Tibetan musician coming to Comox Valley to help his people

Sherab Chamma Ling, the Tibetan Bon Buddhist Centre, will host Tibetan musician and singer Dorjee Tsering this Sunday.

Tsering is touring and performing to help raise funds in support of Canada's initiative to resettle 1,000 poor Tibetans from India to Canada.

Sherab Chamma Ling, the Tibetan Bon Buddhist Centre, will host Tibetan musician and singer Dorjee Tsering this Sunday.

Tsering is touring and performing to help raise funds in support of Canada’s initiative to resettle 1,000 poor Tibetans from India to Canada.

The performance will begin at 7 p.m. at 407A Fifth St. (at England Avenue) in Courtenay.

Admission is by donation. Due to limited seating capacity, if there is an overflow of people, “first come, first served” will apply.

Tsering lives as a Tibetan refugee in Dharamsala, India and is a graduate of the world-renowned Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts.

He specializes in Tibetan folk music and dance, playing the dranyan (Tibetan lute), piwang, Tibetan flute, Tibetan drums, dulcimer and mandolin. He also runs his own music school in McLeod Ganj, India where he teaches Tibetan children, adults and foreigners.

Dorjee won the 2009 Music Tibet award for the best traditional artist and has toured throughout India. Last year, he performed at the Faces music festival in Helsinki, Finland.

For more information about the performance this Sunday, e-mail Chamma@telus.net or phone 250-334-0306.

The seeds of the Canadian Tibetan Resettlement Project were sown in 2007, when the Dalai Lama asked Prime Minister Stephen Harper if Canada would offer Tibetans living in Arunachal Pradesh the opportunity to emigrate to Canada.

In December 2010, the request was granted and the government announced an initiative that would see Canada welcome 1,000 displaced Tibetans from Arunachal Pradesh.

The Tibetans living there lead a very simple life consisting mainly of subsistence farming.

The intensity of monsoons in the region affects the success of their harvest and, lacking a clean water system, they drink water from the river, which often leads to disease. Many children die of common childhood illnesses, as the families have difficulty accessing medical care and many do not go to school, as they are needed to work on the family farm. Local job opportunities are few.

The Canada Tibet Committee has incorporated the Project Tibet Society to oversee all aspects of the resettlement project.  Unfortunately, no government funds are attached to the project and its success depends on fundraising initiatives and individual generosity.  Much help is needed.

For more information or to volunteer, contact CTCoffice@tibet.ca.

— Sherab Chamma Ling

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