21 Aug 2012

Jora launches ‘Heritage Himalaya’ magazine at Leh

By Tsewang Rigzin
Ladakh is a famous tourist destination on the world tourist map because of its rich cultural heritage.  A heritage news magazine was required to serve as a window to Ladakh’s centuries old cultural heritage and their values; for thousands of outsiders visiting this unique place besides Ladakh’s own scholars, students and academicians.
Minister for Tourism and Culture, Nawang Rigzin Jora said this at Lonpo House Leh where he launched a six monthly heritage news magazine called Heritage Himalaya published by Himalayan Cultural Heritage Foundation (HCHF), a Leh based Non Government Organisation devoted to cultural promotion and preservation in Himalayas.
While complimenting the wide range of activities being carried out by HCHF in Ladakh region in the preservation of rich cultural legacy which have been inherited from generation to generation for centuries, and also the selfless service being rendered by its secretary Dr. Sonam Wangchok in the preservation of tangible and intangible cultural heritage, Jora announced an amount of Rs 3 lakh to further expand the programmes of the organisation across the Ladakh region.  The minister expressed his happiness to see an active organisation on the preservation of cultural heritage operating in Ladakh which has been started by a Ladakhi educated youth.
The Chief Executive Councillor, LAHDC Leh Rigzin Spalbar assured to issue instructions from LAHDC to the Education Department to subscribe to the magazine in the libraries of most government schools. The CEC also agreed to support the organisation financially for restoring historical monuments like Stupas. In the last two years one of the activities of HCHF was to train local masons for restoring and conserving monuments like Stupas which are being deteriorated and are widely found on the verge of extinction throughout Ladakh region.
Dr. Sonam said that the heritage news magazine will have in its content news and information pertaining to tangible and intangible heritage of Himalayas with special sections on tourism and culture and a children corner. “Through this news magazine we can encourage students and researchers to write about their observation, criticism and vision on cultural heritage of this region”, he added.  He also observed that Ladakhis have realised the importance of preserving and promoting cultural heritage of the region and on many occasions the village communities are blamed for not restoring the monuments but there is still lack of initiatives and implementations from expert individuals and organisations.
Among those who attended the programme included Executive Councilor Sonam Dorjey, councilors, local scholars, students and HCHF members.
From Left: Dr Sonam Wangchok, Shri Rigzin  Jora, Shri Rigzin Spabar

11 Aug 2012

IALS member Helena Norberg-Hodge to Receive the 2012 Goi Peace Award


Goi Peace Award 2012: Helena Norberg-HodgeThe Goi Peace Foundation will
bestow the 2012 Goi Peace Award
on Helena Norberg-Hodge, the founder
and director of the International Society
for Ecology and Culture (ISEC), and a
 pioneer of the 'new economy' movement.


The annual Goi Peace Award honors individuals and
organizations in various fields that have made outstanding
contributions toward the realization of  a peaceful and
 harmonious world for humanity and all life on earth.

Created in 2000, previous Goi Peace Award recipients
 include Ervin Laszlo, Oscar Arias, Lester Brown,
Bill Gates &Deepak Chopra.

Ms. Norberg-Hodge will receive the award at a ceremony
during the Goi Peace Foundation Forum 2012 to be held at
Ginza Blossom Hall in Tokyo on November 25, 2012.

The selection committee has chosen Helena Norberg-Hodge
for the Goi Peace Award "in recognition of her pioneering work
in the new economy movement to help create a more sustainable
and equitable world. Through her advocacy and educational
activities promoting localization from an international perspective,
Ms. Norberg-Hodge has contributed to the revitalization of
cultural and biological diversity, and the strengthening
of local communities and economies worldwide."

As an author, filmmaker and public lecturer, Ms. Norberg-Hodge
has been promoting an economics of personal, social and ecological
well-being for more than thirty years. She is a widely respected analyst
of the impact of the global economy on communities, local economies,
and personal identity, and is a leading proponent of 'localization,' or
decentralization, as a means of countering those impacts.

A native of Sweden, Ms. Norberg-Hodge was educated in Sweden,
Germany, Austria, England and the United States. She specialized in
linguistics, including studies at the University of London and at MIT.
In 1975, she visited Ladakh, or "Little Tibet," and was the first
Westerner in recent times to master the Ladakhi language and
co-produce the first Ladakhi-English dictionary. Since then, she
has worked with the people of Ladakh to find ways of enabling
their culture to meet the modern world without sacrificing social
and ecological values. For these efforts she was awarded the
Right Livelihood Award, or 'Alternative Nobel Prize,' in 1986.

Her book, Ancient Futures, has been described as
"an inspirational classic." Together with the film of the same title,
it has been translated into more than 40 languages, and sold about
half a million copies. She is also the producer and co-director of
the award-winning film, The Economics of Happiness, and the
co-author of Bringing the Food Economy Home and  
From the Ground Up: Rethinking Industrial Agriculture.
She has written numerous articles and essays, and her work
has been the subject of more than 300 articles worldwide.

ISEC, which she founded as The Ladakh Project, has now
expanded its activities to run programs all over the world.
The organization examines the root causes of our current social
and environmental crises, while promoting grassroots and
policy-level strategies for ecological and community renewal.
She is also a founding member of the International Commission on
 the Future of Food and Agriculture, and a co-founder of both the
International Forum on Globalization and the Global Ecovillage Network.

About the Goi Peace Foundation
Established in Tokyo, Japan in 1999, the Goi Peace Foundation
 is a public benefit organization with a mission to support the
evolution of humanity toward a peaceful and harmonious new civilization.
Through various educational and outreach programs, it promotes
consciousness, values and wisdom for creating peace, and builds
cooperation among individuals and organizations across diverse fields,
 including education, science, culture and the arts.

The Foundation is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the
 Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
It also maintains official relations with UNESCO.

Website: www.goipeace.or.jp

8 Aug 2012

First-photo exhibition of Kamerakids inaugurated

LEH: The inauguration ceremony of the first photo- exhibition by Kamerakids was held at Lonpo House on Saturday. Titled – ‘Some Cups of Butter-tea -Daily life in Zanskar’ the exhibition was inaugurated by the Executive Councilor for Tourism, Gurmet Dorjey.
The founder of the project  Nana Ziesche, a German travel agent and photographer, shared her experience in Ladakh and said, “there is a beauty in all these pictures that we should value, the beauty of life randomness that we often neglect, that is what photography is all about, we capture those valuable moments”.
Showcasing a variety of motifs as portraits, landscapes, animals, people doing their daily work, monasteries, monks and nuns, Buddhist objects etc, everything worth a glance was captured by the lenses given to the kids aged between 12-15 years.
Gurmet appreciated Nana and her team and said “Such initiatives  specially for the children of remote places in Ladakh are praise worthy”. Sonam Stobdan, one of the kids whose photos were displayed said “I really like photography, I never thought I would get a chance to click a camera! With madam Nana’s help now we are able to not only capture pictures but also have the knowledge of the technicalities within!”
Col. Hemant from army headquarters Leh who was also present on the occasion  said – “I thank Nana for doing such  a wonderful  job for my country”.
The event ended with a vote of thanks from Nana. Gurmet was presented a memento as a token of thanks. Dr Sonam  Wangchok from Himalayan Cultural Heritage Foundation, Tundup Dorje from Overland Escape and Reach Ladakh and Gyatso from LOTI lso (Ladakh Old Town Initiative) were also present on the occasion.