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Exploring the Himalayas at Wingate University

9/4/2012
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Tibetan monks construct a mandala sand painting
NEWS RELEASE
Contact: Kim Williams
Communications Writer
k.williams@wingate.edu 704-233-8320


Wingate, N.C. – For a week in September, the Wingate University community will have an opportunity to explore the Himalayas. This view from the top of the world will have numerous events to deepen the awareness of the people and culture of Tibet and Nepal. Photographic images, including featured work by local photographer Jeff Botz, will be on display in the Batte Center lobby throughout the week.

Tibetan Buddhist monks from Drepung Loseling Monastery will construct a mandala sand painting beginning with an opening ceremony on Monday, Sept. 10 at noon in the Batte Center Rotunda. Millions of grains of sand are meticulously laid into place on a flat surface to form the image of a mandala. The sand paintings, which feature geometric shapes and ancient symbols, can also be viewed Monday from 1 – 6 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., as well as Thursday from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. The final showing on Friday from 10 – 11 a.m. will be followed by a traditional closing ceremony at noon. The closing ceremony serves as a metaphor of the impermanence of life, where the sands will be swept up and the monks and visitors will carry the sands to a nearby body of water to symbolically carry blessings to the ocean for planetary healing. These are free educational events open to the public. Groups should call ahead to schedule a visiting time.

Author Conor Grennan will give a free public lecture on Tuesday, Sept. 11 at 11 a.m. in Austin Auditorium. Grennan, who wrote Little Princes, volunteered at the Little Princes Orphanage in Nepal where he learned that many of the children were not orphans, but had been taken from their families by child traffickers. He founded Next Generation Nepal and reconnected almost 300 families with their lost children.

Dr. Losang Rabgey, co-founder and executive director of Machik whose mission is to strengthen rural Tibetan communities through education, healthcare, economic development and women’s initiatives, will give a free lecture entitled “Engaging Tibet: Incubating Social Innovation” on Thursday, Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. in McGee Theatre of the Batte Center. She will speak about the challenges and joys of community development in contemporary Tibetan communities in China.

As part of their Mystical Arts of Tibet international tour, the monks will also perform “Sacred Music, Sacred Dance for World Healing” on Friday, Sept. 14 at 7:30 p.m. in McGee Theatre. The performance features multiphonic singing, traditional instruments, rich brocade costumes and masked dances. Tickets for this family friendly performance are $25 for adults and $15 for students and may be purchased by calling the Batte Center at 704-233-8300 or online at www.battecenter.org.

Wingate University
Wingate University, ranked as the 8th "best value" in the South by U.S. News & World Report, serves more than 2,700 students on three campuses in Wingate, Matthews and Hendersonville, N.C. Founded in 1896, the University offers 34 undergraduate majors, 37 minors and career concentrations, numerous pre-professional programs, graduate degrees in business, accounting, education, physician assistant studies and sport administration, and doctorates in pharmacy and education. With a 14 to 1 student/teacher ratio, Wingate students gain the tools and support needed to excel in academics and apply that learning toward an extraordinary career and life.

In addition to a robust intramural athletics program, Wingate student athletes compete in 20 NCAA Division II sports. The University has won the South Atlantic Conference Echols Athletic Excellence Award for the past six years. For more information, go to www.wingate.edu.