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A vibrant festival is wrapping up in northern India. The Tibetan Opera Festival brought scores of tourists to experience the centuries-old tradition.
Scores of foreign tourists and opera enthusiasts converged in India's northern hill town of Dharamsala Tuesday for the closing ceremony of the 15th annual Yoghurt banquet opera festival.
[Tsering Pamo, Tibetan Opera Artist]: (English)
"People from different Tibetan settlements have come here; we have almost 200 members performing here. I think, it is a very good platform for youngsters.”
Under the guidance of the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts has been making special arrangements for inviting opera companies-in-exile to participate in the colorful festival since 1993.
[Tenzin Lobsang, Secretary, Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts]: (English)
"Shoton festival is a very ancient Tibetan traditional Opera festival. Unlike the other years, for this year's 15th Tibetan Shoton Opera festival, we tried to reach out to Tibetan schools that are located in and around Dharamsala."
Traditionally, the festival is celebrated during the full moon to mark the end of the long summer retreat of Buddhist monks. It dates back to 14th century Tibet.
The festival took its name from yoghurt served to the monks and nuns who practiced purification rituals during the time and ate no meat during full moon days.