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Archive for the ‘Videos’ Category

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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Lama Sherab Dorje, a long time student of Kusum Lingpa and frequent visitor to Longen in Golok has created five video essays of his September 2009 trip and of Longen Monastery:

Part 1

The first video takes us from Beijing to Golok.

Part 2

The second clip explores the valley of Longen and sites at Longen monastery.

Part 3

The third video is of the annual prayer festival that occurs every September at Longen.

Part 4

The fourth video, takes us to visit the convent established by Hungkar Dorje. We also visit the Mayul School and finally the famous charnel ground near the monastery.

Part 5

His last video is of his trip home with a journey to Kumbum Monastery.

Lama Sherab’s biography can be found at his website, the Blazing Wisdom Institute.

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This video features a Tibetan math class taught by instructor Sangay Ja.

Math Class at Mayul School

Math Class at Mayul School

The class has some of the youngest students in it. In fact, part way through the video, the school’s principal escorts the youngest student in the school, who is ten years old, to the back of the classroom. (He wasn’t in trouble; instead the principal wanted to introduce him to us).

Like all the classes at the Mayul School, the teaching style is extremely lively with frequent back and forth questions from the teacher and replies in unison from the students. It is amazing that the students have adapted so well to the school’s academic environment given that this is the first experience in the classroom for many of them. It is evident that they are hungry to learn and are making the most of this educational experience, which is such a rarity in this region.

Eric C. Rath

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In this video, senior students of the Mayul School gather in the courtyard to chant a text by the third century Buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna on ethical conduct. The administration building can be seen behind the signs from the Chinese construction company. Taken last August 3, 2009 the video reveals the extent of construction of the school and the depth of commitment of its students. This video depicts a portion of their chanting of a text which takes about fifteen minutes to present in full.

students posing

Mayul School students posing with teacher

Eric C. Rath

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I have started to upload videos of classroom teaching taken during our visit in the summer of 2009 from the Mayul School using YouTube. This one is the first, taken by Yoonmi Nam. It shows an upper level grammar class. The students are chanting a Tibetan grammar text.

IMG_1538 copy

Students Posing

Eric C. Rath

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The former abbot of Longen Monastery, Kusum Lingpa, made a vow to have stone carvings made of the entire corpus of Tibetan Buddhist sutras. Here is a video taken by Eric Conrad of one carver working on a text.

Once completed, the carvings are stacked into large piles.

Stack of Carvings

Stack of Carvings

Carved Sutras (detail)

Carved Sutras (detail)

Eric C. Rath

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