Dharamsala, Oct.14 (ANI): Exiled Tibetans in northern India's Dharamsala town honoured musicians for their artistic achievements and contributions to society.
Soulful Tibetan music reverberated here on Sunday (October 13), as several artistes showcased their talent for singing and playing musical instruments at the event.
The award function has been held once every two years since 2003 to encourage excellence in music and in recording.
One of the organiser's of the event, Lobsang Wangyal, said the event celebrates the achievements of musicians who have been spreading the word about Tibet through their music and songs.
"As an exiled community, we have to know that where we actually belong; and, where we actually belong, is a place where there is lots of suppression. People are suffering and there are all kinds of people trying to do their best, taking their own responsibility, trying to promote the cause through their own ways. And today, since it is Tibetan music awards, we have to honour those Tibetans who have been doing...(sic), who have been working through music and songs to spread the word about Tibet."
The winners were directly elected by the public for different categories through online voting.
In all, 15 different awards were handed out, including for best male singer, best female singer, album of the year, song of the year, best debut album, best country singer (lu or nomadic song), best classical song (traditional or folk song), best music video and more.
Wangyal added that there were number of artistes who had suffered because of their revolutionary actions.
"Some artistes, who have been very vocal promoting Tibetan identity, Tibetan cause through music and songs, they have been arrested, and some, have even been imprisoned for a number of years by the Chinese government," said he.
Many Tibetans say Chinese rule has eroded their culture and religion. They are agitating for the Dalai Lama's return from exile in India, and genuine autonomy for their homeland.
However, Beijing has denied trampling on Tibetan rights and boasts of having brought development and prosperity to the region.
Since 2009, at least 120 Tibetans have set themselves on fire in Chinese-held Tibet in protest against Beijing's policies on Tibet and nearby regions which have a large Tibetan population. Most have been calling for the return of the Dalai Lama, who is presently living in self-imposed exile in India.
Tensions have mounted between Tibet and China since 2008, after riots that broke out in the Tibet Autonomous Region and in the Tibetan parts of China, which led to a government crackdown.(ANI)