Sunday, February 24, 2008

Lhosar and Love

Oh someone has to stop me with the titles.

Tashi Ta Le!! Happy Tibetan New Year (Lhosar) a few weeks late. Another colorful holiday in Nepal! Our anemic pastels of spring might need an overhaul. Being just over the Himalayas from Tibet there is a huge population of Tibetan exiles in Nepal. Those in Kathmandu tend to live near one of the large Stupas - the most notable being Boudanath Stupa. So our little family decided to head over to the celebration just to check it out. We joined the throng and watched as the Tibetans circumambulated the Stupa, threw fresh lime (not as in a citrus fruit - as in powdered limestone - although that would be funny - well, not to them I suppose) on it, put up new prayer flags and celebrated together in traditional Tibetan clothing. We climbed onto the Stupa with the masses and tried to keep Swift from taking a dive off of it (no railings). I'll state the obvious - we don't blend. Our three blond headed children generally draw a little attention and families kept stealing one or another of them for their family pictures. Elderly women wanted to hold their hand. It is all quite sweet but how one teaches "stranger danger" in this context is a bit beyond me at the moment.

A few days before this Kit's class went to see the Lama Dancing at one of the Tibetan Monasteries where some of these pictures were taken. The fabrics used in the robes were incredible. The masks were scary looking. The teacher took all the kids around to meet the big kahuna lama and get katahs put around their necks (white scarves). These are the moments I miss our sweet church preschool. Lent is not exactly being covered in the same fashion at school. But that is our job and I digress.

Oh - the Love part. Congratulations to Daniel and Dolkar (no picture of the two of them together - oops). Daniel is Bill's colleague who arrived at post 18 months ago a single man and fell in love with his Tibetan teacher, Dolkar. They celebrated their marriage at the end of Lhosar. Theirs is a lovely story and we wish them every happiness!


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