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NTDTV | Mar 7
A Sichuan official said on Thursday authorities there will continue to crack down on Tibetan self-immolation protests. Addressing the National Peop...
The Tibetan New Year is kicking off this week. The holiday, known as Losar, is the most important one in Tibet. But this year, the Tibetan government-in-exile is asking ethnic Tibetans not to celebrate in the traditional way. Instead, it's asking Tibetans to only do the religious part of the celebrations as a show of support for those Tibetans who have committed self-immolation. At least 16 Tibetans have set themselves on fire in the last year to protest Chinese rule in Tibet. Chinese state media, on the other hand, are reporting that Tibetans are celebrating the 15-day festival in the traditional way. Here's a report by CCTV.
Today is the second day of Losar, the Tibetan New Year. Right behind me, about 5,000 people have gathered at Potala Square. They're giving us performances featuring group dancing to celebrate the year of the Water Dragon. Under the theme of Happy Lhasa, around 5,000 Tibetans dance away at Potala Square, dressed in fine clothes and with smiles as wide as the horizon on their faces, celebrating the New Year. Officials from the regional government and party committee are also joining in. It’s only the second day of the Tibetan New Year, but the happiness extends to the whole year ahead.
I am very happy to be here today to dance with everyone. It is my first time to dance with so many people, I am very excited. Wish everyone a happy Tibetan Water Dragon Year.
These performers have no professional singing and dancing experience, so extra efforts have been made by the municipal government of Lhasa to prepare them. Since early January, they have been training for 3 hours after work each day, but this has not dampened their spirits
It has been one month since the beginning of the training. I am very happy to be able to participate in the performances, and I am very grateful for that. I want to take the chance to say Happy Losar to all Tibetans.
Organized by the region’s Culture Bureau, the dancing is more than for welcoming in the New Year. It is also a call for a healthy way of life and stronger social cohesion. Joining hands in circles, people are looking forward to a better future.