Being a part of the Dale and the Parkdale community has held so many new experiences for me. Yesterday that included a Tibetan celebration!
Within Parkdale is a neighborhood called Little Tibet which is home to the largest population of Tibetans outside of Asia. This is something that can be easily seen, when simply walking the streets it won’t be long until you come across some Tibetan restaurants, grocery stores, flags, and on Wednesday evenings- traditional dances.
In the building we have currently been working out of, we have gotten to know a kind family who prepares and cooks Momos (a Tibetan dish) from scratch to sell at the market. These momos are so delicious! I know this because this family thoughtfully shares a generous platter of them to the staff at The Dale from time to time.
Yesterday, it was such an honour to be invited by them to a celebration they were having outside. July 6th, 2022 marks the 87th birthday of the Dalai Lama, which is a very special day for the Tibetan community. All over Parkdale things were happening! Some places even gave out free momos.
We gathered around outside with both other people from the building that we’ve met and new people that we got the chance to meet, even the MP of Parkdale/High Park, Bhutila Karpoche, was there.
We were served butter tea, rice, and then got to eat some very full plates of delicious food. Speeches were shared and there were lots of tears going around, as they felt so much joy in being together and it radiated in the space. A friend of ours who also works in the same building was brought to tears as she explained to us the celebration in our context saying “Imagine this is like it’s Jesus’ birthday while he was still on earth.” It was interesting to be able to experience a belief and culture apart from my own, and it was cool how our friend was able to share in understanding despite those differences.
New experiences like this come from such a unique, diverse, and intentional community which I am so grateful to continue to get to know. At The Dale we always talk about how it often feels like we receive more often than we give. This is still the case, especially on days like yesterday when I left with such a full heart!