Gaden Shartse Monks Tibetans share culture in Hood River

August 24, 2005

On Friday, area residents will have a rare opportunity to meet the monks of Gaden Shartse, one of Tibet’s “big three” universities/monasteries. The monks, who are living in exile in India, are trying to save their culture — which has been forbidden in Tibet since its occupation by Communist China — by sharing it with the world.

There will be an opening ceremony in downtown Hood River at Overlook Park, Second and State, beginning at noon, where the monks will demonstrate traditional Tibetan dances and music. From 1 to 4 p.m they will demonstrate the Tibetan art of sand mandala at the Hood River County Library. (Gifts will be available for purchase there and at Columbia Art Gallery.)

Also in honor of the event, ancient and modern Tibetan artifacts will be on display at Hood River Jewelers, 415 Oak. St., from 1-5 p.m. Dog River Coffee will host award-winning author and photographer Brandon Wilson, who will speak about his amazing trek from Lhasa to Kathmandu with his wife and a Tibetan horse named Sadhu. His book, “Yak Butter Blues,” will be available for purchase, and Wilson will sign copies. Dog River will also sell chai from 1-4 p.m., with proceeds going toward the refugee work of Gaden Shartse.

For those who would like a hands-on experience with Tibetan culture, there will be a butter sculpture class for adults and children ages 6 or older at Riverside Community Church. Reservations are required; tickets may be purchased at Waucoma Bookstore in Hood River, Collage of the Gorge in White Salmon, Klindt’s Book Sellers in The Dalles, and Mt. Hood Country Store in Mt. Hood.

At 4 p.m., an ancient ceremony teaching impermanence — the Dissolution of the Sand Mandala — will be in the library. Participants will receive sand from the mandala.

For a taste of Tibet, plan to attend the 5:30 p.m. reception and community potluck at Riverside Community Church, where Tibetan momos (dumplings) will be sold. Reservations are required for this event; contact or call (541) 354-6272.

At 7 p.m. the day’s events will be wrapped up with “An Evening of Tibetan Culture” at Riverside Community Church, which will include ancient and rare dances, music, monastic debate demonstration, and a short talk. Reservations and tickets are required; tickets are $10 for adults, and $5 for students in grades 1-12. Tickets are available at Waucoma Bookstore and Mt. Hood Country Store.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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