I know we’re supposed to have filed this in two days ago, but if wishes were horses and beggars can be dreamers…(what?). The fact of the matter is, people are busy, and sometimes it takes a little longer than usual for said aforementioned people to get off their lazy behinds and start posting stuff. So, here we are, and let me lay it on the line: Losar at Toronto was frickin’ awesome, with a capital ef.
The day started off innocently enough with local SFT members Lobsang and Gelek propping up their table in a nondescript corner between a table selling Tibetan pop cds and another table from a bank offering its mutual trust fund services. Needless to say, the competitive juices were on high and the air around them: thick as a drunk Neanderthal. Strained smiles and avoided glances were the theme of the day.
With our paltry offerings at the start of the day, our hopes weren’t high for a successful recruiting and fund raising campaign. Curious passersby would stare bemusedly at our almost-empty table for a few seconds before being lured towards the adjoining tables that offered catchy tunes or “exceptional” interest rates. Needless to say, we weren’t feeling all that high. But then, one of the most esteemed members of the SFT Toronto showed up and we went from this
We now had a steady stream of people wanting to sign up or buy our merchandise or donate money. Feeling emboldened, the SFT members now ventured to the main stage and — gathering any stray members lost in the haze of the madness that was Losar on the way — proudly and collectively stood in front of the 2000+ crowd before them.
Lobsang addressed the mob first, in Tibetan no less, and then Gelek took the stage.
Kidup concluded our electrifying address to the crowd and, with the buzz now swiftly spreading across the floor, more people came by to our table afterwards to ask about SFT and to help us.
At the end of the day, the members now slightly exhausted and overwhelmed, we smiled and congratulated each other at our higher-than-expected result. With over $1,100 raised from the people who attended the Losar celebration, we can now put that fund to immediate use in the upcoming National Uprising Day of Tibet on the 10th of March. Our aim is to make this year’s demo the most massive and consequential one since the original day of action in 1959. Come join us then and be a part of history.
As always, SFT Canada would like to thank all the members who helped set up the table, the volunteers, the CTAO for providing us the spot and for allowing us to speak at the stage and the gathered Tibetan people who enthusiastically dug into their pockets to generously support their young freedom fighters. Losar Tashi Delek and Bhoe Gyaalo!