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Culture week offers Poles a true taste of Tibet


Honored guests cut the ribbons on the opening ceremony of the 2012 Poland·China Tibetan Culture Week in Warsaw, capital of Poland, on Nov. 5, 2012. The 2012 Poland China Tibetan Culture Week opened here in Warsaw on Monday, aiming to give the Poles a glimpse of Tibet and its traditional culture. [Xinhua/Zhou Lei]

Gently, Lhakpa Tseten placed his right hand on a Thangka and ran his slender fingers over the surface of the painting of Guru Padmasambhava, the India-born master who introduced tantric Buddhism into Tibet, in the Palace of Culture and Science in central Warsaw.

"This painting is painted on silk, with organic pigments," he explained to his audience gathered for the 2012 Poland China Tibetan Culture Week that opened in Warsaw on November 5.

"Such paint is specially made. Its color would not fade or subdue even after hundreds of years," he said in English.

A professor of the Tibet University for over 25 years who specializes in Tibetan cultural protection and preservation, Lhakpa has been a leading member of the Tibetologist and artist delegation, which visited Madrid and Valencia in Spain in 2010.

This time, the delegation, led by Cui Yuying, deputy director of the Information Office of China's State Council, brought with them 46 Tibetan Thangka paintings, to offer the Poles a glimpse of the sophisticated form of art from the roof of the world.

"We want to use (the Poland China Tibetan Culture Week) as a means to showcase the Tibetan culture, (and) ... to establish contacts with the Polish people," Lhakpa said.

"We want to show them a real Tibet," he said.

Aside from the Thangka paintings, the culture week, which will last until Nov. 11, also features an exhibition of more than 200 photos taken by Chinese and foreign photographers, in addition to a series of seminars and discussions between Tibetologists and the locals.

More than 400 people visited the Thangka exhibition on Monday, right after the inauguration ceremony held in the Palace of Culture and Science.

"It (The culture week) is all very interesting. The event will allow the Polish people to know more about China," Krzysztof Szumski, former Polish embassador to China, told Xinhua. "It is an occasion to establish some more contacts between both sides."

Szumski, who worked in Beijing for four years from 2005 to 2009, admitted that Tibet and the region's traditional culture was not yet very well-recognized in Poland.

"There are many ... different and sometimes wrong views about the situation in Tibet," he said, "I think this exhibition ... gives the Polish people a more realistic view of Tibet."

Another key part of the week-long cultural event was a folk song and dance performance by more than 30 Tibetan artists.

While the female solo "The Tibetan Plateau" drew a standing ovation from the 2,000-strong audience who chanted "Bravo," it was the Polish folk song Kukuleczka performed by Tibetan artists that made the show truly unforgettable, with many joining the chorus, singing in Polish while clapping their hands.

"I am most impressed by their dance music," said 29-year-old Aleksandve Skibniewska. "Though I don't understand their language, I understand the art."

"Tibet is officially the first stop of my China tour," she added.

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