First Ever Tibetan Calligraphy Day Celebrated

Tibetans showing off their calligraphy skills on 30 April
Tibetans showing off their calligraphy skills on 30 April

12th May 2017

Tibetan Calligraphy Day was devised to celebrate Tibet's unique language and writing system

On 30 April, Tibetans marked Tibet’s first national Calligraphy Day. Across the plateau, Tibetans including monks, children and students celebrated  their native language with calligraphy competitions and writing workshops, organised by monasteries, schools and universities.

The decision to have a Tibetan Calligraphy Day was taken earlier that month, at the first national Tibetan calligraphy seminar, held at Qinghai Nationalities University on 15 and 16 April. The Tibetan calligraphy seminar gathered over 130 participants including Tibetan calligraphers, teachers and students representing the three Tibetan traditional provinces.

The Tibetan language faces serious challenges, and under China’s near 70-year military occupation, Mandarin Chinese has become the official language of education, business and government, restricting the opportunities for Tibetans who do not speak Chinese.

The choice of 30 April as the date for Tibetan Calligraphy Day carries a special significance. The Tibetan language has 30 consonants, while the fourth month of the year represents its four vowels.

Tibetan Calligraphy Day will now be celebrated every year as a way of preserving and celebrating Tibet’s language and cultural heritage.

Pictures from the events can be seen below.

Calligraphy Competition at Golok Orphanage
Calligraphy Competition at Golok Orphanage
Calligraphy Competition at Golok Orphanage
Calligraphy Competition at Golok Orphanage
Tibet Buddhist University

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