Kunsel Kyetsal Inauguration Part II

More photos of our visit to Golok in the summer of 2007 to celebrate the inauguration of the Kunsel Kyetsal technical and science high school.  

At Dawu's altitude pf approximately 13,000', when the summer sun shines unobstructed by clouds, its rays are bright and intense.  Here we see TSF Chairman, Ven. Sogan Rinpoche being escorted by student-performers to the next event at the Kunsel Kyetsal inauguration celebration.  

Clouds have parted and festival attendees don hats and sunglasses  to make their way across the Kunsel Kyetsal campus in the midday sun.  Sogan Rinpoche (c) is accompanied by the representative of the central government (l) and the governor of Golok (r).  

Dignitaries, educators, TSF board members and others who were instrumental in the completion of Kunsel Kyetsal were introduced one at a time at the inauguration ceremony.  Here, board member and translator Robert Clark waves to the crowd as his name is announced over the loud speaker.  

TSF Chairman of the Board, Sogan Rinpoche, gives the keynote address to dignitaries, students, and all who attended celebrations for the grand opening of Kunsel Kyetsal.  Rinpoche addressed the large crowd in two languages: Tibetan and English.  

Clouds played hid and seek with the sun throughout the day causing one to reach for a coat one minute and a bottle of water the next! Even on a beautiful day, a this elevation the temperature fluctuation can be quitedramatic.  Here, important government officials listen to Rinpoche's speech.  

During a lunch break in the middle of festivities, guests of honor were escorted to a cafeteria where the tables were piled high with local delicacies, including yak meat and fresh yogurt.  The students were boisterous and curious about their foreign guests.  

Here Ven. Sogan Rinpoche speaks with the principal of the school.  Rinpoche is seated at his desk which is adorned with traditional offerings of fruit, cakes, and other treats.  This office is located in the new building , and was decorated with Rinpoche in mind.  It will be made available to him whenever he is in Dawu.  

Many gifts expressing the gratitude of the Golok Department of Education were presented to The Sogan Foundation board members and friends.  Here, they model new outfits in Sogan Rinpoche's office.  The traditional wool over-garment , known as a chuba, is lined with brocade and is quite warm.  

Kunsel Kyetsal students gathered in the campus courtyard to listen to words of wisdom and encouragement from Sogan Rinpoche.  In the background is a statue of Tonmi Sambhota, the 7th century founder of the Tibetan academic and literary tradition.  

There were many sacred pilgrimage sites to visit as Sogan Rinpoche and his friends traveled across Quinghai province.  Here, the pilgrims make offerings of money, katags, and prostrations, hoping to gain enough merit to transcend obstacles on the path to enlightenment.  

Traveling from Xining, the capital city of Amdo in N.E. Tibet, to Dawu, the capital of Golok prefecture, there is an elevation gain of approximately 6000 ft.  Stopping to stretch their legs during the nine hour drive are board members Robert Clark and Victoria Chen, with a monk from Bayan Monastery.  

Bayan monks, seen here in front of one of the temples of the monastery, donned costumes to perform the king Gesar epic for Ven. Sogan Rinpoche and special guests.  In keeping with centuries of tradition, many Tibetan residents of the area made their way to the monastery for the occasion.  

As head of the Bayan Monastery, Sogan Rinpoche is placed on a high throne to honor his esteemed wisdom and his accomplishments throughout many lifetimes dedicated to the benefit of all living beings.  Rinpoche's monk/performers gather round to commemorate a precious moment.  

Feeling under-dressed, friends and board members of The Sogan Foundation were invited to join the Bayan monks in their colorful costumes for a group photo at the completion of this performance of the king Gesar epic.  

TSF Board member Robert Clark weighs his options as he mulls over modes of travel for traversing the high plains of Golok.  Here we see Robert and his yak, Topden Traring, at the seventh century shrine of the Sun and Moon near Lake Kokonor, in N.E. Tibet.  

More Slideshows

Kunsel Kyetsal - Construction history, the timeline in photos

Kunsel Kyetsal - Inaugural festivities, August, 2007

Kunsel Kyetsal - Year One, classes begin

About Golok Part I

About Golok Part II

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