Students celebrate anniversary of Tibetan independence

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Students for a Free Tibet celebrated the 100-year anniversary of the proclamation of Tibetan independence Wednesday on UC Berkeley’s Dwinelle Plaza.

The festivities celebrated the 1913 proclamation of Tibetan independence from China. The UC Berkeley chapter of Students for a Free Tibet collaborated with the regional Bay Area chapter to organize the festivities that took place on campus.

The plaza was decorated with colorful banners, Tibetan flags and a tent presenting offerings to the Tibetan god, which included fried bread and photos of the Dalai Lama. Students in the organization hoped to spread awareness of the current political state of Tibet and further educate the public on Tibetan culture through the day’s festivities.

“Our basic goal was to have a celebratory event to let people know that Tibet was once a free country,” said Tenzin Daden, a member of the group’s Bay Area chapter. “China has been telling people that Tibet was always a part of China, which is not true.”

Participants in the celebration were dressed in the traditional Tibetan chupa, a long and colorful wrapped gown, and offered tea and daysee, a traditional Tibetan Lunar New Year food with sweetened rice and raisins. They chanted mantras, performed a group dance and displayed examples of traditional Tibetan art.

“We also sang the Tibetan national anthem, which was very symbolic,” Daden said. “It symbolizes that we were once a country and we have a national anthem, like other countries do.”

On March 10, supporters of Tibetan independence from all around the Bay Area will unite for National Uprising Day to celebrate their heritage and protest the Chinese occupation of Tibet.

Contact Jennie Yoon at [email protected].