By Tenzin Tsetan Lhagotsang
NEW YORK, US, 9 December 2017
As New York City experienced its first snowfall of the season on 9 December, more than 1,000 Tibetans from different parts of the US and Canada gathered in the city to celebrate the 28th anniversary of the conferment of the Nobel Peace Prize on the 14th Dalai Lama.
The event at the Bellozino hall in Jackson Heights, Queens, in New York City was jointly organized by the Tibetan-American community of New York and New Jersey (TCNYNJ) and other Tibetan organizations in NY and NJ.
The Chief guests of the day were President of the Central Tibetan Administration Lobsang Sangay and Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile Khenpo Tenpa Sonam Topgyal. Other guests included Prof Raj Mohan Gandhi (the great grandson of Mahatma Gandhi), two North-American Tibetan Parliamentarians Ms Pema Chagzoetsang and Mr Tsewang Rigzin, the new Representative to North America Mr Ngodup Tsering, and the leaders of the North American Tibetan community.
The event started with an introduction by the organizers and an address by the dignitaries. A cultural performance of Tibetan songs and dances was presented to the guests and the people by New York Cholsum Doegar and children of the Tibetan Sunday school of NYNJ.
Around 1 pm, both the President and the Speaker gave a special talk to the Tibetan-American youths above the age of 12, who sat on the front few rows numbering around 100 or more in the Bellozino hall.
President Sangay invited questions from the youths, and interactively answered many questions. After the Q&A programme, he took a few pictures and had selfies taken with the youths and the public.
The honourable guest later headed back to his hotel with his entourage to prepare for his next event. A gala dinner was organized in the evening at the Marriott hotel near LaGuardia Airport in East Elmhurst, NY, by the Solidarity With Tibet Rally Committee, North America Tibetan Association-NATA, and two Chithues to raise funds for the upcoming rally at the United Nations and its programmes in New York City.