Kaza, Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India, 18 September 2017, 1045 hours:
It’s a wonderful sunny day today here in Kaza – the weather has cleared up nicely overnight, thank you.
Electricity is still playing hide and seek though. Most of yesterday, it was off and on, off and on. And today, so far, there is no sign of any power. The generators at Sakya Abode come on towards the evening, so that’s a great relief.
Power, no power, low power doesn’t make much difference when it comes to the festive spirit here in Kaza. And so, there was a great turnout last evening at the inauguration of the Spiti Festival 2017 – I think there must have been around 250 people at the Government School Kaza grounds! The last time I was here at these grounds, it was all covered in snow – we were here then for the Republic Day functions on 26th January 2017.
After the inauguration and speech by the Chief Guest – H.E. Yomed Tulku Rinpochen of the Sanag Chhoeling Gonpa, Kungri, Pin Valley – there were colourful and riveting performances by participants from schools in Chicham, Shagnam villages and Kaza. The festival events happen in the evening (since the whole community is occupied with daily routing during the day time – it is after all crop harvesting time here). I heard that we shall see performances from schools and villagers from across Spiti over the next two days. People are coming from far off places such Pin Valley, Losar, among other areas iN Spiti.
No internet connection or data, so sadly am unable to sen any of the videos and photos. But it is a great atmosphere and everybody is pitching in for the arrangements and I feel great working with everybody here – it gives a very different sense of belonging and community.