming an "angel" 6.

The festival is organised by The Tibetan
Commemorative Committee (comprising of The Office
of Tibet, Tibetan Community in Britain and Tibet Society).

In the event of any profit, proceeds will go to
the associated charities of the Commemorative
Committee, Tibet House Trust, Tibet Relief Fund
and Tibetan Refugee Charitable Trust, all of
which have the Dalai Lama as their patron.

For background / further information contact:

Philippa Carrick, Chief Executive, Tibet Society: 020 7272 1414 / 07941 105 485

John Hutchin, Event Organiser, Tibetan Commemorative Committee: 020 7272 1414

The artists are available for interview and
pictures can be supplied on request.

Tibet Commemorative Committee is formed by:

* The Office of Tibet, 020 7722 5378

* Tibetan Community in Britain, 07725 054 471

* Tibet Society, 020 7272 1414

Festival website:

Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park location map:,-0.10819|16|4&bd=useful_information&loc=GB:51.49601:-0.10833:16|SE1%206HZ|SE1%206HZ

Background notes:

The Dalai Lama’s 75th birthday is on 6th July.

1. Tibetan Peace Garden
In May 1999, His Holiness the Dalai Lama opened
and consecrated the Tibetan Peace Garden next to
the Imperial War Museum, London, UK. The Peace
Garden was commissioned by Tibet Foundation and
built on land kindly provided by Southwark
Council. It has been donated to the people of
Britain for all to enjoy. The Tibetan Peace
Garden honours one of the principal teachings of
His Holiness - the need to create understanding
between different cultures and to establish
places of peace and harmony in the world. It is
hoped that it will create a deepening awareness
of His Holiness’s thoughts and words.

2. Tashi Lhunpo Monastery
Tashi Lhunpo Monastery is one of the most
important monasteries in Central Tibet besides
being the traditional seat of the Panchen Lama.
After the Tibetan national uprising that took
place in 1959, a handful of Tashi Lhunpo
Monastery monks along with many thousands of
Tibetans escaped into India. The Monastery was
then subsequently re-established in Bylakuppe in
Karnataka State, India. Through the Tashi Lhunpo
Monastery UK Trust's educational and cultural
exchanges, including chanting and cham
performances, the monks share their unique
Tibetan culture and special monastic tradition
with people in Europe and other parts of the
world. Their 2010 UK tour includes performances
at the Llangollen International Musical
Eisteddfod, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the
Cheltenham Music Festival.

3. Soname
Soname was born in Tibet and had to endure a
childhood in servitude, separated from her
parents and working in Chinese occupied Lhasa.
She didn't enjoy the privileges of education,
freedom and family life. At the age of 16 she
fled with a group of monks across the Himalayas -
a difficult and dangerous journey that thousands
of Tibetans must endure each year in order to
enjoy basic human rights. She finally arrived in
Dharamsala, Northern India, where the Dalai Lama
has his home in exile. After six years she
travelled to England (by way of France) where she
has lived ever since, building a rapidly
progressing singing career. She has appeared on
Woman's Hour and Richard & Judy. Some highlights
of her musical career include performing at Tibet
Relief Fund's "Evening for Tibet" at the Royal
Opera House in London, at the Usher Hall in
Edinburgh in 2004 before the Dalai Lama's public
talk and at "Cinema for Peace" in Berlin in aid
of UNICEF in 2006 and 2007. She has also written
a very moving autobiography, A Child of Tibet.

4. Lhodup Gyaltso
Lhodup Gyaltso is a young, up and coming Tibetan
singer based in London. Gyaltso was born and grew
up in the Amdo region of eastern Tibet where he
was inspired by local musicians and singers.
Gyatso has a love of traditional Tibetan music
and has taught himself the mandolin and Tibetan
dram-nyen (lute). Since moving to London, Gyaltso
has performed at a variety of Tibetan events. His
voice captures the hearts of all who hear it and
is commonly known to his fans as Ngawang, which
means “one with the captivating voice”.

5. Michael Ormiston & Candida Valentino
Michael Ormiston and Candida Valentino are
multi-instrumentalists specializing in Mongolian
khöömii (overtone) singing and have travelled to
Mongolia many times. They have principally
studied with Tserendaava, a master teacher from
Chandman' district, Khovd Province, west
Mongolia. Khöömii is an amazing style of
overtone/harmonic singing where one person sings
two or more distinct pitches at the same time. It
originates among the nomads of the central Asian
plateau, particularly the Altai and Sayan
mountain regions of Mongolia and Tuva. The nomads
of these parts have discovered how to sing
melodies that arise from the universal overtone
or harmonic series.

6. Be an angel ... support this inaugural Tibet festival
Hosted by the Tibetan Commemorative Committee,
this free festival will celebrate the life and
ideals of the Dalai Lama. With a great line up of
Tibetan performances and workshops, the afternoon
gives a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the
traditions and culture of Tibet. However,
although the Commemorative Committee has an
abundance of enthusiasm, good will and commitment
to making the event a great day out for everyone,
they do not have much in the way of funds. Don't
let the world forget Tibet and its unique customs
and way of life. Give something back by becoming
an angel ... all donations received will go
towards supporting this inaugural free festival
that brings alive some of these
endangered  traditions of Tibet. You can donate
online through: on or call
Tibet Relief Fund on: 020 7272 1414. If you would
like to sponsor a specific workshop or activity,
please contact John on the above number or email
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665
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