Few of us will ever get to travel to Tibet, but we can all enjoy its culture at the 29th annual Tibetan Bazaar from Sept. 18-19 at Alberta Avenue Community Centre.
The Tibetan Bazaar was founded to present Tibetan culture, food, and experiences. Presenters from the Gaden Samten Ling Tibetan Buddhist Society want to share experiences in the most authentic way possible here in Canada. Money raised is used to fund operational costs for Gaden Samten Ling Tibetan Buddhist Meditation Centre, a local non-profit organization.
“Our organization wants to bring the hospitality and uniqueness of Tibetan culture alive through authentic food, cultural presentations, and arts to the city of Edmonton. Under the guidance of Kushok Lobsang Dhamchoe, our spiritual director, our organization has been putting this on for nearly three decades,” says Jeremy Landon, a volunteer and spokesperson.
Planning this year was different with the uncertainty of public health restrictions. A core of strong volunteers helped make the planning as seamless as possible.
Participants will have a variety of things to do including browsing vendors, tasting savory Tibetan food, listening to live cultural and contemporary music and performances, listening to live Dharma talks, winning door prizes, and much more.
Volunteer organizers have also created an online Tibetan Bazaar that will consist of Dharma videos, Facebook online vendors, and a live broadcast from the in-person event. Guests will have the option of watching taped videos of teachings from the live event at www.tibetan-bazaar.ca.
The Tibetan Bazaar is a staple within the Alberta Avenue community. About 1,000 people attend over the weekend. During the last few years, the organization has extended its online reach to international members through courses and teachings.
The vendors are a selection of artisans selling attractive cultural items, Dharma books, paintings, handcrafted art, food, clothing, and much more.
For many of us, a delicious enticement has been the food offerings of authentic Tibetan fare. Mouth-watering yak and vegetarian momos and steamed dumplings made with fillings are cooked by volunteer professional chefs this year due to COVID-19 issues. Spicy tomato potatoes and savoury dal, as well as Tibetan-style chai and butter tea are also a must-try.
“The Tibetan Bazaar is like a home away from home for seeing old friends and acquaintances in a place of friendship and kindness that warms the heart. The delicious food, authentic vendors, and entertainment add a warm glow to the experience,” says Landon.
The overall atmosphere is one of warmth and pleasantness. “Our organization aims to run the Tibetan Bazaar, which is 100 per cent volunteer-driven, as an event to showcase Tibetan culture. But we also have light-hearted fun during our time together. Our hope is that we all take pride in diverse cultures, yet remember our sameness and common human family.”
Sept. 18-19, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Alberta Avenue Community Centre (9210 118 Ave)
$5 entrance fee, plus option to upgrade to include online content for an additional $5.