Tibet Native to Share Story in Alumni Hall

Posted on April 19th, 2012 by

Wangyal Ritzekura

The Gustavus Adolphus College International Cultures Club will host “The Tibetan Story,” at 6 p.m. Saturday, April 21 in Alumni Hall. Wangyal Ritzekura, a native of Tibet who came to Minnesota in 1992 as part of the United States Tibetan Resettlement Project, will be the featured speaker. Tibetan student dancers from St. Olaf College will also perform at the event.

The International Cultures Club at Gustavus aims to bring knowledge about various cultures across the globe. As a result, the organization feels that it is important to bring Tibet’s rich history and its present struggles to light.

Ritzekura was born in Dzonga, Tibet, and at a young age moved with his family to India. He served as a teacher in India from 1976 until leaving for Minnesota in 1992. Since arriving in Minnesota, Ritzekura has been a teacher, translator, and education liaison for the Tibetan community.

Ritzekura has been part of a Minnesota Historical Society project called “Becoming Minnesota: Stories of Recent Immigrants and Refugees.” Through that program and other forums, Ritzekura has sought to educate Americans on the plight of the Tibetan people since China invaded the nation in the 1950s. Those Tibetans who stayed faced persecution by the Chinese, and were forced to give up many of their Tibetan traditions and to be part of Chinese culture. Those who fled face hardships living in refugee camps in India and Nepal. All Tibetans face the sad fact that they will not be able to return to their homeland as long as it is controlled by the Chinese.

Saturday night’s event in Alumni Hall is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Gustavus student Bushra Wahid at bwahid@gustavus.edu.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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