Blue Mountains locals were welcomed to a traditional Tibetan cultural celebration to commemorate the 14th Dalai Lama’s 83rd birthday last Friday at the old library in Katoomba.
The event gave exiled Tibetans living in the Blue Mountains an opportunity to thank the Blue Mountains community and celebrate the Dalai Lama’s birthday with the taste, colour, music and dance of Tibet.
There are approximately 50 Tibetan adults and children living in the Blue Mountains and many arrived in Australia on humanitarian visas. All of them are refugees or children of refugees who fled Tibet after the Chinese occupation in 1950 and made the long trek over the Himalayas to reach safety in Nepal.
The first Tibetan refugee settled in Katoomba nine years ago and others arrived after the Dalai Lama visited the Blue Mountains in 2015. In the last six months some families have arrived directly from India on humanitarian visas. Ms Dhongdue praised the local community saying that Tibetan refugees had been ‘embraced with warmth and love’.