(TibetanReview.net, Mar06, 2015) – A Tibetan village in China’s Yunnan Province ushered in the Tibetan New Year on Feb 19 by vowing to give up their prized animal fur festive clothing in response to a call to shun such attires first made by the Dalai Lama in Jan 2006, reported Radio Free Asia (Washington) Mar 4. The Dalai Lama’s call was taken up by the local religious leaders and on Feb 27 residents of Drangsung Village in Dechen (Chinese: Deqin) County publicly burned their animal fur festive garments.
“The Tibetans had kept animal-skin clothes as rare and valuable family possessions,” the report quoted an unnamed local source as saying. “However, they became aware of the objections of the Dalai Lama and of local Tibetan Buddhist leaders who advised them not to use them” and took a vow to give up such clothing.
The Dalai Lama had first made his call to a gathering of Tibetans from Tibet during a major religious teaching in India in Jan 2006. Many in Tibet took his advice to heart and held public burnings of their animal fur and fur-decorated festive clothing.
China was reported to have detained and punished Tibetans involved in organizing such burnings of animal clothing as it considers any sort of heeding to the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader’s advice an anti-China activity.
Residents of other villagers also appeared to have taken part in the burning, ignoring dangers of reprisal action by Chinese authorities. “To support their campaign, a father and son living in Atoe village in Dechen also took a hat made of fox fur along with a Tibetan dress lined with leopard and otter skin and publicly set them on fire,” the report quoted a local source as saying.