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Proposal to Establish

“Model Tibet Village”

Tibetan Residential Quarters in New York or New Jersey, US

by

Tibetan Housing Society

September 10, 2009 
 

Tibetan immigrants in the West are facing a formidable challenge in preserving and protecting Tibetan cultural identity, language and tradition, despite various ongoing programs for teaching language and culture to the younger generation in almost all Tibetan communities in North America.  In addition, community activities are very limited and, as such, interactions among Tibetan families and between Tibetan children are a very rare opportunity.  As a result, we are witnessing a gradual loss of Tibetan language and cultural identity amongst many of the younger generation.  Given the present trend of Tibetan immigration, which suggests that the Tibetan population will continue to grow significantly over the years, this can be a big problem.   

Increasingly, Tibetan immigrants are beginning to feel the need for an exclusive Tibetan community. Many Tibetan parents are experiencing difficulties in bringing up their children as Tibetans. Some have elders at homes who are bereft of a Tibetan social life, and support system, as well the opportunity to visit temples.  

The primary purpose of this project is to create a Tibetan environment where Tibetans of all ages can daily practice and enjoy their cultural traditions, thus ensuring protection of Tibetan cultural identity in the US.  However, this project should not be mistaken as similar to that of Tibetan settlements in India where Tibetan government-in-exile oversees the administration as well as looks after the welfare of the settlement members.  This proposed project would be building residential houses meant for Tibetan immigrants and they will have to purchase them. The owner of the property will be individual families and not the community.  The added advantage for these Tibetans would be that they will be able to use various facilities, including a Buddhist temple, community hall, recreation center, Tibetan library etc. 

This proposal was approved by the Kashag and as per its guidance the Tibetan community members are taking the initiative in establishing the settlement.  The Office of Tibet will provide necessary support and guidance.   

Tibetan Residential Quarters:

Compared to other communities which have large communities with huge populations, Tibetan immigrants are small in number. To begin with, a small residential compound with around 100-200 households can be built in one location to establish the first Tibetan community settlement in North America.  This compound can serve as a pilot project for larger settlements later on. 

The residential homes will have the basic necessary facilities that would contribute to the long-term preservation of Tibetan identity as well as facilities that would be of benefit to families and youth alike.  These would include:   

 

Feasibility of the Project:

The success of the project will fully depend on the participation of Tibetans in North America, in particular those residing in New York and New Jersey.  The project will need total commitment from potential Tibetan buyers in order to launch it.  Nevertheless, we are anticipating a massive participation from Tibetan immigrants for the following reasons:  

 

Board of Directors and Project Working Committee:

An informal meeting was held May 28, 2009, attended by executive members of various Tibetan organizations and several individual Tibetans to discuss the viability of the project. It was suggested to establish a Board of Directors representing the Tibetan Community of New York and New Jersey, Tibetan Youth Congress and Regional Tibetan Women’s Association, and not more than four individual Tibetans.  The Board of Directors is the final authority to make decisions on the settlement project.  A Project Working Committee was also established whose role is to conduct a feasibility study, survey potential sites and assist the Board of Directors in implementing the project.   
 
 

Survey of Potential Buyers:

From the date of this announcement, we will conduct a survey of potential buyers.  All those interested should either pick up the printed information from the Office of Tibet or make a request to send the documents through email.  These documents will contain some details of the project, including the size, location and the estimated cost per household. 

To launch the project, we require at least 70 percent of the housing units pre-sold.  The Board has given four months to complete the survey, beginning the date of this announcement.  If the required percentage is not met, the Board will review the feasibility of the project and make a decision. 

Establishing Tibetan Housing Society:

A legal corporation is required to undertake the project.  Since the corporation needs to be registered in the state where the project would be implemented, we will have to wait until a decision is reached on the location.  

Contact Person:

All interested persons are requested to contact Tenzin Dickyi at 212 213 5010 Ext. 14 or tenzindickyi@igc.org for detail information.  Please note that the availability of housing depends on first come, first serve basis to ensure fairness. 
 
 

Issued by:

Board of Directors

Tibetan Housing Project

C/o Office of Tibet

241 East 32nd Street

New York, NY 10016 

September 10, 2009