The three-day grand celebration marking the 100th birth anniversary of Late Chogyal Palden Thondup Namgyal came to a magnificent conclusion today. The closing event, held at the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology (NIT) in Deorali, Gangtok, marked the end of a year-long series of events honoring the life and legacy of the revered leader.
Distinguished guests and dignitaries graced the occasion, including Minister of Education Department Kunga Nima Lepcha, who attended as the Chief Guest on behalf of the Chief Minister. Accompanying him were Minister of Ecclesiastical Affairs Ven. Sonam Lama and Minister of Roads and Bridges Department Shri Samdup Lepcha. Crown Prince Wangchuk Namgyal, along with Prince Palden Gyurmed Namgyal and Princess Hope Leezum Namgyal, represented the royal family of Bhutan, adding a touch of regal elegance to the commemorative event.
The closing ceremony saw the presence of various attendees, including NIT Secretary Pema Wangyal Rinzing, members of the centennial celebration organizing committee, NIT board members, staff, students, artists, and members of the public. The organizers ensured that the three-day festivities were open to all, with no personal invitations sent.
The closing event commenced with a ceremonial lighting of the lamp and the offering of khadas to the statue of Late Chogyal PT Namgyal at the Chogyal Palden Thondup Namgyal Memorial Park within the NIT premises. The atmosphere was filled with reverence as monk Yap Lopen Tempa from Enchey Monastery performed the traditional monastic ritual of "Soldep," offering prayers. Accompanied by the rhythmic beats of traditional music, the Pemayangtse Pangtoed Bas or Pangtoed dancers mesmerized the audience with their graceful 'Dzongkor' ceremonial dance around the late Chogyal's statue. The ceremony also witnessed prayers for peace and prosperity offered by traditional Lepcha and Limboo priests.
Minister Kunga Nima Lepcha, in his heartfelt address, expressed his joy at being part of this prestigious event commemorating the remarkable life and enduring legacy of the 12th Chogyal of Sikkim. Fondly recalling his childhood memories, he shared moments of happiness spent at the Palace grounds and his interactions with the then Chogyal. He emphasized that among the numerous contributions of Late Chogyal PT Namgyal, the signing of the historic 8th May Tripartite Agreement of 1973 held immense significance. He reminded everyone that it was this agreement that safeguarded the rights of the Bhutia, Lepcha, and Nepali communities of Sikkim under Article 371F of the Indian Constitution.
The grand finale of the celebration featured captivating cultural presentations by various NGOs and cultural groups representing the diverse communities of Sikkim. The Lepcha Youth Association of Darjeeling enthralled the audience with a captivating storytelling session, accompanied by a musical group from Dzongu, North Sikkim.
During the event, Crown Prince Wangchuk Namgyal presented the Centennial medal of appreciation to the Pangtoed Bas from Pemayangtse, as well as to the bikers from various organizations who participated in the Centennial bike ride from Yuksom to Tsuklakhang Palace, along with other deserving participants.
NIT Secretary Pema Wangyal Rinzing extended a vote of thanks, expressing gratitude to all the participants, organizers, and attendees who made the centennial celebration a resounding success. To conclude the event on a joyous note, the guests and audience joined together in a lively and spirited group 'Shabda' dance.
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