Chant of the Wind Horse Prayer Flag
A special screening and presentation about Tibetan culture
Time: 7:30 – 9:30pm on August 12
Address: Richmond Cultural Centre (7700 Minoru Gate,
Cost: Free, with one-time annual membership of $5
Language: English & Tibetan & Mandarin
Our Monthly Film Series comes back in August with a special evening of film and lecture about contemporary Tibetan culture.
This special event is hosted by a Tibetan scholar Yongdrol Tsongkha. It will provide local residents a chance to understand Tibetan culture from a new perspective.
Professor Tsongkha has just completed a lecture tour in the universities of United States and will visit Canada in August. On this event, Tsongkha will use photos and video to share with audience the colourful folk arts of the contemporary Tibet, and will show part of his recently completed documentary In the Steps of Joseph Rock: Exploring A Lost Tibetan Kingdom in the Sino-Tibetan Borderlands. This film was screened on the 1st edition of New Asia Film Festival in 2008.
Tsongkha is a professor of Ethnology at the Lanzhou University of China and a Research Associate at the Indiana University of the States. He was born in a beautiful village, Choshidewa, on the northeastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau. Choshidewa is part of the Kumbum area, home to many Tibetan historical figures, including Je Tsongkhapa (1357-1419), the founder of Gelek School of Tibetan Buddhism and the XIVth Dalai Lama. But when Tsongkha was born in middle 1960s, the rich traditions of Tibetan culture in his hometown were fading.
Tsongkha traveled throughout Tibet in his youth, lived in Beijing for many years, earned a PhD in Tibetan Medical History (1995), and worked as a research professor at Chinese Academy of Sciences (1995-1999), then went to the U.S. as a visiting scholar.
In 2003, after many years of living in North America, Tsongkha returned home and embarked on a journey to preserve the Tibetan culture from inside. He initiated several traditional folk arts festivals in his village and nearby areas, strived to make some universities in China to accept Tibetan dances and language into their curriculum, and also made film and TV programs about Tibetan and other indigenous cultures.
He uses traditional games, dances, and music to help his people regain the pride and dignity of their own culture. His vision is deeply rooted in the understanding of Tibetan religion, and at the same time ranges beyond the limits of nations and geography.
About the Film
In the Steps of Joseph Rock: Exploring A Lost Tibetan Kingdom in the Sino-Tibetan Borderlands
(2008-2009/Director: Yongdrol. K.Tsongkha, Donnak Sonam Dorje/110 min/documentary )
Language: Tibetan and Mandarin + English Subtitle.
Choni is a beautiful place on the north-eastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau. Still rarely known to the western world, it was a Tibetan Principality with over 500 years of history and a vital cultural center on the Chinese-Tibetan borderlands. Eighty years ago, Joseph Francis Rock (1884-1962), one of the last classic explorers, embarked on his extensive expeditions across the Tibetan plateau. His remarkable article in National Geographic in 1928, “Life Among the Lamas of Choni,” along with his extraordinary visual materials of the Chinese-Tibetan borderlands and its people, are unique and remain invaluable to the history of this region.
Eighty years later, this carefully crafted documentary follows in the footsteps of this legendary explorer. By blending over 500 original photographs from Rock’s expeditions with modern images, and by weaving an extensively research chronology via narration and excerpts from his dairies, the film not only shows how eastern Tibet looked in the 1920s, but also portrays how the same places and people look now. It is a memorial meeting of the east and west, a long lasting dialogue between the past and the present.