Tibetan New Year Observed

  • (All photos by Tasia Jensen for Voices of NY)

Tibetan and Nepali community members gathered in Queens last Friday to celebrate the Tibetan Buddhist New Year, known as “Losar.”

The celebration was hosted by the United Sherpa Association, located at 41-01 75th St. in Jackson Heights. “Everyone’s happy. Just like Christmas,” said 47-year-old Tsering Chokey. Chokey was born in India and has lived in Jackson Heights for the past 20 years. “You feel connected to your roots, reminded of things you did as a young child,” she said.

The sound of drums and chanting echoed out of the temple doors as festivalgoers crammed into the lobby, took off their shoes, and entered to pray and receive a blessing from the monks lined up inside. Back out on 75th Street, women linked arms and sang in sync with the sound of their feet stomping the pavement.

“We believe that whatever you do on this day will carry on throughout the year,” said Pema Sommer, 46, now a resident of the Upper East Side after being raised in a Tibetan exile community in India.

“You’re good on this day,” she said. A smile crept onto her face, and she laughed. “Well, you pretend!”

Tasia Jensen, of the 2018 class of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, took photos at the event.

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