In Hemja, a village next to Pokhara, is the Tashi Palkhiel Tibetan Camp, a Tibetan refugee camp that has been established for more than 50 years and currently houses more than 800 people.
This field was started by the Swiss Red Cross with the authorization of the Nepalese government. Within the camp is the Mount Kailash School Tibetan school.
Through the Tibetan school in Kathmandu we contacted the school’s head of studies, Mr. Tenzin. With him we agreed to hold 3 theater workshops for the 6th, 7th and 8th grade classes, equivalent to 12, 13 and 14 years, and a performance for the whole school.
On the appointed day we headed to Hemja in the morning on the local bus, surrounded by Nepalese observing us with sleep and curiosity. This bus goes to the mountains, and crosses villages that do not see many tourists or travelers like us … Once there, we asked the locals to go to school.
As usual, the school consisted of a large esplanade with nothing, and two elongated one-story buildings composed of several rooms that were classrooms. We were pleasantly surprised by the science classroom with a showcase with chemical reagents, a skeleton and some microscopes.
We would act after the traditional morning assembly, where some prayers were recited, the Tibetan hymn was sung and then the Nepalese anthem, which is familiar to us, we even found it catchy. We assigned the captain of the students the work of sound technician, and his partner in charge of the camera … the two took it very seriously … hehehe.
Once prepared, dressed and made up, we started the show … there were about 100 students, waiting for us, eager to see the clowns … Only appear and the first laughs appeared, they were very motivated!
The number was great, everyone laughed, they died of laughter, and of fear when we interacted with them, the volunteers crowded, they wanted to play with us !!!
It was a pleasure for the public, a gift to be able to share this experience with them. Once finished, they rushed to shake hands, to play with us, to talk, to share more! But we had to go to change, soon we started the workshops.
The workshops we did in the library. A classroom full of books for all ages with messages on the wall that encouraged reading. Before the students arrived, we cleared the room a bit so that it was free of obstacles. They chopped the first ones, they took off their shoes before entering the room, as is customary throughout Asia.
We introduced ourselves and explained a little about clown, the questions rained, they were very interested. The workshop passed fantastically, they loved to go out and experiment and see their colleagues expose themselves, surrender to the group.
The truth is that it was a very motivated class. To our surprise, the next two groups were the same or more motivated. After the workshop, more than one student told us that he wanted to be an actor and that he liked the exercises a lot …
It was a pleasure to share the experience with students so motivated, dedicated and generous. A love of people who did not stop asking questions, about our training, about our experiences throughout our trip, and about clown … a pleasure to share with such generous people.
Tibetans have something that makes them more innocent, more tender, perhaps an apparent lack of evil … So we will remember them and try to keep in touch with the students who write to us.