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Culture, Society, Uncategorized

Bashè Forever!

Source: Mountain Phoenix Over Tibet

We were invited to a Tibetan wedding the other day. The bride was flown in from the Ba area of Kham, and wore a wedding dress typical of her home region. She looked stunning with all those ornaments around her waist, neck and head.

The Western-born groom and his family wore traditional garb too, just like most of the guests, including my own little family. We all must have looked like we stepped out of a pictorial “Costumes of Ancient Tibet”.

It was a typical Tibetan wedding with hundreds of guests – none of which were required to sign up or off by the way – plenty of food and drink, in a merry atmosphere of a folk festival. But what made this wedding particularly memorable was the music and the fun time we had dancing.

To the honour of the bride, a group of dancers performed songs from the homeland. The best thing was that all guests were invited up on stage to join in. My kids didn’t have to be asked twice. They were among the first ones to join the round dance. Obviously those visits to Tibet and a never-ending supply of music VCDs their dad would bring home from his trips had made an impact…

A young woman dancing next to me was all smiles and suddenly said: “I’ve never seen this kind of dance at Tibetan gatherings, it’s such a pity. This is so beautiful, I don’t know how to dance this – so difficult!”

“Honey! Never heard of Bashè? What planet are you from?”  Of course, I didn’t say that.  Instead I politely replied: “Oh, this genre of song and dance is known as “Bashè”, but it’s popular all over Eastern Tibet. The performances you see at large Tibetan gatherings abroad, tend to be mostly from the Western and central areas. You know, Toeshè, Gyangshè, Nangma, sometimes pieces from Lhamo opera, that sort…”

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One thought on “Bashè Forever!

  1. “The performances you see at large Tibetan gatherings abroad, tend to be mostly from the Western and central areas” is not accurate. There are lots of Bashe performances in Central Park, NYC, during Tibetan gatherings like HH Dalai Lama’s Birthday. Your description of Bashe is certainly commendable. Bashe is made popular in the exile community by Tawu Lobsang Palden, who is a big fan of Bashe because of it’s beautiful lyrics and graceful movements.

    Posted by Losal | April 19, 2012, 2:29 pm

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