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LOSAR – Tenzin Tsundue

Posted by shilpa on Apr 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

A 2003 World Jam alumni, Tenzin Tsundue from Tibet/India, shared this comment and poem:

“LOSAR the Tibetan new year 2138 cracked open yesetrday morning by India timing.

I hear that the Chinese government has sent home all non-residents of Lhasa out of the caiptal area just before the new year. Traditionally Losar is celebrated for five days, or atleast the first three days, where, on the third day the community come together to raise the flag poles and string the colourful prayer flags on to the trees and on the mountains. Strangely all government staff in ‘Tibet Autnomous Region’ have been ordered to report to work on the third day of the new year.

Usually gifts are shared with friends on the asupicious occassion. I am sharing with you all a poem I composed yesterday. My losar gift.

- tenzin tsundue, dharamsala

SOMEWHERE I LOST MY LOSAR

Somewhere along the path, I

lost it, don’t know where or when.

It wasn’t a one-fine-day incident.

As I grew up it just got left behind,

very slowly, and I didn’t go back for it.

It was there when as a kid I used to wait

for the annual momo dinner,

when we lined up for gifts that came

wrapped in newspapers in our

refugee school, it was there when

we all gained a year together, before

birthdays were cakes and candles.

Somewhere along the path, I

lost it, don’t know where or when.

When new clothes started to feel

stiff and firecrackers frightening, when

our jailed heroes ate in pig sties there,

or were dead, heads smashed

against the wall as we danced

to Bollywood numbers here,

when the boarding school and uniforms

took care of our daily needs, when

family meant just good friends,

sometime when Losar started to mean

a new year, few sacred routines,

somehow, I lost my Losar.

Somewhere along the path, I

lost it, don’t know where or when.

Colleged in seaside city, when it was

still Bombay, sister’s family on pilgrimage,

uncle in Varanasi, mother grazing cows

in South India, still need to report

to Dharamsala police, couldn’t get train tickets,

too risky to try waiting list, and it’s

three days, including return journey

it’s one week. Even if I go,

other siblings may not find the time. Adjusting

timing, it’s been 20 years without a Losar.

Somewhere along the path, I

lost it, don’t know where or when.

Losar is when we the juveniles and bastards

call home, across the Himalayas and cry

into the wire. Losar is some plastic flowers

and a momo party. And then in 2008

when our people rode horses, shouting ‘Freedom’

against rattling machine guns, when they

died like flies in the Olympics’ spectacle,

we shaved our heads bald and threatened

to die by fasting, but failed. I

couldn’t die, it’s forbidden by law.

Somewhere along the path, I

lost it, don’t know where or when.

Somewhere, I lost my Losar.

-Tenzin Tsundue
March 2011

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