Seattle Center Festál presents Tibet Fest (pronounced T-bet Fest) in partnership with the Tibetan Association of Washington (TAW). The festival showcases traditional and contemporary Tibetan art, music, dance, art and more.
The public rarely gets an opportunity to experience Tibet’s unique and endangered culture. The Tibetan diaspora outside Tibet is very small in number and it is challenging to preserve and propagating our culture among the younger generation. Tibet Fest provides a unique opportunity for the community to embrace their Tibetan identity with pride, and introduce themselves to the public as being a part of the greater diverse population in this city and nation.
The focus of Tibet Fest is to preserve Tibet’s rich endangered culture in our community in the Northwest and also to provide an opportunity for the general public to experience this very rich and unique but often inaccessible culture.
This event is free and open to the public.
The Tibetan state started in 127 B.C., with establishment of the Yarlung Dynasty. The country as we know it was first unified in the 7th Century, under King Songtsen Gampo. Tibet was one of the mightiest powers of Asia for the three centuries that followed. A formal peace treaty concluded between China and Tibet in 821/823 AD demarcated the borders between the two countries and ensured that, “Tibetans shall be happy in Tibet and Chinese shall be happy in China.” In the later years, Tibet came under influence of Mongolian rule and later Manchu rule of Qing Dynasty. The final army of the Qing were expelled from Tibet in 1911 and the 13th Dalai Lama formally declared Tibetan independence.
Tibet remained as a de facto Independent state till Chinese communist’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) invaded Tibet and forced under duress to sign the so called 17th Point Peace Agreement in 1951. Tibetans rose up against Chinese rule in many areas, some violent but many peaceful. After a failed people’s uprising on March 10, 1959 in Lhasa, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and over 100,000 Tibetans fled into exile to India, Nepal and Bhutan.
The United Nations General Assembly passed resolutions in 1959, 1961 and 1965 urging respect for the rights of the Tibetan people and it also recognized the Tibetan people’s right to self-determination.
There were under 500 Tibetans in US till the passage of the 1990 Immigration Act, which provided for the resettlement of 1,000 "displaced Tibetans into US from Nepal and India. The Tibetans received permanent residence and work authorization, but no benefits for three years and no Federal funds, things generally accorded to refugees. https://www.nytimes.com/1991/08/21/world/us-in-new-step-will-let-in-1000-tibetans.html
Seattle and Portland/Vancouver were two of the many sites of this resettlement project. The Tibetan population has steadily increased to over 30 thousand, the largest concentrated in New York and the Twin cities.
TAW is 501(c)3 non-profit organization since March 1993. TAW supports the leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his commitment to the principle of non-violence in the Tibetan peoples struggle for freedom.
The first Tibet Fest was held in 1996. The Tibetan Association of Washington and Tibet Fest are both driven by volunteers’ endeavors since its inception and that remains its biggest strength and source of optimism for the future years.
DID YOU KNOW?
Tibet is the world’s highest plateau (avg. 3000 m. above sea level).
Tibet is called the 3rd pole. It holds the largest body of fresh water outside the Artic and Antarctica. The headwaters of six of Asia’s major rivers begin on the Tibetan Plateau and feeds 20 per cent of the world’s population
Tibet is one of the first countries to ban death penalty in 1913.
The yak, a native animal of Tibet, is usually referred to the males. Females are called Dr-ie.
Tibetan tea has salt and butter.