Undoubtedly it’s a queer state of mind; when at home my spirit pulls me outside of security, conformity and family, and when wandering outside, my heart aches to find the same personal touches. So, I’ve again started my journey from the secured shell of home, fish and rice and come to my first love: mountains. Well, it was quite a tiring journey from Delhi to Mcleodganj took around 15 hours in buses. This is the second time I am here, Mcleodganj always excites me because of its Tibetan culture, colourful people, cleanliness, plenty of place where you can sit in solitude and of course cheap hotels. Everything has some significance in life so does travel. My traveling experiences in a sense illuminating, purifying my mind and communicates with right knowledge.
While strolling around TIPA (Tibetan Institute of Performing Art) I was thinking the reason behind involving in something, especially creative pursuits. I met a girl there who asked me whether I was interested in learning Tibetan music. I was just enjoying the musical performance by students; I didn’t want to learn anything new because enjoying something is learning itself.
The Chinese occupation in Tibet in 1959 forced Dalai Lama and some 1 lakh Tibetan to flee from their homeland. The communist government of China then transmuted a cultural integration program to dilute the existence Tibetan culture.
Indian government gave shelters to thousands of Tibetan in Dharamshala and various others parts of India. Dalai Lama took immediate steps to preserve the traditional performing arts, and thus TIPA was formed in 1959 just 4 months after 14th Dalai Lama came to India.
The institute is located at Mcleodganj and hosts students, artists, instructors, craftsmen and many other people. There are separate hostels for boys and girls, and open auditorium and a small but beautiful museum that showcases ancient Tibetan clothes, weaponry, artefacts and many other things.
Role of Lhamo in Tibetan Performing Art
Tibetan mask dance is popular and probably the most highlighted cultural art of Tibet. It was originated in the Tibetan Royal Dynastic period during 6th-9th century. The development of Lhamo is owed to 14th century Yogi Thangtong Gyalpo. The yogi realized that through the power of performing art one could transfer energy to another medium. So, in Buddhist tradition, especially in Tibet performing art is a medium for telling moral tales.
Lhamo is a daylong affair played outdoors, traditionally under a large circular canvas tent, through a unique style of song, dialogue, dance and pantomime. Cymbals and drums are the main musical instruments in Lhamo.
TIPA main responsibility is to preserve the ancient Lhamo tradition from the barefaced pro-Chinese propaganda. And till date it is working well.