A sam­pling of Ti­bet comes to Hous­ton

China Daily (USA) - - ACROSS AMERICA - By MAY ZHOU in Hous­ton mayzhou@chi­nadai­lyusa.com Tif­fany Wang in Hous­ton con­trib­uted to the story.

If Tex­ans can’t go to the moun­tains, then why not bring the moun­tains to Texas?

A del­e­ga­tion from Ti­bet shared their his­tory, life and cul­ture through dis­cus­sions, a photo ex­hi­bi­tion, film, dance and mu­sic per­for­mance with Hous­ton res­i­dents on Wed­nes­day, at the Univer­sity of Hous­ton, Univer­sity of St. Thomas and the Asia So­ci­ety Texas Cen­ter (ASTC).

Ti­tled Ex­pe­ri­ence China: US Tour of West Re­gion Cul­ture, the ex­change was a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween China’s state coun­cil’s in­for­ma­tion of­fice, the Con­sulate Gen­eral of China in Hous­ton and the ASTC.

At the Univer­sity of Hous­ton, five speak­ers from the del­e­ga­tion pre­sented var­i­ous top­ics re­lated to Ti­bet. The panel con­sisted of pro­fes­sors, of­fi­cials re­spon­si­ble for eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment in Ti­bet and a Ti­betan liv­ing Bud­dha.

Top­ics ranged from Ti­bet’s nat­u­ral won­ders avail­able for tourism and Bud­dhist monks day-to-day life in the tem­ple to the cur­rent eco­nomic state of the re­gion.

The Third Pole, a film show­cas­ing Ti­bet and the Ti­betan Plateau, was screened for stu­dents and fac­ulty.

At the Univer­sity of St. Thomas, po­lit­i­cal sci­ence schol­ars and mem­bers of the US-China Friend­ship As­so­ci­a­tion ex­changed in­for­ma­tion with mem­bers of the del­e­ga­tion, touch­ing on top­ics such as the po­ten­tial for health­care col­lab­o­ra­tions and the di­ver­sity of Ti­bet’s re­li­gions.

“All re­li­gions are re­garded equal in Ti­bet,” said Dawaciren, a Ti­betan liv­ing Bud­dha. “There are Chris­tian churches and Is­lamic tem­ples in Ti­bet, and there is in­ter­ac­tion be­tween them and Ti­betan Bud­dhism.”

The photo ex­hi­bi­tion at ASTC drew a large crowd.

Charles Fos­ter, a mem­ber of ASTC’s board, said, “The ex­hi­bi­tion is very col­or­ful and im­pres­sive. I have been to Lhasa and it was a spe­cial trip of a life­time. We en­joyed it thor­oughly. A pic­ture is worth a thou­sand words and they re­ally showed the grandeur of that part of the world.”

Lu Guangjin, direc­tor of the state coun­cil’s in­for­ma­tion of­fice and head of the del­e­ga­tion, said that the ex­change was a re­sult of an agree­ment reached by the heads of China and US.

“We came when the US was elect­ing a new pres­i­dent, which made this a more spe­cial oc­ca­sion,” Lu said. “It’s has been a few decades since Deng Xiaop­ing put on a cow­boy hat in Texas. The US-China re­la­tion­ship has ex­pe­ri­ence rainy days and sun­shine, but there has been more sun­shine. To­day we bring part of west re­gion’s cul­ture to our friends here. We hope this helps them bet­ter un­der­stand China’s cul­ture.”

Con­sul Gen­eral of China in Hous­ton Li Qiang­min wel­comed the au­di­ence, say­ing he had vis­ited China’s west re­gion many times.

“It shares sim­i­lar­i­ties with Texas with its vast open spa­ces, dif­fer­ent eth­nic­i­ties work­ing to­gether and fast eco­nomic growth,” Li said. “You get a sense of its im­mense beauty from the per­for­mances, the photos and film.”

Ex­pe­ri­ence China is a pro­gram pre­sented by the in­for­ma­tion of­fice of the State Coun­cil. Since it started in 1999, it has vis­ited more than 40 coun­tries.

PHOTOS BY MAY ZHOU / CHINA DAILY

Ti­bet Liv­ing Bud­dha Dawaciren presents a hada to Asia So­ci­ety Texas Cen­ter board mem­ber Charles Fos­ter and Con­sul Gen­eral of China in Hous­ton Li Qiang­min, in Hous­ton on Wed­nes­day.

Ti­bet Liv­ing Bud­dha Dawaciren (right) presents a hada to Hans Stock­ton, direc­tor of the Cen­ter of In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies at Univer­sity of St. Thomas, while Lu Guangjin (left), direc­tor from the In­for­ma­tion Of­fice of the State Coun­cil, looks on.

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