Join our Mailing List

"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?"

Tibetan Scroll Wins Award

August 27, 2010

A calligrapher seeks to revive interest among exile Tibetans in an ancient art.
Radio Free Asia (RFA)
August 26, 2010,

A Tibetan calligraphy scroll has won recognition by the Miami-based
World Records Academy as the world's longest in any language.

The scroll, 163.2 meters (approximately 565 feet) long and containing
65,000 Tibetan characters, was completed in six months by master
calligrapher Jamyang Dorjee Chakrishar. Using four different written
styles, the scroll contains prayers for the long life of exiled
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

"These are prayers written by 32 great spiritual masters," Jamyang Dorjee said.

"I wanted the prayers written by all those great masters to be on one
sheet of paper so that those masters could be united with His
Holiness the Dalai Lama during these 50 years of struggle in Tibetan history."

Jamyang Dorjee also prepared the scroll, which he finished in July,
to "promote Tibetan calligraphy," he said.

Born 56 years ago in Tibet's capital Lhasa, Jamyang Dorjee "learned
[calligraphy] the traditional way, using bamboo pens. Then I slowly
developed my abilities."

Jamyang Dorjee left Tibet with his family as a child following a
failed 1959 national uprising against Chinese rule, and continued his
education in India. He later worked for the government of Sikkim, an
Indian state and center of Tibetan culture, and then joined the
India-based government in exile of the Dalai Lama.

Later still, he served as director of the exile community's Tibetan
Institute of Performing Arts.

Wishes and prayers

Speaking in August at the Washington-based International Campaign for
Tibet, Tibet expert Greg Kruglak called Jamyang Dorjee's scroll
important for more than its length, "though when you see it rolled
out, it's unbelievably long."

"What's really important is the content," said Kruglak, chairman of
the Conservancy for Tibetan Art and Culture. "These are prayers for
the long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama."

"And it reflects the wishes and the aspirations and the prayers of
every Tibetan I've ever met, and many, many of the friends of His
Holiness the Dalai Lama from the West and from all over the world who
pray for his long life."

"This is the manifestation of the care that we all have and that we
all express," Kruglak said.

Jamyang Dorjee said that interest in classical calligraphy has
recently revived in Tibet, but called it a "dying art" outside the
region, due partly to the widespread use of computers by young
Tibetans in exile.

Tibetans raised in the West who have seen the form "find it very
beautiful," though, Jamyang Dorjee said.

"I hope now that more and more people are talking about it, and that
it can be revived."
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665
Developed by plank