Twenty-six years ago, we were preparing to unveil Norbulingka to the world. Though it was just the beginning, Norbulingka had been the training ground for many of our artisans, in the decoration of the temple, with its murals and colossal Buddha statue. We look back with pride to those days, when with few material means, armed with the confidence of our sponsors and the enthusiasm of our artisans and trainees we broke barriers and created some of the most exquisite pieces of Tibetan religious art in exile.
This year, our November 8th anniversary will be marked with new hope. We have just emerged from what will have been Norbulingka’s most challenging crisis: the pandemic. The last bout kept over 90 members of our staff in a quarantine that just ended a month ago. This time, it was a little different; the vaccines prevented the serious illness that we had seen in the previous months, and gave us confidence that this crisis may be coming to an end. We feel hopeful and energized at seeing life returning to Norbulingka, and look forward to the coming months.
Most importantly, surviving this crisis gave us new perspective on our community and how the close-knit ties that define it were essential to our pulling through. We started small, we grew big and we are still there, united in our spirit of keeping Tibetan culture alive and showing it to the world.