of Tibetan Culture Auroville
His Holiness the Dalai Lama
construction of the Pavilion progressed at a good pace since our
last Newsletter till mid-February when we had to stop the construction
due to the lack of funds. The Pavilion structure is now completed
and as you can see on the attached photo, has its final look though
the slanted walls will have to be added later.
the overhangs have been completed and we were able to give a first
coat of paint before the beginning of the International Conference
(see Museum Exhibition item).
of visitors who came during the Auroville Week (21-28 February)
said that "it feels good" to see the building really taking
main achievement has been the completion of the two guest rooms
on the first floor which were 'inaugurated' by the staff of the
Tibet Museum and later used by the artists of the TIPA.
However, a lot still needs to be completed and we are now in a financial
impasse. All the workers except the carpenters have had to be sent
away and right now we do not see how and when the work will be able
to start again.
priority would be to complete the kitchen which is very useful when
we have visitors and then the two remaining guest rooms. The main
Conference Hall on the first floor would then be our next target.
appeal once more to all those who have helped us to collaborate
to make this Pavilion the first to be completed after the Indian
Pavilion in the International Zone of Auroville.
Dolma and Namgyal
we had informed you in our last Newsletter, a young Tibetan Aurovilian
couple have shifted in the Caretaker room of the Pavilion and are
now taking a very active part in the maintenance of the building
as well as the organisation of the different activities. It has
been a major change for the Pavilion which has now a Tibetan life
of it own.
Visit of the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts
main event of the last months has been the visit and performance
of the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA), the Dance and
Opera troop of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, which was founded in
India in August 1959, following the flight into exile of one hundred
thousand Tibetan refugees escaping the Chinese occupation of their
country. The TIPA was the first of the various institutions established
by His Holiness the Dalai Lama's government-in-exile for the purpose
of preserving Tibetan culture.
the past fifteen years the TIPA has been performing regularly in
India and abroad. These shows provide an opportunity for the Tibetan
exile community to display the richness and variety of its folk
culture and share it with the Indian and western public.
we, in Auroville, had the privilege to have the TIPA with us for
two performances in February 1990, it was with great pleasure that
we received them again after twelve years (a full circle of the
Tibetan calendar). Four of our old friends of 1990 had come again,
along with the younger generation of artists, who have kept the
same of joy and spontaneity, but have also brought with them a new
professionalism which makes them in great demand in the West.
performed on March 12 at the Sri Aurobindo Auditorium in the Bharat
Nivas (Indian Pavilion) in front a fully packed audience of more
than 800 spectators. We were later told by many that it was undoubtedly
the best performance of the year in Auroville.
Like usual, the most popular amongst the pieces performed by the
TIPA were the stag dance, the gypsy (Repa) )dance, the lute(Dranyid)
dance as well as the nomad (including the yaks) dance.
are extremely grateful to Mr Ngawang Choedrak, the Director of the
TIPA and an old friend of the Pavilion, for having made this performance
possible. We hope to see him and his troupe soon again on the stage
of the Sri Aurobindo Auditorium.
of the Swedish and French Ambassador
November, the Pavilion saw the visit of Mr. Johan Nordenfelt, the
Swedish Ambassador to India and his Trade Commisioner Mr Olof Milveden
who were shown around and explained the concept and progress of
the International Zone.
few weeks later, we were privileged to receive M. and Mme de Montferrand,
the Ambassador of France in India. It was the first visit of M.
de Montferrand who has been recently appointed as a member of our
International Advisory Council. The Ambassador was accompanied by
M. Christian Bader, the Consul General of France in Pondicherry
and Chennai. They were shown an exhibition of panels of the concept
of Auroville and its ideal of Human Unity. This set of panels had
already traveled to Russia (for the Auroville International Meeting
in St. Petersburg) and to the US. It returned to Auroville after
a rather long stay at the Bombay customs who were wondering about
this traveling concept of Human Unity. Our guest were also explained
our objectives to have a window on the culture of Tibet in Auroville
(and South India) and our wish that France would soon follow suit
and start a cultural center in Auroville.
of the International Advisory Council
December the Pavilion had the visit of the International Advisory
Council of Auroville. Composed by eminent international figures,
the Council meets once in a year to advise the Government of India
on policies to be followed for the International Township project.
It is chaired by Prof Kireet Joshi the Chairman of the Auroville
Dr. Mary King, a well-known civic rights activist and former advisor
of President Jimmy Carter, now teaching at the UN University of
Peace in Costa Rica was accompanied by two of her colleagues. Dr
Aryarathne, the Sarvodaya leader of Sri Lanka who has been campaigning
for peace and dialogue for many years in the war-torn island and
who has recently been instrumental in starting the talks for a settled
solution between the Government and the Tamil population in the
North of Sri Lanka and M. Bernard de Montferrand, Ambassador of
France in India, visited the Pavilion for a session on the international
aspect of Auroville. With our colleagues of the International Zone
and the Unity Pavilion we gave a presentation of the progress of
the different projects under way, namely (and apart from the Indian
and Tibetan Pavilions) the American, the Russian and the Unity Pavilions.
They showed a very keen interest in the concept of this zone dedicated
to unity in diversity and human unity, we hope that concrete proposals
will be able to come out of their meeting.
next day, Dr Mary King accepted to give a talk at the Pavilion on
the theme "After Afghanistan". After her thought provoking
introduction, we had a lively discussion particularly on terrorism
and the American foreign policy. Dr King is a great believer in
peace and negotiated settlements for world problems.
Tibetan Medical & Astro. Institute
most regular activity during the past two years has been the medical
camp organized in collaboration with the Tibetan Medical & Astro.
Institute (TMAI). Our Doctor, Dr Dorjee Rabten, the Chief Medical
Officer of the TMAI branch in Bangalore is now a very popular figure
in Auroville as many of us have been soothed and cured by his precious
have been privileged to host an exceptional Photo Exhibition organized
in collaboration with the Tibet Museum, Dharamsala.
The Tibet Museum, a commemoration and documentation Center based
in Dharamsala, aims at collecting, preserving and presenting material
related to modern Tibetan history and documenting the 50 years of
itinerant exhibition, entitled "A Long Look Homeward"
depicts the memories of old Tibet and projects the hopes and aspirations
of the Tibetan people.
Exhibition was held between February 25th and March 12th. It was
inaugurated by Mr. Michel Caillouet, the European Community Ambassador
to India and a host of diplomats, VIPs, Chief Architects, etc who
had come to attend the Indo-European Cities Conference "City
Networking for a Sustainable Future and Human Unity" organized
by the European Community, Auroville Foundation and the cities of
Paris and Venice.
was a good occasion for the delegates of 14 Europeans nations and
from all over India to visit the Tibetan Pavilion and see the rare
photos of the Museum.
sessions of the Conference were held in the Pavilion itself.
Three young staff members of the Museum, Dickyi Yangzom, Yeshi Gyalwang,
and Tsering Choedon accompanied the exhibits and were always available
for guiding the visitors through the different sections of the exhibition.
later wrote in their report:
are proud to report that the exhibition area spanned across three
different rooms. The first room (entrance) was used for opening
and introduction panels, was well as the exhibits; Tibet before
Chinese, Invasion, Resistance and Destruction. In the second room,
the remainder exhibits were displayed along with that of the Curators.
The third room was used to showcase the audio/visual component of
our exhibition, which detailed the Human Rights violations in Tibet.
We can say that almost all visitors had a very positive reaction
to the exhibition and this was reflected in our visitor book.
conclusion, this exhibition was a success because it met our main
objective to educate our people in India, as well as visitors from
the international community.
January, we had an exhibition of silk paintings entitled "Dreamscapes"
by an Aurovilian artist, Firooza Aubry who has already exhibited
her work in several places in India as well as in the West.
Her very colourful and inspired paintings were admired by many Aurovilians
is our policy that, to open our Hall to Aurovilian artists, when
we do not have an exhibition of Tibetan thankas, photos or artifacts
young Tibetan, Karma Sherap from Ladakh has been trained for 9 months
in offset and screen printing technology. The training had been
arranged through the PADME project of the Planning Council Dharamsala.
Karma, a very serious and dedicated student, has now gone back to
his native Ladakh and we hope that he will able to find a suitable
job which will be useful to his community as well provide him with
are planning to start a weekly screening of a movie on Tibet. During
the past few months, we have been able to collect a good collection
of films, thanks to different friends and well-wishers. We should
particularly mention Meridian Trust who has donated two beautiful
films featuring the visit of His Holiness in Ireland. The last one
"What is Justice" was shot during a Conference organized
by Amnesty International in Dublin. We are thankful to all those
who helped us to start this small video library and to hold these
Tuesday evening movie shows.
more, we would like to thank all those who help us in this project
and its activities and request you to continue to help and support
us in order complete the construction of the Pavilion at the earliest.
We hope that it can soon be a vibrant center of the culture of Tibet
in the universal township of Auroville and South India.
further information or contribution, contact
Arpi, The Coordinator
Pavilion of Tibetan Culture
Auroville, 605101, TN India
Tel: 91-413-622172/622136 Fax: 622062