The 23rd Shoton or Tibetan Opera Festival is a special occasion to catch up if you are in Dharamshala this season as it is one of the largest Tibetan cultural festivals in exile presided over by the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts, Dharamshala. The cultural fest began on April 20 and it will conclude on April 25.
“Amidst strong winds and a cold shower, the 23rd Tibetan Opera Festival also known as Shoton (Yogurt) festival began at the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA) in McLeod Ganj this morning. The festival celebrates the unique Tibetan artistic heritage of opera or Ache Lhamo.” the official report of Central Tibetan Administration informed on the inaugural day of the six day cultural fest graced by President Lobsang Sangay and fellow dignitaries from the administration.
Shoton, which is derived from a festival in Drepung Monastery in Tibet where the Tibetan troupes performed opera during the yoghurt eating festival at the monastery is an integral part of Tibetan Performing Arts immensely promoted by the 5th Dalai Lama is also celebrated in exile under the leadership of Central Tibetan Administration.
This year, eleven troupes from different parts of India and one from Nepal are participating in this year’s festival and performances will be staged at TIPA from 21 to 25 April, with concurrent performances will take place at Norbulingka Institute and TCV School Chauntra from 21 to 23 April . Therefore, if you are in Dharamshala, it is a must visit destination to witness the vibrant Tibetan culture richly preserved in exile among the younger generations.