Semshae-Heart Songs CD Release Tour – Tibet CD, featuring Tashi Shazur (Techung) released to help Tibetan children learn their language
Khashyar | May 17, 2010
Semshae-Heart Songs CD Release Tour
The new Semshae-Heart Songs album is comprised of contemporary and traditional Tibetan songs composed especially to help children learn some basic vocabulary of the Tibetan language. The songs teach the Tibetan numbers, colors, days of the week, and seasons, and convey cultural information about daily chores, visiting a temple, gardens, musical instruments, and peace. The CD notes provide the song lyrics in Tibetan script, phonetic Tibetan, and English translation, so children of any cultural background can sing along. The primary goal of this charming album is to ensure that Tibet’s language and culture of compassion are preserved through children’s music for all ages.
Semshae-Heart Songs will be officially released in New York City at Tibet House on May 22, 2010. The release is scheduled in conjunction with His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s visit. The first copy will be offered to His Holiness to receive His blessing. Project founder and director, Tashi D. Sharzur (a.k.a Techung) will then conduct a CD Release Tour to introduce the CD to Tibetan communities in North America, Europe and Asia. Tashi’s tour schedule can be viewed by clicking “Upcoming Events” on Semshae’s website (http://www.semshae.org).
Tibetan Association of Southern California will organize the CD release party and community fundraising event on June 12 from 6-9p.m. to help their Sunday School education project. Tashi and the local Tibetan community children will sing songs from the new album, and he will be available to sign CDs. This event will take place at IBEW 8333 Airport Blvd, LA CA 90045. The cover charge is $20.00 Children under 16 free. For more info about the Tibetan community visit www.socaltibet.org
Many individuals are aware of Tibetan Buddhism’s culture of compassion and nonviolence, but they may not be aware that the continued existence of Tibetan culture is seriously threatened. Through music, Semshae – a non-political, privately funded project— contributes to the preservation of a part of Tibet’s culture and its dissemination around the world.
Semshae-Heart Songs will also be a welcome addition to the small library of Tibetan music for the many Westerners who are interested in Tibet and Tibetan culture. Exposing non-Tibetan children to the language and culture of a nation whose spiritual belief system emphasizes the happiness and well being of each human can be of benefit to today’s computer/cell phone-driven generation. This is the first album of its kind produced professionally in the West or anywhere in the Tibetan exile community.
Tashi Sharzur is a Tibetan traditional/contemporary singer who grew up in Tibetan refugee camps in Dharamsala, India and now lives with his daughters in the Bay Area, California. His parents followed the Dalai Lama into exile after the Communist invasion of his native country, Tibet, in 1959. His parents and many thousands of refugees searching for work and better life were hired by Indian government to build roads across the Himalayan region. Tashi, like many other children, was born in these makeshift refugee camps at a very difficult time. As Tibetan refugees gradually settled in India, the exiled Tibetan government, with guidance and support from Indian Government, built schools and monasteries. Tashi was sent to the Tibetan Dance and Drama School to learn music and folklore. After moving to United States to join a theatrical group, he co-founded Chaksampa Tibetan Dance and Opera Company and was the artistic director till 2008. He also worked with the Milarepa Foundation in the 1990s and was involved in organizing its Tibetan Freedom Concerts and grassroots campaigns. He has made 7 albums of folk and contemporary Tibetan music, and recently performed at Carnegie Hall.
“It is my hope that through the efforts of Semshae
and through the power of music I can help to support
the next generation of Tibetans and the Tibetan culture.”
— Tashi Shazur, Artist, Founder, and Director of Semshae
Khashyar | August 31, 2009
Dalai Lama’s Teachings and Speaking Schedule – Long Beach, CA – September 25 and 26
His Holiness will give teachings on The Four Noble Truths and confer the Amitabha Permission Initiation (opakmei jenang) and Medicine Buddha Initiation
Friday Sept 25, 2009:
9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Teaching
2 p.m. – 4 p.m. – Teaching
Saturday Sept 26, 2009:
9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Teaching
Tibetan Association of Southern California Celebrates His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Visit to Southern California
Dates: Friday Sep. 25 & Saturday Sep.26, 2009
Location Address: Scottish Rite Cathedral
Scottish Rite – 855 Elm Ave, Long Beach, CA 90813
Directions from teaching (LBCC): East on Ocean Blvd. Left on Elm Ave for 6 blocks.
Venue: At the beautiful Scottish Rite Cathedral in Long Beach, CA designated a historical landmark by the City of Long Beach. Less than 10 mins walk, 6 blocks from Long Beach Convention Center. FREE SHUTTLE from there to Scottish Rite Cathedral every 10 minutes provided by Long Beach Transit.
Food, Movie, Cultural Show, Dance Night, Art & Crafts Booths, Donation Raffle
Events on Fri Sept 25:
11:30 am to 2 pm: Veg or Non-Veg Lunch and Bottled Water for $8
6 pm: Movie “Dalai Lama Renaissance.” Q & A session with the Film Director, Khashyar Darvich after the movie.
Ticket Price: $10
Presale of Movie Tickets – Buy online at Tibetan Association of Southern California’s website at socaltibs.org
Dance/Social Night: 8pm to Midnight
Ticket Price: $20
Events on Sat Sept 26:
11 am onwards: Veg or Non-Veg Lunch and Bottled Water for $8
Afternoon: Tibetan Arts and Crafts Booths
3 pm: Cultural Show featuring Special Guest Nawang Khechog – Grammy Nominee (Website: nawangkhechog.com) and hosts of local Tibetan Artists and Performers
Ticket Price: $20
Dance/Social Night: 8pm to Midnight
Ticket Price: $20
Raffle Tickets at $10 each
1st Prize: 52-inch flat screen TV
2nd Prize: Apple MACbook
3rd Prize: Apple iTouch
Winners need not be present to win. Raffle Results will be drawn on Sep 26th and uploaded to Youtube LIVE on socaltibs.org
Organized by Tibetan Association of Southern California www.socaltibs.org
Khashyar | July 28, 2009
Chinese government reacts to successful theatrical premiere of Dalai Lama film and positive press in Taiwan
Los Angeles, CA (July 29, 2009) – The Chinese government often has the clout and muscle to prevent Hollywood films from being released in Asia, and can even discourage films from having an extended release in the West if they are perceived to threaten Chinese policy.
Films starring such big name stars as Richard Gere and Sharon Stone were boycotted by China after the actors expressed support for the Tibet Independence Movement. After Disney released Kundun, Martin Scorsese’s 1997 feature film about the Dalai Lama, the studio incurred the wrath of the Chinese government, and Disney films were banned for an indefinite period of time.
Recently, after a theatrical documentary film about the Dalai Lama and narrated by Harrison Ford entitled Dalai Lama Renaissance (www.DalaiLamaFilm.com) was released in theaters in Taiwan this summer and received front page positive press in the Chinese language Taiwanese newspapers, the Chinese government took keen notice.
The People’s Daily, a daily newspaper and media arm of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, quickly and sharply criticized Dalai Lama Renaissance in an article in its online edition.
The article, posted July 14th in the People’s Daily Online entitled “Western Movies Build Grand and Perfect Image of Dalai Lama,” argues that “in recent years, a wave of ‘Dalai Lama fever’ has appeared in the Western movie industry… describing the Chinese government’s peaceful liberation of Tibet as ‘cruel oppression,’ and depicting the Dalai Lama’s life in India as difficult… Some movies even advocate the Dalai Lama’s concept of [Tibetan] ‘independence.’”
Although the title of the article refers to “Movies,” the article exclusively focuses on Dalai Lama Renaissance. Referring to the film, which has been distributed in cinemas around the world, the article criticizes that “the part of the movie related to the peaceful liberation of Tibet was filled with political bias, reflecting the director’s ignorance and misunderstanding of Tibet’s history… The movie transforms the Dalai Lama into an omniscient sage, reflecting a ‘misunderstanding’ of the Dalai Lama’s image in the West… In fact, what these movies depict is just the ‘anesthesia’ given by the Dalai Lama to the West.”
The fact that the Chinese Communist Party’s main media organization has chosen to criticize the film may be a defensive reaction to the very positive press that Dalai Lama Renaissance received in the Chinese language media in Taiwan, where it premiered in front of sold-out audiences on June 1. And it may be an attempt to counteract any effect on readers in mainland China, who often have access to Chinese language news from Taiwan.
Taiwan’s best-selling weekly newspaper, E Weekly, gave the film a rating of 82, which is one of the highest ratings that a film has received in the past year in Taiwan. According to its Taiwanese theatrical distributor, Blockbuster of Taiwan (no relation to Blockbuster video in the United States), E Weekly regularly gives films far lower ratings. FTV, a television station in Taiwan, also reported that that the premiere of the film in Taiwan was very successful, with not an empty seat in the cinema, and that “many people were touched after watching the film.” The Taipei Times wrote that “the film rapidly grabs hold of you… an insightful documentary.”
Ironically, the Chinese Communist Party may feel most threatened by the idea brought up in the film regarding economic sanctions against China from the West. But despite this being a near unanimous suggestion by the Westerners in a scene in Dalai Lama Renaissance, the Dalai Lama discouraged the proposal.
The Taiwanese newspaper The Liberty Times points out that, in the film, “the Dalai Lama thinks that humanity is the most important thing in the world and economic sanctions might affect many Chinese citizens, thus he is hesitant whether such an approach is right.”
The People’s Daily also tries to discredit the producer-director of the film, Khashyar Darvich. In its article, the newspaper claims that the director is a “follower” of the Dalai Lama, and supports this assertion by referring to an interview where Darvich mentioned that he produced the film party for the opportunity to spend time with the exiled Tibetan leader.
“It’s interesting that the Chinese Communist Party refers to me as a follower of the Dalai Lama,” Darvich responded. “Although I respect the Dalai Lama as a man of peace, just as the Nobel Peace Prize Committee did by awarding him the Nobel Peace prize, and as do most governments around the world, I am not a Dalai Lama groupie. When I began the film, I was not very familiar with the Dalai Lama’s ideas. I think that his actions, and the respect that he garners around the world, speaks for itself.”
Despite the Chinese Communist Party’s attempt to discredit the film, Producer-Director Khashyar Darvich states that his production company, Wakan Films, has just signed an agreement to release Dalai Lama Renaissance unofficially into China itself, under the radar of the Chinese Government.
“My hope,” says Darvich, “is that the film will open a dialog between the Chinese government and the Dalai Lama, and that the average Chinese citizen will be able to see that the Dalai Lama is not such a bad guy and is interested in a solution to the Tibet issue that serves the highest good and benefits both the Chinese and Tibetans. I would be happy to attend a screening of the film in China and conduct a Q&A with Chinese audiences as a way to contribute to positive dialog.”
For more information on Dalai Lama Renaissance, go to www.DalaiLamaFilm.com.
Khashyar | February 9, 2009
NEW YORK, NY — ‘Dalai Lama Renaissance,’ the feature documentary about the Dalai Lama narrated by Harrison Ford, premieres theatrically in New York City at the prestigious Rubin Museum of Art on February 21, 2009.
‘Dalai Lama Renaissance’ tells the story of 40 Western innovative thinkers who travel to India to meet with the Dalai Lama to solve the problem of world peace. What happened was surprising and unexpected, and was captured by a five-camera, 18-person crew.
The film features two of the starring quantum physicists from the hit theatrical documentary ‘What the Bleep Do We Know,’ Fred Alan Wolf and Amit Goswami. Also appearing in ‘Dalai Lama Renaissance’ are Michael Beckwith (who appears in ‘The Secret’ with Wolf), Air America radio host Thom Hartmann, and other prominent figures.
Screening dates and times for ‘Dalai Lama Renaissance’ at the Rubin Museum of Art are:
* Sat., Feb. 21, at 4 and 6 p.m.
* Sun., Feb. 22, at 4 and 6 p.m.
* Sat., Feb. 28, at 4 and 6 p.m.
* Sun., March 1, at 4 p.m.
Producer-Director Khashyar Darvich will attend the screenings on Feb. 21 and 22 to discuss the film with audiences.
This is the first film about the Dalai Lama and Tibet to open theatrically in the United States since the international spotlight placed on China for its firm handling of Tibetan protesters speaking out against Chinese policies in Tibet.
“I narrated ‘Dalai Lama Renaissance,’” says Harrison Ford, “because I believe His Holiness is making a positive influence in our world. For me, the film represented an opportunity to continue assisting the optimistic efforts of an extraordinary individual.”
John Griffin of the Montreal Gazette calls ‘Dalai Lama Renaissance’ “a provocative, even enlightening film… fascinating, ravishingly beautiful and sonically soothing.” Film Threat Magazine’s Rick Kisonak said ‘Dalai Lama Renaissance’ is a “comedy sensation,” adding, “I can’t remember the last time a movie made me laugh so hard.”
‘Dalai Lama Renaissance’ is among the top-grossing theatrical documentaries of 2008-2009. This important film on human rights and world peace has screened in more than 80 cities around the U.S. and is the official selection of 40 film festivals around the world where it earned 12 awards. The film has attracted record audiences at film festivals and theaters around the U.S. and around the world. The film’s official webite is www.DalaiLamaFilm.com.
Media interviews are available.
ABOUT THE RUBIN MUSEUM OF ART
The Rubin Museum of Art, home to a comprehensive collection of art from the Himalayas and surrounding regions, regularly hosts events featuring luminaries such as Martin Scorsese, Lou Reed, Gloria Steinem, Laurie Anderson, Roseanne Cash and Elvis Costello. For details, visit www.rmanyc.org.
Khashyar | January 1, 2009
Obama Encourages President to Urge Tibet Resolution
Friday, March 28, 2008
CONTACT: Michael Ortiz, 202 228 5566
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) today sent the following letter to President Bush, calling on him to employ every diplomatic tool to persuade Chinese President Hu Jintao to make significant progress in resolving the Tibet issue. Given the recent events in Tibet and the upcoming Beijing Olympics, Obama asks President Bush to encourage the Chinese government to negotiate with the Dalai Lama, guarantee religious freedoms for the Tibetan people, protect Tibetan culture and language, and support the exercise of genuine autonomy for Tibet. Obama also supports Bush’s insistence that foreign press and diplomatic personnel have free access to Lhasa and other Tibetan cities and villages to ensure that repression and human rights violations cannot escape the world’s notice.
The text of the letter is below:
Dear Mr. President:
The situation in Tibet is deeply disturbing, and requires that all of us, regardless of party, do what we can to try to influence it for the better. I understand that you discussed the subject on Wednesday with President Hu Jintao. The United States has many issues for which China’s cooperation is important, including denuclearization of North Korea, ending Iran’s nuclear program, stopping the genocide in Darfur, confronting repression in Burma, and combating global warming. However, it is important that we give high priority to the plight of Tibetans and make clear to President Hu that the way in which China treats all Chinese citizens, including Tibetans, profoundly affects how China is viewed in the United States and throughout the international community.
Resolution of differences between the Chinese Government and the Dalai Lama is the key to progress in Tibet. The Dalai Lama, as you have said, is “a good man.” He is revered by virtually all Tibetans, and his absence from his homeland creates an incurable wound in the heart of Tibetan Buddhism. Tibet’s unique cultural and religious heritage cannot be preserved if he is demonized and kept at arm’s length. He has accepted Beijing’s precondition for a solution, namely recognition that Tibet is part of China, and has clearly stated that he is seeking religious, cultural and linguistic protection and autonomy for the Tibetan people, not independence. More recently, he indicated his belief that despite recent events, the Chinese people deserve to host the Olympics this summer.
I hope you made clear to President Hu the American view about the importance of the following: a negotiation with the Dalai Lama about his return to Tibet; guarantees of religious freedom for the Tibetan people; protection of Tibetan culture and language; and the exercise of genuine autonomy for Tibet. That is the path to the stability and harmony that the Chinese leaders say they are seeking in Tibet.
In addition to your personal intervention with President Hu, there are other steps I hope you will take to highlight our concern. I support your call for the foreign press and diplomatic personnel to have free access to Lhasa and other Tibetan cities and villages to ensure that repression and human rights violations cannot escape the world’s notice. Beijing has committed to the International Olympic Committee to allow foreign journalists free access to cover stories throughout China, including Tibet. We should hold them to that commitment. The U.S. and our democratic allies and friends should also urge the UN Human Rights Council to send an investigatory team to Tibet. China should be encouraged to allow the International Committee for the Red Cross to visit prisons in Tibet to ensure that detainees are not held under inhumane conditions, tortured, or mistreated.
Like you, I want to take steps that increase the chance of a negotiated solution between Beijing and the Dalai Lama, and that have the best chance of improving the lives of ordinary Tibetans. Therefore, I support your effort to aggressively use your relationship with President Hu to achieve these goals. Should it appear, however, that the Chinese are taking private diplomacy as a license for inaction or continued repression, I would urge you to speak out forcefully and publicly to disabuse them of the notion that they can thus escape international censure.
Despite the high emotions of the present time, I hope you can persuade the Chinese leadership that in this the year of the Beijing Olympics they have a unique opportunity to make dramatic progress in resolving the Tibet issue. Chinese leaders have it within their power to achieve that worthy goal if they take steps to change the situation in Tibet for the better and by reaching an accommodation with the Dalai Lama. Progress in Tibet would profoundly affect the world’s perception of China as it prepares to host the Olympic Games in August.
United States Senator
Khashyar | January 1, 2009
by Khashyar Darvich
LOS ANGELES-In an attempt to punish criticism of its policies and of its government, the People’s Republic of China maintains a blacklist, a list of individuals who are not permitted to enter China and/or Tibet.
It is widely reported, for example, that actor Richard Gere is banned from entering China because of his support for the Tibetan independence movement and the Dalai Lama.
Also, after Harrison Ford spoke before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee in support of Tibet, the Chinese government banned Ford from visiting Tibet.
Actress Sharon Stone’s films are banned in China after she made a comment that perhaps the large Earthquake in China that occurred in China in May of 2008 was a result of karma because of the occupation of Tibet by China:
“I’m not happy about the way the Chinese are treating the Tibetans, because I don’t think anyone should be unkind to anyone else,” Stone said in a brief red carpet interview with Cable Entertainment News of Hong Kong. “And then all this earthquake and all this stuff happened, and then I thought, is that karma? When you’re not nice that the bad things happen to you?”
Actor Brad Pitt was reported to be banned from entering the Chinese mainland for life after starring in the film “Seven Years in Tibet,” which presents a sympathetic portrait of the Dalai Lama.
Film Director Martin Scorcese is banned from entering Tibet after he directed the feature film “Kundun,” which is about the early life of the Dalai Lama and the brutal Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1950.
Documentary filmmakers like “Dalai Lama Renaissance” producer-director Khashyar Darvich, who have made films that portray the Dalai Lama in a positive light, and that present a view of the Chinese invasion of Tibet that the Chinese government does not agree with, are also probably banned from entering Tibet.