MPP Bhutila Karpoche with Tibetans celebrating Tibetan Heritage Month 2023. Photo:file

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Dharamshala – Tibetan Canadians are celebrating Tibetan Heritage Month 2023 by holding Tibetan dances and sharing Tibetan momo with the people of Ontario to honour the 88th birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In July, Tibetan Heritage Month is celebrated with a series of events throughout the month.

Since the passage of Bill 131 - Tibetan Heritage Month Act by the provincial legislature of Ontario, Canada in September 2020, the month of July has been observed and celebrated as Tibetan Heritage Month by the Tibetan community residing in Ontario. The bill aims to protect and preserve Tibet's unique identity and cultural heritage at a time when the Chinese government is systematically destroying Tibetan culture, heritage and way of life in Tibet.

July is a very important month for Tibetans, as July 6 is the birthday of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of the Tibet. Tibetan Heritage Month is an opportunity for members of the community to promote and preserve their rich culture, while raising awareness among future generations of the important role played by Tibetan Canadians.

Tibetan-Canadian Bhutila Karpoche (NDP MPP for Parkdale—High Park) wrote on July 4, 2023, "Happy Tibetan Heritage Month!, Since 2021, Ontario has recognized July as Tibetan Heritage Month. This month provides the opportunity to promote, preserve, and celebrate Tibetan cultural heritage."

Bhutila Karpoche said, "Heritage is about telling stories and sharing with the world our unique identities. When we recognize people's heritage, it ensures that these identities are passed down from generation to generation for everyone to celebrate. This is our strength as Canadians."

The Tibetan Canadian community has arranged a Tibetan Heritage Summer Camp from July 13 to August 2, 2023, to educate about Life story and teachings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, as well as the language and history of Tibet. The camp also includes meditation and yoga exercises, as well as fun activities, games and sports.

Other events organised to celebrate the month include SEED IV live concert presented by Tibetan Canadian Cultural Centre on July 22. All the proceeds gained from the event would be used to build the classrooms for Tibetan Children.

The Tibetan Women’s Association in exile has arranged the Tibetan Woman’s Circle Panel Discussion scheduled on July 27. The Tibetan Women’s Circle is an exclusive space for Tibetan women/girls to regularly meet, connect and share their experiences, learn new skills and enjoy each other’s company.

Overall, July, Tibetan Heritage Month, is a month full of joy and learning experiences for both Tibetan and Canadian residents, recognising the presence and perseverance of the Tibetan community and aiming to educate future generations about Tibet.