Tibetan Refugee Community Celebrates New Year in Utah

February 18, 2002

Source: The Deseret News

On February 18, 2002, The Deseret News reported that "with smoke from incense curling around the ceiling of Salt Lake City's Indian Walk-in Center Sunday, the city's Tibetans opened a day of celebration for the Year of the Water Horse. The prayers of the group, chanted in a traditional Sangal ceremony, joined the essence of the smoke as it permeated the open hall... Before performing religious rites directed toward a large photo of the Dalai Lama, spiritual and political head of the world's Tibetans, a circle of celebrants with small amounts of barley flour chanted in unison, then threw the flour in a traditional ritual... Most of Utah's Tibetans are refugees, forced to flee their country when it was invaded by the Chinese. Such events as the new year celebration Sunday are important to keep culture and tradition alive in Utah... Though small, the Tibetan organization has been vocal in trying to bring the plight of their homeland to the world. Earlier in the week, they took advantage of Olympic crowds to put their message before the public."