The Department of Hindi, IoE Project, ‘An Outline of Tibetan Literary Sources’, organized a Special Lecture Series, a Tibet Centered Poetry Recitation and Discussion program and a National Seminar from August 21st to August 30th. In this series, seven special lectures covered a range of topics related to Tibetan literary sources. This event also successfully conducted a two-day National Seminar on ‘An Outline of Tibetan Literary Sources’ as part of the same event. Before that on 22nd August, the Poetry Recitation and Discussion took place in the presence of Tibetan poet Tenzin Tsundue along with scholars and students of the University.
These events took place in the conference hall and lecture hall of the School of Humanities. The primary objective of the lecture series and the seminar was to offer participants a comprehensive understanding of Tibet’s rich literary sources and cultural heritage. This included a specific focus on the Tibetan language, traditional culture, and global significance, particularly for neighboring countries of Tibet. The importance of Tibet that the event aimed to highlight is not only in terms of its literary and cultural tradition but also extended to areas such as water and other natural resources vital to the well-being of the region.
During the event, on 21st August poet, translator and writer, Anuradha Singh, presented a lecture centered on her notable translated work, ‘Lhasa ka Lahoo’: A Collection of Translated Poetry by Tibetan Exiled Poets. In her address, she focused on the essence and emotions embedded in the translated poetry. She shared her journey in Tibetan literature, shedding light on her involvement with this literary tradition. Furthermore, she imparted various insights to the participants regarding the crucial considerations that a translator must embrace while translating literature. Her presentation aimed to provide a deeper understanding of the details involved in the art of translation, particularly in the context of Tibetan poetry, and the aspects that contribute to the faithful and meaningful transference of literary works across languages. On 22nd, Anuradha Singh delivered her second talk on ‘The Legacy of Milarepa’. She focused on the remarkable biography of Milarepa and examined his literary contributions.
In the evening of the 22nd, the Tibet-centered poetry recitation and discussion program was held, which was chaired by Prof. Vishnu R Sarvade, Department of Hindi, UoH. He discussed aspects of Hindi poetry and Buddhist traditions, while also placing emphasis on how they shape social justice movements. The main part of the program was the poetry recitation by the eminent Tibetan poet, Tenzin Tsundue, where he discussed his poetry and his writing journey and thought processes. The scholars and students of the Department of Hindi namely Vinod Mishra, Sonal, Rajneesh Kumar, Pushkar Bandhu, Gaurav Singh, Priyanka Priyadarshini, Anamika Jha, Priyanka Shukla and Yogendra Pratap Singh recited Tibet centered Hindi poetry.
On the 23rd, in her third lecture, ‘Translating Tibetan Literature: Problems and Possibilities’, Anuradha Singh critically explored the challenges and possibilities inherent in translating Tibetan literature. She addressed the complexities faced by translators when attempting to convey the essence and nuances of Tibetan literary works in different languages.
In the fourth lecture of the series also on the 23rd, the organizers were honored to once again have Tenzin Tsundue, the esteemed exiled poet from Tibet, as a Resource Person. During his captivating presentation, he shared insights into his unique writing journey in the lecture titled, ‘The Writing Process: From ‘Crossing the Border’ to ‘Nowhere to Call Home’. In his engaging talk, ‘Kora’ being one of the most popular literary texts, he talked about how the process of writing takes place. Tenzin Tsundue explored the evolution of his creative process, drawing from his experiences and the profound influence of his cultural background and political history.
The Two-day National Seminar on ‘An Outline of Tibetan Literary Sources,’ was held on August 24th and 25th, The inaugural session of this seminar featured esteemed dignitaries and guest speakers. Among the distinguished attendees were, Prof. R. S. Sarraju, Pro Vice Chancellor, UoH, Prof. V. Krishna, Dean, School of Humanities, Prof. Gajendra Pathak, Head, Department of Hindi, Dr. M. N. Rajesh, Department of History. All resource persons and guests were welcomed by being given the traditional Tibetan scarf Khata which denotes respect. The presence of the keynote speaker, Tenzin Tsundue, further enriched the inaugural session of the seminar. In his address, Tsundue shed light on the ‘Contemporary Trends of Tibetan Literature,’ providing valuable insights and perspectives to the participants. His contribution added depth and significance to the seminar, fostering a robust exchange of ideas and knowledge among the attendees. The session witnessed the launch of the e-journal ‘The Archneed’ edited by Arnav Keyur Anjaria. This Tri-lingual (English, Hindi and Gujrati) edition was specially focused on the mission Chandrayaan-3.
In the first session of the seminar eminent speakers from various parts of India contributed their expertise, offering diverse perspectives on Tibet-related topics. Dr. Uttam Lal, Department of Geography, Sikkim University, shared his insights on ‘Geopolitics of the Himalayas.’ His presentation provided a comprehensive overview of the geopolitics of the Himalayan region and its dynamics and emphasized the significance of Tibet in this context. Dr. Arnav Keyur Anjaria, SRRL, Bhuj, focused on ‘Tibetan Image in Cinema.’ His discussion explored how Tibet has been portrayed and represented in visual media, particularly in cinema. Aman Kant Panta, hailing from IIIT Hyderabad, presented his paper on ‘The Impact of Modernity on a Tibetan Buddhist Community of the Western Himalayas.’ His presentation included the transformative effects of modernity on the Tibetan Buddhist community of the Western Himalayas, shedding light on the sociocultural changes occurring in the region. The session was chaired by Prof. D. Murali Manohar, Head, Department of English and Associate Director of IoE, UoH who welcomed the thoughtful socio-political ideas presented, and emphasized the need for more discussion on literary sources. These speakers added depth and diversity to the discussions, providing a multidimensional understanding of Tibet and its various facets in the seminar.
The second and third sessions were dedicated to Tibetan language and literature Chaired by Prof. Ajailiu Niumai, CSSEIP, UoH, Dr. M. N. Rajesh, History, UoH, respectively. Anuradha Singh talked on ‘Resistance of Exiled Tibetan Poetry.’ Deskyong Angmo, Research Scholar, UoH presented a paper on ‘The Ethical Approach of ‘Bardo Thosdol’ (The Tibetan Book of the Dead)’ uncovering the philosophical aspects of the text. Emerging poet Vinod Mishra, analyzed the pain of Exile and its expression in Tibet Centric Hindi poetry. Priyanka Priyadarshini talked on the voices of Tibetan Poetry in the light of Hindi Translation. The chair of the second session Prof. Ajailiu Niumai closely observed the papers presented and gave very positive and creative remarks regarding the importance of land, sense of belonging, and agency, where Tibet and Tibetans are concerned. In third session Tsering Dhondup talked on ‘Freedom in Exile’ and his experiences as an Exiled Tibetan who as a kid travelled from Tibet to India. The chair of the third session Dr. M. N. Rajesh gave a lecture on ‘Historical Perspectives of Tibet’. In this lecture he talked about the importance of Tibetan history, its natural and cultural associations with India, and the implications that lie therein.
The fourth session comprised paper presentations by Dr Suparna Mukharji, Dr Suman Kumari, Ajeet Arya, Sonal, Pushkar Bandhu, Chandra Pal, Rampyari, and Dhananjay Kumar in the moderation of Jitendra Bera, Department of Hindi, UoH. This session was chaired by Prof. Neelam Rathi, Aditi College, Delhi University. It provided participants with valuable insights into the Tibetan language and traditional heritage of Tibet.
The seminar was organized into three dedicated sessions, where the second, third, and fourth centered on Tibetan language and literary themes. Throughout these sessions, the seminar served as a valuable platform, offering participants profound insights into the Tibetan language and the traditional heritage of Tibet. By facilitating cross-cultural exchange and fostering a deeper appreciation for Tibetan culture, this initiative played a pivotal role in preserving and promoting the rich and diverse heritage of Tibet.
On August 28th, the fifth lecture titled ‘Understanding Tibetan Literary Sources’ was delivered by Bhuchung D. Sonam, a distinguished poet, writer, and editor from Tibet. Mr. Sonam’s lecture provided invaluable insight into Tibetan literary sources. He mainly focused on Tibetan Novels, Autobiographies, Biographies and Travelogues. Continuing with the event on August 29th and 30th, Mr. Sonam enriched the seminar with two more lectures. The first centered on ‘A Discussion on ‘Muses in Exile,’ a collection of Tibetan Exiled Poetry, while the second focused on ‘Tibetan Voices on Cyberspace and Social Media.’ He talked about the censorship by Chinese government over dissenting Tibetan voices. He suggested us to find Tibetan literary sources in other languages like Mandarin, German, French, English, Japanese, and Korean etc.
These lectures contributed significantly to the seminar’s content and enhanced the discussion’s depth. It is important to emphasize that all the lectures and seminars held throughout this event were of national importance regarding the project’s objectives and the broader intellectual exchange between India and Tibet.
Prof. Gajendra Pathak, Head, Department of Hindi, played a noteworthy role throughout the event. His participation and continuous presence from the inaugural day to the closing sessions served as a source of motivation for students and participants. He encouraged students to engage with and appreciate the valuable work undertaken by the project. Dr. Bhim Singh, the Principal Investigator of the project, along with his dedicated researchers, Tsering Dhondhup, Setu Kumar Verma, Suman Kumari and Priyanka Priyadarshini efficiently coordinated and conducted these literary events. Their collective efforts ensured the success and smooth execution of this intellectually enriching event, further enhancing the participants’ understanding and appreciation of Tibetan literature and culture.
Contributed by Priyanka Priyadarshini, Setu Kumar Verma, Suman Kumari