Gallery 14

Shoton Festival, Dharamsala,
India - 2004

Photos by Tenzin Wangden Andrugtsang

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Dear Joe Omigo,

Thank you for your email. In the last set of photos that I had sent you, the event was Shoton Festival. This is a festival held every year and forms a very important part of the Tibetan culture. The Dalai Lama blesses the festival with His presence if he happens to be in Dharamsala. But in Independent Tibet the Dalai Lama graces this festival every year and is celebrated with great pomp and show. People enjoy this festival which carries on for many days on end and is marked with merry making. This photo shows an opera being performed by the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts. I took these photos during the last day of the festival. The single girl standing in the costume is a fairy in the opera.....the one's wearing large round red hats are the kings servants. The pair of shoe is a traditional Tibetan shoe....which unfortunately is worn during dances and operas.....moreover these shoes are very warm and not suitable for Indian climate. A unique thing about this is that this can be worn irrespective of right leg or left. It is then tied at the upper level of the calve just below the knee with a thick string. The one wearing a pointed white hat is the king and facing him is his queen in the opera.

I am glad that my photos will be of some helping create awareness among westerners.

Take care my friend,
adeious Omigo,

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