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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."

Tibetan Children Paint "Feelings from Tibet"

August 29, 2008

August 27, 2008

Dharamshala: Tibetan children who have come from Tibet to study in
India have a found a way in the form of paintings to express their
feelings about their homeland, their families and Olympic Games in China.

"Feelings From Tibet," an exhibition of paintings by students of the
Tibetan Children's Village School Suja, was held on 16-17 August at
the school's facility in Bir, in northern India, Radio Free Asia's
website reported 25 August.

The artists ranged in age from 6-17.

More than 300 students and staff from the school attended, along with
guests from other schools.

Project organizer Ngawang Tseten, a teacher at the Suja school, said
that he and fellow teacher Tenzin Dhargyal have worked at the school
for more than 10 years.

"During this time, we have seen many students who have come from
Tibet who could not express their feelings accurately in writing, but
were good at painting."

"We thought it would be good if we could offer an opportunity for
that group of students to express their feelings [in this way]," he said.

Ngawang Tseten said that he and Tenzin Dhargyal sought funding for
the project from the Dalai Lama's Foundation for Universal
Responsibility-an India-based nonprofit organization established with
the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 1989.

"We knew about the Foundation and how they fund original projects
like ours," Ngawang Tseten said. The Foundation quickly agreed to
back the competition.

Explaining the reason for their support, Foundation Programme Manager
Thupten Tsewang said, "Even as young Tibetans are taught about their
traditional arts, it is important that they [learn and make use of]
modern arts and communication techniques ..."

"Individual Tibetan voices need to be nurtured and encouraged," he said.

Paintings entered in the competition were produced to illustrate
particular themes, such as Tibet's environment, animal rights,
children's rights, and the Olympic Games in Beijing.

"Many painted pictures on the theme of motherly love and kindness,"
Ngawang Tenzin said. "This would be natural for children who have
been separated from their parents."

Other paintings on exhibit displayed a sophisticated understanding of
world affairs.

In one, a lion draped in a Chinese flag devours a lamb representing
Tibet, while another animal, representing the United Nations, looks
on without concern. In another, Olympic rings encircle captive
figures while dark clouds of pollution rise from the smokestacks of a
Chinese factory.

Organizer Tenzin Dhargyal said that the three best artists for each
category were selected. Thirty-one were awarded prizes of books,
paper, ink, pens and pencils, and other drawing supplies.

"Along with the prizes, they were given certificates with the
Foundation logo and the signature of the school principal," Tenzin
Dhargyal said.
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