Tibetan India

Om Tar’e Tu Tar’e Monpa Dance

This is one of my favorites. :) It's a traditional Monpa dance called [something like] Om Tar'e Tu Tar'e, and performed by the students of classes 8 and 9 at Jhamtse Gatsal Children's Community. Side note: Monpa is not a written language, so the spelling of this dance is the Tibetan dance teacher's and Spence's combined best guess at a phonetic spelling.

Lekshey Norchung Tibetan Dance

We wanted to share some of the beautiful traditional dances that the kids do for special occasions. With so little bandwidth available for uploading stuff though, we've knocked the quality of these down quite small to save space..... :( And actually, that is going to be the case with any videos going forward while we are here. We promise to go back and replace them with their higher-quality versions as soon as we are back to somewhere with better internet, though. Enjoy. This is a Tibetan dance called Lekshey Norchung, and this is the kids of classes 7, 8 and…
Happy Birthday, Dalai Lama

Happy Birthday, Dalai Lama

Our Community usually finds any excuse to celebrate with dancing and music and good food. In fact, we were here another year [oops, sorry, the link will work when I get all the old content back up] for a rockin' big party in his honor. This year, though, it was decided to spend the day doing meditations and generally having a more calm and spiritual celebration of His Holiness' 78th birthday. Here is a nice picture of Kai being really good and quiet during the prayer sessions. ;) One of the upper class Gatsal students did a nice write-up on…
Tawang Monastery Up Close

Tawang Monastery Up Close

I wanted to do a separate gallery post of some of the pictures I took on our fieldtrip. I warned you -- I like looking at the designs and textures of things, so these are mostly close ups and detail shots of the wall murals and other decoration at the monastery. Some beautifulness, no?
Class Fieldtrip

Class Fieldtrip

We tagged along with the Class 5 and 6 fieldtrip to Tawang a couple weekends ago. (A couple of the kids talked about it here, on the JG blog.) Besides everyone getting brain damage and puking all over the place from riding in the closed-in back of a fumey truck for 2 hours each way (except me & Kai -- we claimed 1/2 a seat in the cab)...it was a lovely trip, and fun to go somewhere with the kids. We visited the old Tawang monastery, Urgelling Gonpa -- the birthplace of the 6th Dalai Lama, and Manjushree -- a…
Khartheng

Khartheng

All that construction work last weekend earned everyone a day off, so another volunteer, Adam, organized a handful of us to hike down the nearby village of Khartheng for a visit. The trail we took to get there went pretty much straight down the mountainside from the ridge Jhamtse Gatsal is on. But it got us there in a quick 30 minutes! Khartheng seems like a bigger village to me, full of traditional stone houses, with alleys winding between them, and surrounded by fields of crops. It was fun to be with the kids, who enjoyed pointing things out and…
Tibetan Prayers

Tibetan Prayers

Here's some beautiful audio of the kids chanting in a recent prayer session. Head over to the Gatsal News Blog if you want to read more about it.
Snow Lions and Smooches

Snow Lions and Smooches

A special day with traditional dance performances here at JG. Kai LOVED the snow lion dance. He was quite disappointed to be whisked into the prayer hall, only to find kids coming out of the furry costumes. But he came back with a lipstick-smooched face, courtesy of one of the other dancers, so it couldn't have been all bad. :)
Good Old Tawang

Good Old Tawang

We needed to take care of some business in Tawang -- the business being registering ourselves with the local head of police, who apparently needed to know things like: what kind of car do you own? (um, a bicycle?) And what is your house made of? And what is the nearest landmark to it? And what region do you live in? (I think we told him our timezone for that one, haha.) Tawang is the big-ish town that is about 2 hours away --  so we also did some errands and poking about and visited the Tawang Monastery while we…
Beautiful Bomdila

Beautiful Bomdila

Ah, crisp, Spring, mountain air! Okay, I idealize... it is gettin' cold up here! Good thing we packed plenty of warm things...in our checked bags....which are now [still] in Delhi! Got an update from the airline. "Big oops, delivered to the wrong address," (and hours before we skipped town on the train) "but, oh, since they're out of our hands now -- though not to you --  your file is closed, and we won't be trying to get them to you." Sheesh! Did I mention it's cold here? In fact, there is a high mountain pass between here and Jhamtse…