Bay Area Friends of Tibet


Press Release


August 20, 2003

His Holiness Dalai Lama SAN FRANCISCO - A two day festival celebrating the resilience of Tibetan culture in exile will surround His Holiness the Dalai Lama's Friday, Sept. 5 visit to the University of San Francisco. In conjunction with special pre-visit USF studies about Tibetan life, on Sept. 4 and 5, Bay Area Friends of Tibet will offer on the campus between Fulton and Golden Gate a feast of films, music, photos, merchandise, food, and fashion.

With the legendary chanting Gyurme monks, local Tibetan dancers and musicians are performing in the school's central quad, Harney Plaza, amid an ongoing bazaar of Tibetan merchandise, food and information from myriad Tibet support groups. More than 10,000 momos, the dumplings dear to all from the Land of Snows, are being handmade to sell to fund some of those efforts.

On Tuesday, Sept 2, scholar Dr. David Komito explains "The Many Lives of The Dalai Lama" and on Wed, Kayla Komito joins local artist Jamyong Singe to explain the religious art of thangka painting. The Nechung Buddhist Center will then set up at the Harney Plaza fair a typical lay altar inside a typically embroidered nomad tent. Outside, visitors will be able make their own prayer flags and enjoy offerings of desi, ritual sweet rice.

A replica of the Tibet Museum in Dharamsala, India, seat of the Dalai Lama in exile, will be in the Maraschi Room of the nearby Xavier Building. A mini film festival will run from 11 to 5 on fair days in both the plaza and the student lounge, showing documentaries about refugee Tibetans made by award winning Bay Area filmmakers and international hits like Martin Scorcese's Kundun, about the childhood of the Dalai Lama. San Francisco photographer Alison Wright's poignant photos from her book The Spirit of Tibet: Portrait of a Culture in Exile will be displayed in the Plaza.

Friday morning USF will give the Dalai Lama an honorary degree at an interfaith prayer service whose procession is to include Lama Lodro Rinpoche, longtime spiritual guide to Kagyu Droden Kunchab (KDK) at Clayton and Fell Sts, the city's original Tibetan Buddhist center. The Dalai Lama's former representative in the US, Tenzing Thetong, now of Palo Alto, will attend with the Tibetan Government in Exile's former Minister of Security, Pema Chinjoor, now of Concord.

After the service, His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, will meet with more than 1200 Tibetans, Mongolians and Nepali Sherpas settled in the Bay Area. He will then present a public talk to the University Community which will be streamed over the Internet via KUSF-FM.


San Francisco Tibetan Dance Troupe winner of the West Coast and Bay Area Tibetan cultural competitions
Semshug Pundha, "Brothers of Courage" from the East Bay
Tsering Wangmo of San Francisco leading the Tibetan Association of Northern California Children's Chorus
Karma Moffett of San Francisco, Tibetan horn player
Chaksampa, Tibetan opera and dance troupe based in San Francisco
Thangka Painters:
Jamyong Singe of San Francisco: talking Wed. Sept 3, Fri. Sept. 5.
Ang Tsherin of the East Bay: talking Thurs. Sept. 4.
Filmmakers and Photographers:
Barbara Green of Berkeley: on hand to talk about her award winning documentary Tashi Jong, a Traditional Tibetan Community in Exile.
Ellen Bruno of San Francisco: her award winning documentary Satya: Prayer for the Enemy will be shown both days
Alison Wright of San Francisco: on hand to talk about her photos on display from her book The Spirit of Tibet: Portrait of a Culture in Exile. Also showing her book Simple Monk: Writings on The Dalai Lama.
Tibet Support Groups (a partial list)
Bay Area Friends of Tibet
Tibet Justice Center, Berkeley
Committee of 100, Palo Alto
Tibetan Nuns Project, Berkeley
Students for a Free Tibet, New York City
Tibetan Aid Project, Berkeley
Sierra Friends of Tibet/Students for Change, Nevada City, CA
Tibetan Association of Northern California
Kham Aid Foundation, Sierra Madre, CA
Tibetan Food Contact: Tashi Chodron of San Francisco
Bay Area Friends of Tibet Board Members organizing the fair
President: Giovanni Vassallo
Vice President: Tashi Chodron
Secretary: Sandy Garson
Treasurer: Diane Hume
Visit Protocols: Jamyang Lama, Jamyong Singe

FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT either by clicking Sandy Garson
or calling 415-771-2113; Giovanni Vassallo, President, by calling 415-264-3264
or by clicking Tashi Chodron or calling 415-407-5969. See detailed schedule.

Founded in 1983, BAFoT is a non-sectarian, non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization and is the US West Coast's original Tibet support group. BAFoT educates the public about Tibet and the Tibetan people, it organizes grassroots projects and events to benefit Tibetans locally and internationally.

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