By Dr Rabin Man Shakya, Advisor, Nepa Chhen.
A concert by spiritual singer Ani Drolma Choying "Healing Melodies from the Himalayas" was organized by Nepa Chhen - a nonprofit Nepalese community organization in Oregon - at Central Lutheran Church, Portland on June 18, 2017.
|Daya Shakya speaking on the occasion|
Under the theme of "Unity and Hope", the Himalayan melodies concert sponsored by Nepa Chhen was amazing, unique and unprecedented. That was the conclusive view of some of the audience - both Nepalese as well as Americans - about the concert.
In fact, it was not just a concert. Charya dances performed by the artistes of Nritya Mandala Mahavihara, Portland was also presented before the start of Ani Choying concert.
The unique Charya dance is performed by the Bajracharya Guvajus at the Buddhist Mahaviharas of the Kathmandu valley during the important ritual and religious ceremonies of the Shakyas and Bajracharyas.
The unique and amazing Charya dance on the occasion was performed by the artistes of Portland's Nritya Mandala Mahavihara: Helen Appel, Anna Shrushtova, Linda Marshall, Stacy Roderica and Alex Hirch.
After the group Charya dance, another fabulous ritual dance "Green Tara" was performed by artiste Uppa Shakya.
A number of Nepalese Portlanders, Nepalese living in other cities of Oregon and numerous local Americans showed up at the concert program of Ani Choying. Also present at the concert program, were officials and activists of Nepa Chhen, Nepali Association of Oregon and NRN NCC USA Oregon Chapter.
The other members of the Ani team were Nhyoo Bajracharya, a noted music composer, Ramesh Maharjan, a flautist and Gopal Rasaili, a guitarist.
It is to be noted that Ani Choying was appointed UNICEF Nepal's first ever national ambassador in 2014.
According to Ani herself, her songs are based on Himalayan Buddhist tradition. The day on which the concert was organized in Portland coincided with the Fathers Day. Ani Choying wished Happy Fathers Day to all the audience, adding "But a mother is the best friend of kids and that a mother faces a lot of agonies raising her kids."
On the occasion, Ani presented a song "Aama Aama Bhaner Hunna" dedicated to the mothers of the world. It is to be noted that Ani entered monastic life in Nepal as a means of escape from her physically abusive father.
During the concert, Ani Choying gave a spirited rendition of "Phulko Aankhama Phulai Sansar." Judging by the songs presented during the concert, it is quite obvious that there is unprecedented softness in the voice of Buddhist rockstar nun.
Ani's songs in the concert were basically meditational melodies. Her song "Batuwa" was very compassionate and thought-provoking.
Likewise, during the concert, Ani also chanted "Om Mani Padme Hum", the Bodhisattwo of compassion.
No doubt, Ani has become a house-hold name in Nepal for her famous melody "Phulko Aankhama". Among 12 pop albums to her credit, some were also for sale during the concert.
Addressing the concert, Buddhist rockstar nun Ani said that her team is spreading word of wisdom of Lord Buddha through spiritual music.
Lord Buddha was born in Nepal and we are proud of this, she said adding "Rather than harping on it, this is the time for the Nepalese to do some soul-searching and ask themselves how far we have translated and implemented the Buddhist philosophy into our day to day practical life.
The program host on the occasion was advisor of Nepa Chhen (NC) Daya Shakya who said that it was an honest endeavor of the Nepalese community organization to provide a glimpse of Nepalese culture to the Portlanders.
According to CNN, Ani has performed around the world -- including to an audience of 20,000 in Tibet last Easter -- counts superstars like Tina Turner and Tracy Chapman among her fans, and her biography "Singing For Freedom", first published in French in 2008, has been translated into 15 languages.