Ladakh Festival held on 11 February 2018 at Zutphen
It is perhaps no coincidence that the Ladakh festival was a great success this year, as we also celebrate our 15th anniversary. For the official opening of the interesting program, Boukje Zwanenburg from the Shenpen foundation in Zutphen told us that on this site of the Odensehuis in the late Middle Ages the first nuns were being taught and that for this reason she felt so special to receive the DFLN here.
The opening of the program was a film made by the founder of the DFLN Marlies Bosch and chairman Myra de Rooy about the 15 years of DFLN, which gave a lively and humorous insight into the many developments that took place in the nunneries in recent years.
Our special guest at the festival was of course Padma Dechen, the abbess of the monastery in Nyerma. With Aniek Jaartsveld playing the interviewer, Dechen, through her response, shared a lot about the development of an ordinary girl to the abbess of a monastery. At the reception and during the breaks many guests made use of the opportunity to chat with her, and there were also warm encounters with people who stayed as volunteers in Nyerma.
Myra de Rooy treated the visitors to the beautiful images of winter in Ladakh where a few skating children elicited the happy exclamation of our patroness Erica Terpstra that Sven Kramer had won gold at the Olympics!
Dechen expressed her gratitude to all the board members and presented everyone with a 'kata'. She also brought a 'thanka' to hang in the office of the DFLN. This caused hilarity as there is no official DFLN office!
After the break, in which the delicious snacks from our permanent volunteers Ché-Fa Chen and Lida Kaandorp became a hit, everyone enjoyed the pure sounds of the crystal singing bowls of Giny ten Brummelhuis, which provided a wonderful relaxation.
After the break, sponsor coordinator Ingrid Foeken spoke on how sponsors can contribute to education and a better future for the nuns. We had many of our sponsors in attendance.
Then there was great interest in both the yoga class by our treasurer Saskia Terschuur and in the mantra singing by Frans Zwagemakers. After which the documentary 'In the shadow of the Buddha' was shown. This film, which was made in the nunneries of Nyerma and Rizong, had not been shown in the Netherlands before. What is special is that the proceeds of this American documentary go partly to the monasteries showcased.
In between sessions, lots of beautiful Tibetan and Ladakhi items could be bought at the richly filled sales booth of Joan Moonen and Seb de Groot.
The last part of the day was an interactive presentation about life energy by artist Wilka Zelders. She showed a number of her artworks as a colourful representation of the complex nature accompanied by beautiful music.
Marlies closed the festival with a special raffle celebrating the 15th anniversary. There were wonderful prizes, including a wind instrument that is used in rituals in Tibetan Buddhism which was chosen by Lex Hemelaar. We owe the success of this festival to Lex, owner and initiator of the Odensehuis. How many cups of coffee and tea he would have had to make ... ...
For the Board it was an opportunity that we could introduce our aspiring board member Birgit Wezelenburg during the festival. She immediately took upon her role, among other things, ran a successful lottery sale.
It was a beautiful day (not just the weather) with a nice return for the Ladakhi nuns; and last but not the least, thanks to the enthusiastic efforts of our volunteers.