10 Feb 2013

Ladakh’s ‘intangible heritage preservation workshop’ concludes

LEH: The weeklong training-cum-workshop on promotion and preservation of cultural heritage concluded here at Kyagar Nubra. The workshop was organised by Himalayan Cultural Heritage Foundation (HCHF) in collaboration with Kyagar Thundel Tsogspa, with financial support from Ministry of Tourism, Government of India for software work plan under Capacity Building Service Providers (CBSP) for the site-village Kyagar, through LDA, Leh.
The concluding function was chaired by Executive Councilor for Tourism, Gyurment Dorjey while Executive Councilor for Health, Dr. Sonam Wangchuk was the Guest of Honour.
Councilor Kyagar, Rigzin Wangdus, village heads and people from different villages of Nubra attended the workshop.
The main purpose of the workshop was to promote and preserve different intangible heritage of Ladakh including traditional dance, music, folk songs, handicrafts, masons, carpenters.
During workshop, the experts and resource persons from Leh and Nubra imparted training to the participants and made them sensitised how it is important to preserve the age old culture and tradition parallel to materialistic development.
Executive Councillor, Tourism, Gyurmet Dorjey said that the main reason behind the growing tourism industry in Ladakh is its rich cultural heritage and it is the responsibility of each Ladakhi to play their role in preserving and promoting our ancestral cultural legacy and pass on to the future generation.
Dorjey advocated the public to take help from related HCHF as resource person in close coordination with village representatives, Councilor and LAHDC.
Executive Councillor for Health, Dr. Wangchuk and Councilor Kyagar, Rigzin Wangdus appreciated the efforts of Kyagar Thundel Tsogspa and HCHF under the inspiring guidance of Dr. Sonam Wangchok for successful arrangement of the week long workshop and assured to extend utmost support from LAHDC in this regard.
Dr. Sonam Wangchok, Secretary HCHF said that Nubra is rich in both tangible and intangible heritage and it becomes very important on part of village community and public representatives to preserve and promote these rich cultural treasures.
At last President Kyagar Thundel Tsogspa, Sonam Stobdan thanked all the resource persons for their effort in making the workshop a successful one.

“Nub-ra’i gNas-bShad” gets J&K Cultural Academy best book award

Leh: The book titled “Nub-ra’i gNas-bShad” in Ladakhi by Urgyan Rigzin is one of the books to have been announced by the Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages on Thursday for Best Book Award -2011 in seven languages carrying award money of Rs. 51,000 each.
The book “Nub-ra’i gNas-bShad”, an account of Sacred Landscapes in the Nubra Valley, is the first ever book on Nubra and its history. Urgyan Rigzin, who is essentially a farmer and a village astrologer belonging to a remote village called Nungstet, has written the book after decades of extensive research on histories of almost all villages of Nubra valley. The book also has detailed explanations of eight sacred landscapes of Mahakala in Nubra. A farmer coming up with a well researched book is indeed an incredible story.
Himalayan Cultural Heritage Foundation a non-government organisation, devoting to promote and conserve indigenous historic heritage of the Himalayas by strengthening and supporting different mountain communities and community based institutions, has helped Urgyan Rigzin to publish his years of hard work.  The book also includes foreword and appreciation letters from the former Minister Tokdan Rinpochey the President Ladakh Gonpa Association, Prof. Geshe Konchok Wangdu, one of the renowned scholars of Ladakh, and by Secretary HCHF Dr. Sonam. The book was unveiled and consecrated by the Dalai Lama during his visit to Nubra in 2010.
J and K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages honouring such unsung scholars with the best book awards will go a long way boosting morale of many talented scholars from remote areas of the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir.
According to sources each award winner will be presented memento, citation and a shawl, at a special function that will be held soon.

8 Feb 2013

Ladakh 2013 - Economy, Society, Governance & Politics- New Issues, Young Voices

Ladakh 2013 -  Economy, Society, Governance & Politics- New Issues, Young Voices


‘Ladakh’s transformation is changing lives of Ladakhis’
New Delhi, Feb01: The Institute of  Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS), one of the prominent think tanks in South Asia in collaboration with India International Center (IIC), New Delhi organized a one day conference on “Ladakh 2013 -  Economy, Society, Governance & Politics- New Issues, Young Voices” at the IIC Conference Hall here Friday.
The Jammu and Kashmir Minister of Urban Development and Urban Local Bodies Nawang Rigzin Jora who hails from Ladakh inaugurated the conference this morning.
Dr. Sudhir Singh Bloeria, Vice Chancellor, Central University of Jammu, Ghulam Hassan Khan, Member Parliament from Ladakh, Professor Siddiq Wahid, Director UNESCO Madanjeet Singh Institute of Kashmir Studies, University of Kashmir and former vice chancellor, Awantipora University,  Kavita Suri, Associate Professor, University of Jammu and Tashi Morup, well known journalist from Ladakh who is also Project Director, Ladakh Art and Media Organisation, were the resource persons for the workshop. Saleem Beg, Convenor, INTACH J&K and former DG Tourism J&K and well known theatrist M K Raina, Dr Suba Chandra, Director IPCS, Professor P R Chari and Major General Dipankar Banerjee from the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) were also present during the conference.
 The one- day- workshop witnessed the congregation of over 100 young Ladakhi scholars and researchers studying in JNU take part and provide innovative and alternative ideas to address the contemporary challenges and a collective future.

 Inaugurating the conference, Rigzin Jora congratulated the organizers for this workshop and said that holding this workshop in Delhi will also provide the rest of India to listen to the young voices from Ladakh, share their concerns and more importantly develop a national discourse.

He said Ladakh’s insularity, geographic location and other things has made this region unique which has many peculiar problems also.

Since past few decades, the entire Ladakh region is witnessing lot of transformation in terms of development, tourism etc and which is bringing about lot of change in the lives of Ladakhi people, he said.
 “Ladakh is witnessing lot of changes, developments and challenges at the social, economic and political levels. There are multiple new issues having serious implications for the future of Ladakh,” said the minister adding that it was indeed a pleasure to see that the young voices from Ladakh were provided with an exclusive forum to speak and see how they perceive the contemporary trends.

 Earlier while introducing the conference theme, Dr Suba Chandran, Director, IPCS said that while the rest of India has so much to learn from the region, Ladakh also has to ensure the negative effects of globalization process does not harm the internal social, ethnic and economic fibre of its people.
“Since the future belong to them and they are likely shape its multiple contours, it is essential the region and the rest of India listen to their inputs,” said Dr. Chandran adding one of the primary objective of this initiative was to provide a platform to the young voices from Ladakh to discuss various contemporary issues.

 The young scholars from Ladakh region studying in Jawaharlal Nehru (JNU) University presented their research papers under four themes.  

The first session on theme, ‘Politics & Governance” was chaired by Dr SS Bloeria. Tsewang Rigzin, former Executive Councillor, LAHDC and presently councilor in the Hill Council from Nobra spoke on “LAHDC: An account of experience with LAHDC Leh, while Fayaz Ahmed, an M.Phil Scholar from Kargil presented his paper on “Re-inforcement of Traditional Authority through Legal Rational Authority: Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council Kargil. A paper on “Military in Ladakh: Everyday Engagements with the Society” was presented by Muzaffar Hussain while Zainab Akhter, Research Officer IPCS spoke on “Connecting Ladakh: Exploring the Possibilities”.

 In the second session chaired by Prof.Siddiq Wahid on the theme “Society and Culture”, three research papers were presented by Chimat Ladaol on “Understanding Patriarchy in Ladakh,” “Identifying with the other: Transformative Interaction Patterns and Relations amongst the Buddhists and Muslims of Ladakh” by Sumera Shafi and “Communalism in Ladakh: Kargil Perspective” by Fayaz Hussain.
 The thematic session on “Education & Environment” was chaired by Tashi Morup in which Samina Rehman presented a paper on “Education in Ladakh: A case study of Leh District”, Sonam Wangmo spoke on “Impact of Climate Change and ground water depletion in Ladakh” while Thupstan Angchuk presented his views on “Climate change and Glacier retreat: double threat to the people of Ladakh”
Kavita Suri chaired a session on the theme “Media, Tourism & Economy” in which Rigzin Chodon presented a paper on “Role of Media in Ladakh” and Gulzar Hussain presented a paper on “Social Networking Sites: Medium of Change in Kargil”. Konchok Paldan who is doing his PhD in JNU spoke on “Border, Economy and Partition: A study of Turtuk Village in Ladakh and Tashi Lundup spoke on “Tourism and culture: religious sites as tourism attraction in Ladakh”.