Mainpat, India — The Mainpat Phendeyling Tibetan Settlement was one of many first Tibetan settlements established by the Indian authorities in 1962 to rehabilitate the 1,400 Tibetan refugees who arrived in India after the Chinese language annexation of Tibet in 1959.
Mainpat is a small hill station and a vacationer spot in Surguja district of Chhattisgarh. It is usually recognized domestically as “Little Tibet” as a result of presence of Tibetans residing there. Mainpat was nothing however a jungle at the moment and just a few native Indians dared to reside right here. It was an remoted place with lovely surroundings. The Tibetans constructed huts right here and step by step advanced into the higher dwellings they reside in at present.
Mainpat was one of many areas allotted to Tibetan refugees by the Indian authorities in 1963 because of the Chinese language invasion of Tibet. Previous to that, the realm was primarily house to Yadavs and tribes such because the Manjhi, Manjhwar, Kanwar and Pahadi Korwa. At the moment, about 2,000 Tibetans reside in seven resettlement camps in Mainpat, most of which have Tibetan Buddhist monasteries.
To know extra concerning the place, the Tibetan inhabitants, and their way of life in Mainpat, TPI engaged in an unique dialog with Namgyal Dakpa, the Headmaster of Sambhota Tibetan Faculty, Mainpat.
To be taught extra about Mainpat, its Tibetan inhabitants and their lifestyle, TPI spoke completely with Namgyal Dakpa, the Headmaster of Sambhota Tibetan Faculty, Mainpat.
TPI: Please introduce your self briefly.
Interviewee: My title is Namgyal Dapkar. I reside in Mampat, Surguja district, Chhattisgarh. I’m the Headmaster of the Sambhota pre-primary Tibetan Faculty in Mainpat.
TPI: Please inform us extra about Mainpat Phendeyling Tibetan Settlement.
Namgyal Dapka: Mainpat was the primary Tibetan settlement allotted by the Indian authorities, supplied by the Madhya Pradesh authorities in 1962 to settle 1,400 Tibetan refugees who got here to India because of the Chinese language occupation of Tibet in 1959. The inhabitants was unfold over seven camps with a radius of 25 km, every with about 30 to 35 homes. The settlement has about 2 to three monasteries.
TPI: When and the way did your loved ones transfer right here?
Namgyal Dapka: I used to be born in southern India. My dad and mom took refuge in India shortly after the annexation of China in 1959, and so they lived in refugee camps till 1964 when the Indian authorities gave us a spot to reside and allotted land to work on. I’ve been residing in Mainpat for 15 years. In truth, my spouse is from Mainpat and her household has been residing right here since 1964.
TPI: What number of Tibetans reside there and what’s their livelihood?
Namgyal Dapka: There are about 2,000 Tibetans residing right here. Their foremost occupation is farming. They develop crops comparable to rice, mustard and potatoes all year long. Some additionally transfer round India promoting garments comparable to gloves, sweaters and different winter clothes throughout the two to a few months of winter. It is because the earnings from farming is just not sufficient to assist the household, so members who would not have jobs go round with the group to promote winter garments.
TPI: Though you’re distant out of your homeland and surrounded by so many individuals who don’t share your tradition, how do you handle to carry on to your roots and preserve your cultural identification?
Namgyal Dapka: Thus, when the primary wave of Tibetan refugees arrived in India in 1959, former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru affirmed to His Holiness the Dalai Lama that Tibetans could be allowed to enroll in any college and college inside India. However the Dalai Lama insisted on acquiring a separate instructional construction in order that Tibetan kids may find out about their tradition, neighborhood, language and faith.
So, the primary Tibetan college received in 1961 in Mussoorie, Uttarakhand, after which on the similar time, each settlement received a college the place all of us grew up and realized our tradition, faith and language. And the tales and teachings of our dad and mom helped us be taught quite a bit about the place we got here from and cling to our roots. All of us nonetheless discuss in Tibetan, though residing in India and being surrounded by so many Hindi-speaking folks has influenced us as a result of we typically use Hindi or English phrases in our conversations. That is like Indians speaking in Hindi or utilizing English phrases of their conversations. As well as, the monastery guides us and teaches us about our faith and its philosophy. The Indian authorities has additionally been very supportive and useful in preserving our tradition with out meddling.
TPI: Please share extra concerning the training in Mainpat.
Namgyal Dapka: As I stated earlier, education follows the Tibetan instructional construction. The tutorial amenities in Mainpat enable the youngsters to go from first grade to fifth grade. The kids are taught in Tibetan, with English language added to the curriculum within the fourth grade. After the fifth grade, they obtain their secondary training in different faculties in Himachal Pradesh or elsewhere. However there aren’t any restrictions and anybody who desires a contemporary training has the suitable to enter any college they need. Due to this fact, since 1963 we’re beneath the safety of the Indian authorities and with assist of the Indian authorities lots of our fellow Tibetans have develop into docs, academics, nurses, and many others. The Indian authorities has given us a variety of assist by way of self-reliance and self-sufficiency.
TPI: How do you all have a good time Tibetan festivals?
Namgyal Dapka: The primary vacation we have a good time is Losar, which in keeping with our lunar calendar is the New Yr. In line with the lunar calendar, the New Yr falls on the finish of February. Other than that, we have a good time the birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama on July 6 yearly and the celebration lasts for 2-3 days. There are video games organized for the aged, kids put together dances, and younger folks take part in sports activities competitions comparable to soccer and volleyball to get pleasure from and spend high quality time with everybody. Along with our Tibetan festivals, we additionally have a good time Indian festivals comparable to Holi and Diwali.