Archive for the ‘Tibetan Students at KU’ Category

Farewell Party

It seems hard to believe that the Tibetan students time studying at the University of Kansas has come to an end. They were here for just one semester, but long enough to enhance their understanding of English and American culture and to enrich us all with their presence. They spent their final days in Lawrence enjoying the hospitality of several home stay families for a few nights, and we are grateful to those individuals for opening up their homes to them and sharing their hospitality. These individuals joined others involved in this project on May 31 for a farewell dinner for the Tibetan students at a Lawrence restaurant.

I have not written as much as I could have about their experiences here, perhaps because these are so fresh in my mind but also out of respect for their privacy and one never knows who is reading this blog….

Thankfully, we received word that all five students returned safely and without incident to their homes in Golok. We hope that they can return to the University of Kansas again soon.

Eric C. Rath


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The Center for East Asian Studies is pleased to welcome Tibetan film director Ngawang Choephel for a screening of his film “Tibet in Song” at 7:00 PM at the Spencer Museum Auditorium.  The event is free and open to the public.

Born in Tibet in 1966, Ngawang’s mother carried him into exile in India when he was two years old.  After graduating from the Tibetan Institute for Performing Arts in Dharamsala, India, he received a Fulbright Fellowship to study filmmaking and ethnomusicology at Middlebury College.

In 1995 he traveled to Tibet to make a documentary about Tibetan music. After just a month in the country, he was arrested and later sentenced to 18 years imprisonment for “espionage and counter-revolutionary activities.”  This sentence was later reduced, and Ngawang Choephel was released in 2002 after spending 6 years in a Chinese prison.  He currently lives in New York City.

Click here to see a preview of Tibet in Song. We look forward to you joining us on March 8 for this film and a conversation with Ngawang Choephel afterward.

– Eric C. Rath

Here is a pdf version of the flier: Tibet in Song Flier (PDF)

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Is the snow in Kansas like the snow in Tibet?

On a recent visit to my home, the Tibetan students had the opportunity to try out some musical instruments. One knew how to play the piano (I will try to write about that another time), but others tried out the cello, an instrument that does not have a clear equivalent in Tibetan culture to my knowledge.

Trying out the cello

One of my fondest memories of Golok was dancing under the stars during a camp out. Car radios blasted Tibetan dance music for us. It has been too cold to try something similar in Kansas yet, but playing music is a good indoor activity for the winter.

Trying out a quarter size cello

I am not sure which memories will be the longest lasting for our students, but I hope that music forms a part of their experience studying in America.

– Eric Rath

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