Thursday, September 13, 2007

Saturday, Sept 22: YAK festival in Berlin

What brings a Tibetan Yak Fest to the quiet country town of Berlin? Beezy Bentzen of Berlin and Ada Woolston of Bolton, both of whom are teachers, have been volunteering in the educational program at Manjushree Vidyapith Orphanage and school in the ethnically Tibetan Mon Region of Northeast India for the past three years. Some of the Manjushree children come from families who herd yaks, an integral part of Tibetan culture.
The Yak Fest in Berlin’s 1870 Town Hall on Saturday, Sept 22., will begin with a buffet dinner including Tibetan, Indian and American dishes at 6:30 p.m.
Penpa Tsering, a world-class musician singer and dancer from Tibet, will perform at 8 p.m. Penpa Tsering fled from Tibet, trekking for 27 days across the Himalaya to Nepal. He now lives in Somerville. His presentation includes performances on 16 different traditional instruments, including strings, pipes and horns, and singing, and dancing.
Throughout the evening there will be an opportunity to view exhibits of life in this remote ethnically Tibetan region, as well as to purchase Tibetan handcrafts. A brief slide show will convey the essence of life at Manjushree as well as the needs of its 100-plus children.

Manjushree was founded in 1998 by Lama Thupten Phuntsok, at a site near his home village in the state of Arunachal Pradesh in the Southern Himalaya. The orphanage now provides a secure, loving, nurturing home and school for destitute children. Those with disabilities are especially welcome. Currently there are four boys who have lost their hands as a result of electrical accidents, and approximately six more children with disabilities, including blindness.
The atmosphere at Manjushree is pervaded with kindness and compassion, as well as a peacefulness that stems from the Buddhist heritage of the region.

Manjushree Vidyapith Orphanage in Tawang, India, the recipient of contributions from the Yak Fest, is supported entirely by contributions. Residents in MetroWest and Central Massachusetts communities including Acton, Berlin, Bolton, Clinton, Framingham, Groton, Harvard, Hudson, Marlborough, Northborough, Shrewsbury, Southborough, Westborough and Worcester support the work of Manjushree by sponsoring children at the orphanage.

There is no charge for this event. Those who enjoy the evening will be invited to contribute to the support of Manjushree The orphanage is an outreach project of First Parish Church in Berlin.

For more information contact Beezy Bentzen at or Ada Woolston

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