Tag Archives: Geden Choeling

Time Pass

Tashi Delek!

Restored Voice Project’s research phase is reaching its close, with only a little over two weeks left in McLeod Ganj, and India!

The journey has flown by, and simultaneously also seemed take a lot of time and patience.  January and February were full of set-backs, whether they be related to health, inclement weather, or the logistics of creating contacts with the nuns themselves.  I knew, as I made my plans, that there would be struggles; I simply had no way to predict what they would be!  But arriving with contacts made and plans laid out has been a saving grace – if I had started from scratch upon arrival, there would have been absolutely no way I could have finished my research goals in three months.

And if I had hadn’t done that preliminary outreach, I wouldn’t have found my interpreter, Tenzin Choekyi, who has been the final and most necessary piece to this new kind of puzzle.  Choekyi possesses the perfect energy for this project – she is genuine, collected, reserved, and warm all at once.  She is present.  She invites your confidence and affection within minutes of meeting her.  With her working hard at my side, RVP has already progressed past its goal (in terms of number of interviews), more than tripling the amount of interviews I had in the first seven weeks of my stay.  The next few weeks give us time to meet even more amazing women than planned – and to plan for the journey home.

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Filed under Cultural Anthropology, Public, Community, Tibet, Tibetan Current Events and Activism, Tibetan Refugees, Women's Empowerment

Meet Kalsang:

2013-01-12 04.24.26

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First Meeting

I have, after years of study and preparation, finally met one of the ani (Tibetan nun) face-to-face.  The meeting gave me great hopes for this project’s success.

Stepping onto the grounds of Geden Choeling, the oldest ani gompo (Tibetan nunnery) in Dharamsala, I looked from door to door, saw nuns doing laundry, cooking together, thriving in their own community in exile from their homeland, and felt a rush of surreal excitement.  This was Geden Choeling, the place I’d read about and imagined, this was the place.  A true dharamsala – because the name itself literally means “Safe haven for the people of the dharma.”

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Filed under Cultural Anthropology, Public, Community, Tibet, Tibetan Current Events and Activism, Tibetan Refugees, Women's Empowerment