Tuesday 6 December 2011

ལྷག་དཀར་གྱི་གཞས་གསུམ། Three Lhakar Songs

There are many Tibets today – the occupied Tibet, the Tibet in exile, the Tibet in our hearts, the Tibet in transition and the online Tibet. All these Tibets are with us everyday. But it is the online Tibet, where everything converges - our thoughts, images, words and music. In this virtual world we talk, chat, debate, discuss, argue, sing, cry, shout, boast, snitch, pretend, upload, download, like and dislike.

This is a limitless world. Last night, I nearly got lost enjoying one song after another, until my eyes went red and spines hurt. I just had to stop but not before I found these three essential Lhakar songs, which talk about being Tibetan, speaking Tibetan and being aware about the past glory and future path.

This first song is by beautiful Tsewang Lhamo, a member (?) of the famous Acha Tsendep band. Lhamo these days increasingly sings incredible solo Tibetan songs such as the one below with deep message. 

If you are in New York, Tsewang Lhamo will be performing at Columbia University. The concert will take place on the World Human Rights Day, 10 December 2011, as a part of the Third International Tibetan Language conference.  (All lyrics in English are my rough translation.)

Soul of the Tibetans བོད་མིའི་བླ་སྲོག
Song by Tsewang Lhamo 

Snow mountains are my soul
Blue rivers is my lifeline,
My name is the Land of Snow
I am Tibetan. I speak Tibetan.
I love Tibet’s spiritual inheritance
I love Tibet’s art and culture
My name is the Land of Dharma
I am Tibetan. I study Tibetan.
My name is the Tibetan Plateau
I am a Tibetan girl. I love Tibet.
My ancestors were a monkey and an ogress
I am Tibetan. I speak Tibetan.

This second song by Choephel, who hails from Meldro Gongkar a small town near Tibet’s capital Lhasa, is about the importance of speaking in pure Tibetan. The song has very strong lyrics, which speak directly to you. ཀ་ཁ་ག་ང་ས། - Ka Kha Ga Nga / the essence of my being / the survival of our people sings Choephel.
Reminder དྲན་སྐུལ།
Song by Choephel

I have a source of livelihood inherited from by ancestors
I have a path to follow shown by my ancestors
I have a pledge to keep from my ancestors
I have a hope placed on me by my people –
Tibetan is my language 
The unchanging sound of my tongue
ཀ་ཁ་ག་ང་ས། (Ka Kha Ga Nga)
Is the essence of my being
The survival of our people
let us speak in Tibetan
Speak in unmixed Tibetan
You may know many other languages
But when speaking to another Tibetan
Please speak in Tibetan
Speak in unmixed Tibetan.
We have a rich language
But this disease of mixing other languages
Is spreading like a plague.
My dear people from the Land of Snow
Know that
The very survival of our race
Depend on our language.

The last song is by Choegon or popularly known as Little Kunga because he is the most well known student of the famous singer Kunga. This 15-year-old singing sensation, my friend Jigdal tells me, is also called the Tibetan Justin Bieber. On closer, you will see that Choegon looks far smarter than Bieber. I can definitely say: Bye Bieber! Hello Choegon!

Listen - ᫳མᨋ᪱ᩚᨕᨵᨋᩖ᪄

Song by Choegon or Little Kunga

This great path of the non-violence is 
Shown by our great septuagenarian grandfather,
Thus, if you are your father’s son
Listen! Do not ever forget this path from your heart.
This growing youth of the Tibetan language
If you realize its importance,
Listen! Please do not ever mix other languages with it.
This sixteen code of the moral conduct is
The legacy of our great forefathers
If you are a descendent of our great ancestors, 
Listen! Do not ever forget these ethics.
If you are a Tibetan
Protect, promote and advance
Our language, culture and spiritual traditions.

Now that you have heard three incredible songs about being Tibetan, speaking Tibetan and feeling Tibetan, make sure to speak proper Tibetan to your friends, and please avoid CRAZY sentences like these:
ཁ་སེང་འཇིགས་མེད་ཀྱིས་cheese cakeའཁྱེར་སླེབས་སོང་། ་དཔེ་tasty་འདུག
ང་ཚོ་busགཞོན་ནས་Bazaar ལ་འགྲོ་དང་།  
བློ་བཟང་table  set བྱས་ནས་ TV onགྱིས་དང་།
རིག་གྲོལ་དང་པདྨcoupleརེད། ཁོ་གཉིསlove marriage བྱས་པ་རེད།
document འདི་copyབྱས་ནས་ཁྱེར་ཤོག་དང་།


  1. Thank you Bhuchung la,
    Thank you for introducing these three lovely song and also translating them for us. some of them did need translating as they were sung in very tight regional tone. But lovely all the same. I especially like the little Kunga, Choegon. I hope he becomes like his mentor, and shine on this world with silky voice like his mentor and sing fearless melodious songs. I was hearing all these songs for the first time. and it was a pleasure