On 2nd January 2013 Tibetan Culture Center (TCC) in Belgium organized the first Lhakar and the first Buddhist teachings of the year in Brussels at Ogyen Kunzang Choling Buddhist Center.
Every Wednesday TCC observes Lhakar and organizes monthly Buddhist teachings for their students. This time we invited parents and students as it is the first Lhakar of the year and therefore a special occasion. It is very important to teach children born in Belgium the basics of their religion as often the parents cannot do it.
Every Wednesday, there are teachings in the Buddhist Centre where the Lhakar observance is held. This week, Geshe Jigmey Wangshu of Drepung monastery agreed to give teachings via Skype; from 5 to 5.45 there were prayers for those Tibetans who self immolated followed by a brief video introducing Lhakar, TCC’s president – Lobsang Wangdu, spoke about the importance of Lhakar and encouraged people to attend every week. Lobsang explained that in Tibet people sacrifice their life for the sake of their culture, religion and language.
Here Tibetans are always saying something needs to be done to save their culture but when we provide them with the environment and opportunity to do so, few people actually attend.
After a short tea break, Geshe Jigmey Wangshu taught about Om Mani Padme Hum for 45 minutes.
At 6.45 there was a questions and answers session lasting about 15 minutes; from 7 to 7.30 there were more prayers then tea and tsampa were offered to round off the evening.
It is the best way to teach children about their culture. Teaching them in schools is fine but to make this culture come alive is much more important so that the Buddhism of their parents and grandparents is not seen as a museum piece but as a living, everyday way of life.
Children loved turning the big prayer wheel; they had most probably never seen one like this before. They also love wearing their chubas and certainly enjoyed eating tsampa – especially the cake version.
Again this is a traditional Tibetan recipe that many people were not aware of. A delicious tradition that should certainly not get lost or forgotten.
TCC is committed to continue observing Lhakar and encourage as many people as possible to attend; to teach children to speak Tibetan and to promote our own culture.
It is so kind of Ogyen Kunzang Choling to provide us with the use of the temple and all the equipment we need to conduct these evenings.
By Jigmey Denwa on 3rd January 2013 in association with Dennis Barbion, Belgium.
Filed under: Uncategorized