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Thousands Gather for Winter Teaching

By Mary Trewartha  /  September 30, 2017;

Tibetan monks engage in religious debate in Rongwo monastery
Photo: RFA

Monks have gathered in Rebgong county for the Jang Gunchoe, or Winter Teaching, which is being held in Rongwo monastery in Amdo from September 22. The nine-day teaching is the 24th to be held in the region and thousands of monks have travelled from monasteries across the province to attend.

Radio Free Asia reports a source as saying, on condition of anonymity, that “Religious debates and other activities will be held each day for different groups and classes”.The source continued by saying that the senior monk at Rongwo, Kalden Gyatso, has called on participants to work hard and said that they should maintain their moral discipline, protect their vows, and thoroughly study the major Buddhist texts.

RFA also quotes their source as saying, “Many learned lamas have been invited to give talks and they are advising their followers to spread the Buddhist teachings, and the younger generation to learn the Tibetan language”.

RFA reports that the Chinese authorities in the area have not objected to the teaching going ahead and that public assemblies at monasteries in Tibet are on the increase with numbers in the tens of thousands gathering together for teachings, seeing it as a way to assert their national and cultural identity in the face of Chinese domination. This despite events involving large crowds frequently being closed down by the security forces, fearful of protests against Beijing’s rule in Tibet.

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