The Princess Nirgidma (My Grandaunt)

Jun 6, 2020 | Views: 1,624
My grand aunt, the Princess Nirgidma of Torghut. This portrait, which is Plate No. 36, is from a series of 50 drawings and paintings made by Alexander Yakovlev during the 1931-1932 expedition of Central Asia sponsored by André Citroën. The expedition, intended to show the power of the motor vehicle, was known as Croisière Jaune and it was the third mission led by Georges-Marie Haardt and Louis Audouin-Dubreuil. She must have been a very prominent figure for this expedition to think it worthwhile to paint such an elaborate portrait of her.

My grandaunt, the Princess Nirgidma of Torghut. This portrait, which is Plate No. 36, is from a series of 50 drawings and paintings made by Alexander Yakovlev during the 1931-1932 expedition of Central Asia sponsored by André Citroën. The expedition, intended to show the power of the motor vehicle, was known as Croisière Jaune and it was the third mission led by Georges-Marie Haardt and Louis Audouin-Dubreuil. She must have been a very prominent figure for this expedition to think it worthwhile to paint such an elaborate portrait of her.

Dear friends around the world,

Many years ago, one of my students travelled to Taiwan to organise some paperwork for me. While she was there, she had the opportunity to trace my family history and background.

As you know, when I was around 7 years old, I was adopted into a Kalmyk-Mongol family in Howell, New Jersey. I was raised there until I left New Jersey and ran away to Los Angeles at the age of 16. It was in Los Angeles where I met my root guru His Holiness Kyabje Zong Dorje Chang.

Although I was raised in America, I was actually born in Taiwan to a Mongolian mother and Tibetan father. So my student, Irene, wanted to do research into my birth parents and who they are and their background and all of that. I already knew that my birth mother, Dewa Nimbo, was a Mongolian princess but after Irene’s research, I came to learn a lot more about my family background. For example, I was born Iska Minh of the Torghut tribe and my family lineage can be traced all the way back to Genghis Khan.

I also discovered that my great grandfather, Prince Palta had been quite a visionary man. He had been educated in military science in Tokyo and later, he became the governor of the vast Altai region. In 1917, he moved to Peking (modern-day Beijing) to take up his post as senator of the Chinese Republic.

Prince Palta was highly educated and even as a young man, he impressed Chinese scholars with his knowledge of Chinese history and literature. Due to his education in Tokyo, he was fluent in Japanese and he also learnt English. Thanks to Prince Palta’s travels and international education, he became very exposed and developed modern views and so contrary to the beliefs of his day, arranged for all four of his children to receive a Western and Oriental education, regardless of whether they were boys or girls.

That is how his daughter who was my grandaunt, Princess Nirgidma was able to speak multiple languages, become learned in various topics such as political science, and came to be known as an authority on Oriental and Western culture. This, apparently, was a surprise to people who met her, who assumed that because she came from a nomadic background, she would be backwards and uneducated. That was definitely not the case.

So recently, I came across this biography of my grandaunt that I wanted to share with you. It was composed by Mr. Carl Barkman, a Dutch diplomat who, by his own account, was close to my grandaunt and very impressed by her. It is the most comprehensive account I have ever read on her life. Unfortunately, Mr. Barkman passed away in 2006. I would like to have asked him things on Princess Nirgidma, the Torghut tribe and more on her family background.

Another painting of Princess Nirgidma, this one painted by Leon Schulman Gaspard in 1933.

Another painting of Princess Nirgidma, this one painted by Leon Schulman Gaspard in 1933.

Anyway, in the course of further research for this post, I discovered that Princess Nirgidma, who was also known as Princess Palta, Nirgidma de Torhout or even Miss Nina de Torghut, was born in Tokyo and educated in France and Peking. As a result of her international upbringing and frequent travels, she became fluent in Chinese, French, English, Mongolian and Russian. It is said that later, she even learnt Persian and Arabic.

She travelled extensively, all over the Middle East and Central Asia. She was very good friends with Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a French idealist philosopher and Jesuit priest, and Lucile Swan, an American sculptor. Because she is frequently mentioned by name in their letters to one another, we get further glimpses into Nirgidma’s life. For example, she appears to have been a journalist for a short period of time – newspapers sent her to Palestine, Morocco, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia, to offer a commentary of the political developments there. Some of her articles were subsequently published.

She also appears to have moved frequently and in 1935, she was supposed to marry someone called Philippe. According to Teilhard, she had “not [seemed] really enthusiastic” about marrying him and expressed misgivings about being tied down because she still had a wish to travel and explore. On December 14, 1938, she married Michel Georges Eugène Bréal instead, who later became a French consul général to China. By January 1939, just a year after her marriage to Bréal, she was already pregnant. A few months later, however, she had a miscarriage and became very sick after the incident. (Much later on, she had a son who, according to Mr. Barkman, lives in the south of France)

Scuplture of Nirgidma, made by her friend the American sculptor Lucile Swan. It fits descriptions of her as a tall and slender beauty.

Scuplture of Nirgidma, made by her friend the American sculptor Lucile Swan. It fits descriptions of her as a tall and slender beauty.

I wish I could have met my grandaunt, who died in Paris in 1983 at the age of 75. I never knew about her until the research done by Irene which prompted me to do further investigations. And based on Mr. Barkman’s writings, as well as the other information discovered about her, it sounds like she was an extraordinary woman who was ahead of her time. In one of her conversations, she debated about the emancipation of the Mongols and the Western concept of ‘progress’, and was even somewhat of a spy, sending reports about political and other developments back to her brother in Central Asia! I love speaking with intelligent, exposed people like Princess Nirgidma and find them to be very interesting. Especially people who defy the cultural and societal norms of their day, I admire people like that because it takes great courage to go against what everyone tells you you must do. When I was younger, everyone told me that I must go to college, I must get married, I must get a job, I must buy a house. And because I did not share the same beliefs, I was seen as weird, strange and I was even abused by my adoptive parents who did not understand why I didn’t want all of those things. But I’m glad I did not follow because otherwise I would never have met Kyabje Zong Rinpoche and I would never have received ordination and been a monk for the last 30-over years. I am very, VERY glad I did not follow.

In the past, I rarely got any news about my blood family members and their lives so this post helps me to explore a family member of mine and in the process helps me to know who I am and where I came from. Who I am and where I came from were hidden from me for years by my adoptive parents. It is something I have slowly found out over the decades. There is still more to know, but I don’t have many people I can ask.

Anyway, do read about the fascinating story of Princess Nirgidma which I’ve reproduced for you below for educational purposes and let me know what you think.

Tsem Rinpoche

 

A Daughter of the Soil

The nomadic plains of the south-western Russian region of Kalmykia are a semi-desert. Vast stretches of untamed land stretch as far as the eye can see. They are marked by cold winters and cool summers in a world that makes for a hard life and hardier people.

Princess Nirgidma with her hooded hunting eagle at Urumchi. A striking photograph of the Torghut princess by Maynard Owen Williams in "The National Geographic Magazine" of November 1932, Vol. LXII No. 5, plate IX opposite p.568, shows her in national costume

Princess Nirgidma with her hooded hunting eagle at Urumchi. A striking photograph of the Torghut princess by Maynard Owen Williams in “The National Geographic Magazine” of November 1932, Vol. LXII No. 5, plate IX opposite p.568, shows her in national costume

The ancestors of Princess Nirgidma Torghut, the Kalmyks, have lived in the region for millennia. When she was born in 1907, few would have suspected that she would go on to lead the eventful life she did in the years to come.

That is not to say that the Princess was restricted in her upbringing or shackled to any particular role or place. Quite the contrary – she was a princess in a time when, and at a place where the title carried much more gravity than it does today.

The earliest pictures we have of Princess Nirgidma show her as she was in her early twenties. They appeared in the November 1932 edition of The National Geographic Magazine. The photograph of the bright, cheery Princess in her colourful royal robes was taken by a member of a Sino-Swedish expedition to north-western China. If the expedition’s historian, Georges Le Fevre and National Geographic editor, Maynard Owen Williams had expected a demure, acquiescent Torghut woman, the ensuing conversation would have left them quite surprised.

Here is an extract:

“Why do Occidentals and Orientals dislike one another?” we asked, our actual relationship belying our thesis. […]

“Why call conservatism dislike?” she replied. “Do you always welcome strangers to your clubs and homes? The oriental has his psychological Great Wall, whose protection is beginning to seem less sure. The man behind it doesn’t want to be loved or even appreciated. He wants to be undisturbed.”

“People seek to protect not only property, but modes of life. Perhaps your way of life is right for you, but it threatens ours.”

“You are in a hurry and hence barbaric. You are entranced by mechanical toys, which you haven’t mastered. You like frankness; but, until real understanding exists, even formal politeness helps. You dominate world ideals, which differ from ours.”

“You are men of auto, railway, radio. You find this a backward land, without roads, speed, a free press, a balanced budget, sanitation, or familiar forms of justice. Hence, you pity the Chinese. But they live in the Celestial Kingdom, the centre of all the world that counts. Your progress is chaotic, at least in its impact on Orientals, because its spiritual values are not realised. We Mongols are emancipated. ‘A good horse and a wide plain under God’s heaven’, that’s our desire. And we realise it.”

Perhaps the princess’s appearance should have forewarned the guests of her singular personality and character. That appearance did make enough of an impression on the explorers that they carefully documented every aspect of what she wore, and her looks, down to her hair.

She wore riding boots, a tight blue skirt and a simple white blouse, lightly touched with coral embroidery. Her hair was slightly dishevelled by her dashing ride on a tough-mouthed pony. Attractive, intelligent, objective, this oriental woman spoke French without accent and Anglo-American English seasoned with slang. Dancing with her seemed strange. Talking with her seemed utterly natural.

A Mongol princess who speaks the languages and thinks the thoughts of both Orient and occident. Familiar with the life of the Rue de la Paix, Princess Palta (Nirgidma of Torghut) is here seen at the entrance of a yurt such as Asiatic nomads have used since the days of Herodotus.

Princess Nirgidma is here seen at the entrance of a yurt such as Asiatic nomads have used since the days of Herodotus.

Imagine the scene. A tête-à-tête between a team of rugged Caucasian explorers on a daring eastern expedition and a sole Asian woman in the early 20th Century. The touchy topics that they broached in this encounter flirted with controversy but the young princess spoke her mind and shared the irrefutable rationale behind her ideas.

The National Geographic editor and photographer also took a black-and-white picture of her.

What emerges from the photographs and from her words is the character of a fiercely proud young woman on the cusp of making her mark on the world. Her Torghut heritage could not be suppressed.

 

The Torghuts

From where did this independent streak arise? To answer that question, we have to delve into the history of the princess’s people.

PrincessNirgid

A streak of fierce independence runs through every Mongolian; even tribes typically identify themselves as discrete entities instead of a part of a larger collective. This has changed at certain points in history, such as in the 15th Century when the four largest West Mongolian tribes formed an alliance called the “Dörben Oirat”.

Even after the alliance disintegrated, the Western Mongolians were referred to as “Oirat.” In the early 17th Century, the Choros, Dörbet and Khoit tribes came together and formed the Dzungar Empire (sometimes called “Dzungaria”) in Western Inner Asia. Simultaneously, the Khoshuts established the Khoshut Khanate in Tibet and the Torghuts formed the Kalmyk Khanate in the lower Volga region. The Kalmyks are the Qirats in Russia, whose ancestors migrated from Dzungaria in 1607.

“Kalmyk” translates to “those who stayed”, a reference to their ancestors who decided to remain in their new home west of the Volga instead of returning to China. This makes the Kalmyks the only European community that is indigenously Buddhist.

Gradually, many Oirats outside lower Volga began to identify themselves as “Kalmyk”, particularly in dealings with their Russian and Muslim neighbours. However, they continued to refer to themselves within their own communities by their tribal and clan affiliations; this was the case with Oirats within the lower Volga.

By 1761, the Manchu Empire had forced the Khoshuts and the Dzungars from their homes (in Tibet and Dzungaria respectively) into Kalmykia. The local Torghuts of Kalmykia had used the name ‘Kalmyk’ for themselves but gradually came to use it as an umbrella term for the Khoshuts and Dzungars as well.

The migrations and subsequent increased interaction blurred the previously clearly-defined lines between the different tribes. Ultimately, European scholars identified all western Mongolians collectively as Kalmyks, regardless of their location and origins.

 

The Bearing of Genealogy

Princess Nirgidma’s family can trace its lineage directly to Ayuka Khan (1669-1724), the most powerful Kalmyk ruler. During his reign, Ayuka Khan defended the southern borders of Russia against the Muslim tribes of Central Asia, the North Caucasus and Crimea. He then focused his military efforts eastwards and made the Kazakh and Turkmen Kingdoms his tributaries.

As a member of the royal family of the Western Mongol Kalmyks, Ayuka Khan himself was a descendant of the great Mongolian emperor, Genghis Khan. While the exact line of descent is unclear, it may be related to the Borjigin line of the Kiyat clan.

Prince Palta

Prince Palta

Princess Nirgidma’s father, Prince Palta Wang was Ayuka Khan’s great-great-great-great grandson. He was a Mongolian statesman and a scholar of military science, which he studied in Tokyo. His daughter, the Princess Nirgidma, was born in the Japanese capital and the family lived there in her first year.

As a young man, Prince Palta is said to have astonished Chinese scholars with his profound knowledge of Chinese history and literature. He was also well-versed in English and Japanese.

The famous Finnish orientalist Gustav John Ramstedt was reportedly greatly impressed by the young Prince Palta, whom he met on a visit to the estate of the prince’s father, Bayir Wang. The men discussed subjects as diverse as Buddhist philosophy and the mutual influence of Western and Oriental culture in the future.

Prince Palta believed that a person’s greatest riches were his intellect, erudition and knowledge. He wanted his four children to receive both an Oriental and Western education, thus including elements of a Eurasian nature.

In 1906, the Chinese Qing Dynasty transferred western Mongolia’s Altai Uriyangkhai, New Torghut and Khoshut banners from the jurisdiction of Khovd Province to the new Altai District, with Chenghua as its capital (now Altay in Xinjiang).

H.E. Tsem Rinpoche's royal family tree

H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s royal family tree

In 1913, the new Altai District was divided between newly independent Mongolia and the Chinese province of Xinjiang. Shortly thereafter, Prince Palta was appointed Governor of Altai District of China. History records Prince Palta as a war hero who defended the Altai region from invasions by a Russian-backed Mongolian army. China’s hold on Xinjiang today may be attributed to the courageous deeds of Prince Palta without whom parts, if not all, of the Altai would have been annexed by Mongolia. Prince Palta was held in great regard and highly respected as an influential member of the Altai royalty. Such was the Prince’s position that he had standing to correspond directly with the Qing Dynasty Emperor Guangxu. Prince Palta’s grasp of the nuances of politics, as well as his command of English, Chinese and Japanese, and knowledge of Chinese history and culture made an impression in the corridors of power in China. He was appointed a senator of the Chinese Republic.

Prince Palta's letter which he wrote directly to Emperor Guangxu

Prince Palta’s letter which he wrote directly to the Qing Dynasty Emperor Guangxu

His son, Migyur Wang married Queen Dechen and the couple had four children, one of whom was Princess Dewa Nimbo. She was often called “Torghut Noyen”, a respectful way of referring to a royal princess of the Torghut tribe. Princess Dewa Nimbo went on to have one child with her first love, a son she named Prince Iska Minh.

We know him better today as His Eminence Tsem Tulku Rinpoche.

 

A Woman of the World

Princess Nirgidma’s posture, demeanour and looks combined to captivate any audience. The exotic pastimes of horse-riding and hunting with eagles were in her blood. She spoke multiple languages and her eloquence in English, French, Chinese and Russian left indelible lifelong impressions on those with whom she spoke.

Her father, Prince Palta was governor of the expansive Altai region and senator of the Chinese Republic. He had insisted on his children receiving both an Oriental and Western education. As his daughter, she was obviously well-travelled and well-educated.

Prince Palta (second from the right)

Prince Palta (second from the right)

The princess received her childhood schooling at the Sacred Heart School in Peking before attending university in Paris. The cornucopia of worldly experiences could not temper the soul of the Mongol within her.

A good horse and a wide plain under God’s heaven,” she had said, speaking of the goals to which she and her people aspired – and achieved – every day. And with that, she displayed that under her educated manners and urban sophistication, she was a free spirit and a traditionalist at heart.

Despite her privileged upbringing, the National Geographic explorers’ notes indicate that Princess Nirgidma was incredibly grounded. The elaborate embroidery work of the traditional outfit she wears in the photo with her hunting eagle was made by her own hand.

It seems that Princess Nirgidma, widely travelled, highly educated and at home in both Eastern and Western society, held opinions that would shake the ground of the cookie-cutter feminists of this millennium.

It is easy to fall under the impression today that feminism necessitates a rejection of the traditional demarcation of male and female roles in society. Princess Nirgidma was a staunch feminist by any measure but her views on this topic deviated from the archetypical feminist of today. She questioned the equality of the sexes as sanctioned by Genghis Khan in law. Writer LaSalle Gilman describes them thus:

The Mongolian woman is as free as the man; she saddles her horse and goes to visit her relatives and friends; she receives her guests and calls on whom she will; her sexual morals are the same as the morals of her roaming brother. She is equal to him before the law, is completely responsible for herself. Adultery is punishable by death, in the case of both men and women. She has the right of inheritance, of owning property and bringing up children, of seeking marriage or divorce, of serving in the army.

However, the princess assessed the supposed privilege of equality with rather different lenses:

I do not know whether the Great Khan was honouring the woman or simply putting her in her rightful place at the man’s side… Because she is the comrade of the man, the Mongolian woman is an object of no particular regard. She shares all the man’s hardest tasks, watches the flocks in rain and snow, loads the beasts, cuts wood. She enjoys no kind of precedence; she rises when a man older than herself comes in and gives him up her place at the fireside or the softest cushions. Man and woman share equally the expenses of life. Flatteries, deferences, everything that in the West is called chivalry – are non-existent. The orphan is protected but not the woman. Having the same rights, she also has the same duties and responsibilities.

She compared this to Chinese society where men wielded unquestionable authority:

Look at the Chinese woman who until recently was of all women the type most dependent on the goodwill of the man,” the princess declares. “She had no rights in public life. She had no existence, but she was and still is the absolute mistress in her family and almost sovereign in that public life in which she never shared herself. In China, a woman is infinitely respected. A man never contradicts her, agrees with her even when she talks nonsense, carries out her whims!

 

Life and Times

By all accounts, Princess Nirgidma lived a blessed life. She was attractive, intelligent and wealthy, factors that together gave her far more independence and opportunities than other women of the time.

It is said that her arrival in Paris as a young lady in the early 1930s inspired a storm of excitement, especially among the elites of the Oirat-Kalmyk community. She was the subject of letters and discussions. Young men fell in love with the princess, professing their emotions through poem and song.

Princess Nirgidma's first husband, Michel Bréal (middle).

Princess Nirgidma’s husband, Michel Bréal (middle).

As there are with everyone, there were low points, too; she married French diplomat Michel Bréal (1896-1973) but miscarried their first child. War is always traumatic but the Second World War was especially hard on the couple because Michel suffered a nervous breakdown. Fortunately, the princess was able to nurse him back to health.

The marriage to Bréal gave her the opportunity to explore more of the world; Michel was subsequently posted as the French Ambassador to Afghanistan (1952-1954), Laos (1954-1955) and Thailand (1958-1959). Along the way, the polyglot princess learnt to speak Arabic and Persian.

Danish writer and anthropologist Henning Haslund Christensen (1896-1948), who lived amongst the Mongols for decades, gave Princess Nirgidma the honour of writing the Foreword to his 1935 book, Men and Gods in Mongolia. In it, she says,

I wish to emphasize that the European’s way of thinking and attitude to life is closer to ours than that of other races. We have the same conception of beauty and of honour and, I would say, similar ideals.

Two years later in Paris, she herself published a collection of Mongolian folk songs titled, very simply, Dix-Huit Chants et Poèmes Mongols (translated as Eighteen Mongolian Songs and Poems). It was perhaps the first time Europe received a personal insight into authentic Mongolian culture from someone who was an intimate part of it. Copies of these rare musical scores are maintained by some of the world’s most prestigious repositories of information, including Oxford University, New York’s Columbia University, Trinity College in Connecticut and Bibliotheque du Musee de l’Homme, Paris.

Princess Nirgidma made strong impressions on the people she met and they spoke of her fondly in their letters and writings. These documents provide invaluable insights into the character and personality of the princess. The writer, diplomat and sinologist, Carl Barkman wrote in The Prelude to the Mandate:

When, during our talks in Peking, I told Nirgidma that I had written an article about the trek of the Torghuts from Russia to China in my student days and had translated passages from the official Ch’ing annals about their reception by the Emperor, she wanted to read the article and so I translated parts of it from Dutch into English for her. She helped me with some of the names, and this article was later published in Hong Kong by the university there. Her people and some allied Oirat tribes had migrated from Central Asia to the Volga region in the early 17th Century. When the pressure of Russian expansion became too strong, about three-quarters of them went back to Central Asia in 1771. Much had been written about this event, especially in Russian, but I appeared to be the only one who had studied the Chinese sources and described their reception in China. This episode, which was new to Nirgidma, fascinated her. The Oirat-Mongols are of a tolerant and peaceful nature. Nirgidma was not at all anti-Chinese, although her people had been badly treated by them.

Princess Nirgidma and her husband, the French diplomat Michel Bréal

Princess Nirgidma and her husband, the French diplomat Michel Bréal

The fictional novel Asaray by Barkman was inspired by the “impressive” Princess Nirgidma whom he had first met in Beijing in 1947. Renewed contact with her in the 1970s inspired Barkman to write a novel about Asaray, the second son of Donduk-Dashi Khan, leader of the Volga Torghuts who now reside in Kalmykia. Donduk-Dashi Khan’s other son, Ubashi Khan (enthroned as his successor), led his people in a rather catastrophic migration back from the Volga region to Dzungaria beginning early 1771.

Asaray, or Asarai, was amongst other things, famous for being the first hostage taken by the Russian rulers in the 18th Century amidst a power struggle in the Volga.

According to Barkman, when he first read about this young Prince Asaray in Russian historical literature, he could “at that time not find anything about his life, and wondered how a young, Buddhist-educated oriental prince would react to the splendour of St. Petersburg and its alien culture. For me, he was an ideal character for a novel.

Princess Nirgidma, whom Barkman was corresponding with, “informed that according to an oral tradition in her family, Asaray had made the return journey to China with his people and played an important role there.

Princess Nirgidma also urged Barkman to write a book about Asaray which he eventually did but Nirgidma never saw the finished novel as she had died in 1983 in Paris. Danish explorer and writer Henning Haslund Christensen writes in his book Men and Gods in Mongolia (London, 1935), that he received the following information through Princess Nirgidma:

“A movement or revolt against the Chinese provincial government had arisen among the Mohammedan population of Sinkiang. The Chinese Governor invited [the Torghut Khan] Seng Chen to Urumchi in order, as he pretended, to discuss with him the suppression of the revolt. Seng Chen arrived surrounded by his most powerful chiefs, but no discussion ever took place. After the first day’s banquet, as the Torghuts sat drinking tea in the Governor’s yamen, he had all of the guests shot from behind by his servants.”

It was for this book, Men And Gods, that Haslund (who preferred to omit his third name) sought out Nirgidma, asking her to write a Foreword. In the piece she composed, she said of meeting him:

“… enjoyed the pleasure, seldom vouchsafed to us Mongols, of talking freely and unconstrainedly about our country. There was nothing for me to tell him or explain to him, for he was one of us.”

Haslund met Nirgidma when he participated in a Central Asian expedition led by the eminent Swedish explorer and geographer Sven Hedin. Having lived for years among the Khalka Mongols and the Torghuts, he was on his way back to Europe with Torghut friends who accompanied him to the Russian border. He writes of their experience:

“One day we were overtaken by twenty galloping Torghuts. They were lusty youths on spirited horses, wild with the delight of speed across limitless steppes. They checked their course for a while to exchange gay greetings and inquisitive questions, and though we had never seen one another before we were soon like old acquaintances. […] They were Torghuts from Khara Ossun on their way to meet their princess.”

When they had galloped away, “What was all this about a princess”, I asked Lyrup. Did I not know? Nirgitma of the Torghuts was expected back on the steppes from the land of the Franks.

“Nirgitma of the Torghuts, that was of course her whom Seng Chen had so often quoted and of whom I had heard in the tents so many unbelievable things that I had come to regard as a figment of the imagination, the Mongolian girl who spoke the languages of the West and whose qualities had made her a legendary figure on the steppes.

“The same evening we came, dripping with sweat and dusty, to the frontier town of Chugochak where I was to experience a marvellous encounter. She, Nirgitma of the Torghuts, was a slender young woman, whose exquisite Parisian clothes looked exotic against her dark Mongolian beauty. It was only two days since she had left the wagon-lit that she had boarded in Brussels, and her speech and bearing had been formed by seven years of university study and life in European capitals. As many years of nomadic life lay behind me.

“And so it came about that we sat there giving one another widely separated impressions from East and West. […] Our environment was the sun-drenched courtyard of an Asian sarai with horses, asses, camels and caravans of people, coming and going.

“She had a complete and elegant command of the speech of Western culture and to all my questions she had apt answers. For fourteen hours we talked and, as the hours went by, her speech slipped more and more into Mongolian lines of thought. When we separated to go to the starting-places of our respective caravans […] our farewell words were spoken in Mongolian.”

Such were Haslund’s impressions. Princess Nirgidma’s acclaim was also captured in Pierre Teilhard’s letters to Lucille Swan. Teilhard was a French philosopher, palaeontologist and Jesuit priest whose intense – albeit platonic – love for American sculptor Lucile Swan was documented in The Letters of Teilhard de Chadrin and Lucille Swan. The princess was a friend to both Teilhard and Swan. We learn in Teilhard’s letters that the princess was a published writer whose opinions were highly regarded by newspapers and that she was sent to various places in the Middle East – Palestine, Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia – to cover political issues. The princess had also apparently gone on a pilgrimage to Mecca. “Why a Mongol Princess?” wondered Teilhard and therein is a hint as to how much Princess Nirgidma had broken through the cultural barriers prevailing of her time.

Michel

Michel Bréal

The princess was apparently not easily impressed, not by the trappings of her Eastern royal heritage nor by the affluence and opulence of the Western upper middle class. Teilhard and Swan’s letters spoke of a princess who was socially successful in both Eastern and Western social circles and yet she had a heart for freedom that could not be extinguished.

Teilhard also observed Nirgidma had no interest in ordinary life. In her private conversations with Swan, the Princess spoke of her love for her husband, Michel Bréal. She also articulated an appreciation for the spiritual and an understanding of the suffering that all human beings have to endure. The letters portray an image of a princess who was immensely successful for a woman of her time and who charmed just about everyone she met. Teilhard observed that the princess would have accomplished even greater things in Asia had she not been so “utterly feminine”. She was described as a loyal wife, who stood staunchly by her husband Michel Bréal’s side when he suffered a mental breakdown just after the Second World War. Bréal recovered and was appointed the French Ambassador to Peking and the Mongolian princess became, in the words of Teilhard, a really impressive and dignified mistress and hostess of the French Embassy.

 

The Line Continues

Prince Palta in his younger days

Prince Palta in his younger days

Each one of us is not just the child of our parents but a product of our entire lineage, stretching back millennia. The talents and abilities we possess, as well as our likes, dislikes and fears, are moulded by both our environment and the genes in our DNA – nature and nurture both make us who we are.

Princess Nirgidma came from a bloodline that includes the greatest conqueror the world has ever known, Genghis Khan. It includes Ayuka Khan, who wielded more power than any Kalmyk before or since. Her father, Prince Palta was a learned man of diplomacy, keen intellect and a passion for learning.

Their qualities of leadership, grit and determination became part of the Princess. Over thousands upon thousands of years, successive generations of Mongols had tamed the challenging land that was their home. They mastered warfare mounted upon horses and on their feet; for game, they hunted with bows and arrows, spears and eagles. This, too, was passed down to the Princess.

Princess Nirgidma was mentioned in  “The National Geographic Magazine” of November 1932, Vol. LXII No. 5, plate IX opposite p.568.

Princess Nirgidma was mentioned in “The National Geographic Magazine” of November 1932, Vol. LXII No. 5, plate IX opposite p.568.

She showed the world that it was possible for a young woman to possess such diverse traits without losing the essence of who she was, regardless of whether she lived in the East or West. Her impassioned defence of her people’s lifestyle and their insular attitudes to the National Geographic team illustrates the solidarity of a royal who truly understood her role in the greater scheme of things.

When the Princess expressed her views on the contradictions between the progress of the West and its abandonment of spirituality, she spoke prophetic words. It was a recognition of things to come as that progress crept ever so fast into the world in which she had been born. That foresight, too, was in her blood.

Her foresight was due to inherited knowledge, leadership and prescience from generations of accomplished ancestors that comprised conquerors, kings, warriors and poets. The essence of her opinions must have been almost traumatic for the average person to hear when she spoke them. Today, they are all the more remarkable for the insight they give us into an accomplished woman’s soul and for the truths she realised so long ago in places so far away.

A family portrait of Princess Nirgidma

A family portrait of Princess Nirgidma

Publications by Nirgidma >>

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The Spectator (London, 1935)

Established in July 1828, The Spectator is a weekly British magazine covering politics, culture and current affairs. Editorship of The Spectator has often been a step to higher office within the British Conservative Party.

In the August 2, 1935 issue of The Spectator, Princess Nirgidma published a piece on women’s rights, titled The Disadvantages of Women’s Rights. The essay was subsequently included in a compilation of other essays, published under the title Redefining the new woman, 1920-1963 by Angela Howard and Sasha Ranaé Adams Tarrant (Garland Publishing, New York, 1997).

Nirgidma's article "The Disadvantages of Women's Rights" in the August 2, 1935 issue of The Spectator. Click to enlarge.

Nirgidma’s article “The Disadvantages of Women’s Rights” in the August 2, 1935 issue of The Spectator. Click to enlarge.

Nirgidma's article "The Disadvantages of Women's Rights" in the August 2, 1935 issue of The Spectator. Click to enlarge.

Nirgidma’s article “The Disadvantages of Women’s Rights” in the August 2, 1935 issue of The Spectator. Click to enlarge.

 

Men and Gods in Mongolia (London, 1935)

In 1935, Princess Nirgidma provided a foreword to this book by the Danish explorer Henning Haslund Christensen. Click here or on the image below to download the PDF. Please take note as the PDF is quite large, the download may take a while depending on your Internet connection.

Click on the image to download the PDF

Click on the image to download the PDF

Princess Nirgidma's foreword that she composed for Haslund's book "Men and Gods in Mongolia". Click on the image to enlarge.

Princess Nirgidma’s foreword that she composed for Haslund’s book “Men and Gods in Mongolia”. Click on the image to enlarge.

Princess Nirgidma's foreword that she composed for Haslund's book "Men and Gods in Mongolia". Click on the image to enlarge.

Princess Nirgidma’s foreword that she composed for Haslund’s book “Men and Gods in Mongolia”. Click on the image to enlarge.

 

Dix-Huit Chants et Poèmes Mongols (1937)

Translated as Eighteen Mongolian Chants and Poems in English, this compilation of Mongolian chants and poems were collected by Nirgidma and transcribed be Mme Humbert-Sauvageot. It was first published in 1937 and has since become a sought-after literary collectible.

Click on the image to download the PDF

Click to enlarge

A handwritten inscription that Nirgidma composed for a limited edition print of her book

A handwritten inscription that Nirgidma composed for a limited edition print of her book. Click to enlarge.

 

Media About Nirgidma >>

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The Letters of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
and Lucile Swan (1988)

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was a Jesuit priest who participated in the Croisière Jaune, an expedition into Central Asia financed by André Citroën. He participated in his capacity as a scientist. For several months, Teilhard and his colleagues remained in Urumqi, the capital of Sinkiang (Xinjiang). It was on this trip that he came to befriend Nirgidma. Both spiritual people, they would go on to have a memorable conversation about the meaning of life and the role of God in the universe.

While living in China, Teilhard also struck up a lifelong friendship with the American sculptor Lucile Swan. Nirgidma was frequently mentioned in Teilhard’s many letters to Lucile Swan, offering us a glimpse into Nirgidma’s life. Click here or on the image below to download the PDF. Please take note as the PDF is quite large, the download may take a while depending on your Internet connection.

Click on the image to download the PDF

Click on the image to download the PDF

 

Politika (1933)

In 1933, Princess Nirgidma arrived in Belgrade, the capital of what was then Yugoslavia (today Serbia). A newspaper, Politika, covered her arrival and the purpose of her trip. The original article below is written in Bosnian; click on the image to read the English translation.

Click to enlarge and read the English translation. (Source: http://www.members.tripod.com/budisti/princeza.html)

Click to enlarge and read the English translation. (Source: http://www.members.tripod.com/budisti/princeza.html)

 

The Mandate by Carl Barkman

The fictional novel The Mandate by Carl Dietrich Barkman was inspired by the “impressive” Princess Nirgidma whom he had first met in Beijing in 1947. Renewed contact with her in the 1970s inspired Barkman to write a novel about the second son of Donduk-Dashi Khan, leader of the Volga Torghuts who today reside in Kalmykia. Donduk-Dashi Khan’s other son Ubashi Khan (enthroned as his successor), led his people in a rather catastrophic migration back from the Volga region to Dzungaria beginning early 1771.

Asaray or Asarai, was amongst other things, famous for being the first hostage taken by the Russian rulers in the 18th Century amidst a power struggle in the Volga.

According to Barkman, when he first read about this young Prince Asaray in Russian historical literature, he could “at that time not find anything about his life, and wondered how a young, Buddhist-educated oriental prince would react to the splendour of St. Petersburg and its alien culture. For me, he was an ideal character for a novel.”

Princess Nirgidma, whom Barkman was corresponding with, “informed that according to an oral tradition in her family Asaray had made the return journey to China with his people and played an important role there.” Princess Nirgidma also urged Barkman to write a book about Asaray which he eventually did but Nirgidma never saw the finished novel as she had died in 1983 in Paris.

Click on the image to download the PDF

Click on the image to download the PDF

 

Princess Nirgidma (Prelude to The Mandate)

Carl Barkman, the Dutch diplomat who wrote this account of Princess Nirgidma

Carl Barkman, the Dutch diplomat who wrote this account of Princess Nirgidma

Who was Nirgidma, to whom I dedicated my novel Asaray, a Russian translation of which (entitled Nakaz Bogov) is now being published in Elista, the capital of Kalmykia? I shall try here to describe her extraordinary personality and her interesting life.

When I first met Nirgidma in Peking (Beijing) in 1947, I was immediately impressed by that remarkable lady. Although she was a princess of the Torghuts, a nomadic people in Central Asia, she spoke beautiful French and very good English, Chinese and Russian.

She had received a Western and Chinese education at the French nuns’ school Sacré Coeur in Peking and studied a wide range of subjects in Paris and Brussels, among which political science, literature and music. Her husband, a French diplomat, Michel Bréal, was consul-general in the former Chinese capital, where I represented the Netherlands. Among the diplomatic wives, she stood out as an amazing polyglot and an authority on culture, both Oriental and Western.

She was forty years of age then but looked much younger. A slender, charming young woman, whose face reflected a serenity which suddenly could change into a lively interest. An Oriental beauty? Yes, but also Western, for her clothes, gestures, and subjects of conversation were Western, in particular French. When she discovered my interest in the history of her nation, which I had studied in my university days, we often spoke about Central Asia in general, and her people, the Torghuts, especially.

Nirgidma swiftly won the hearts of many men upon her arrival in France

Her early youth had been spent in tents, in the encampments of her nomadic people, one of the largest tribes of the Oirat-Mongols. In the far north-western province of Sinkiang (Xinjiang) they roamed from one pasture to the next. They had a wonderful time there with their flocks of horses, camels and sheep amidst the most marvellous scenery. The summer was spent in the green highlands and Alpine pastures of the Heavenly Mountains and the Altai, in the winter they stayed in the warmer valleys and oases with their subtropical vegetation. But life could be very hard for them too, in times of extreme heat and drought or of unbearable cold.

I became fascinated by the many-faceted history of this far-flung family and decided to devote some further research to it. It took me to Kalmykia, an autonomous Buddhist republic in the Russian Federation, to the south of France, where Nirgidma’s son lives, to a book by a Danish explorer and, last but not least, to old copies of that marvelous monthly, the National Geographic Magazine.

Princess Nirgidma of the Torghut tribe. She always looked so smiling, happy and open. Click to enlarge.

Princess Nirgidma of the Torghut tribe. She always looked so smiling, happy and open. Click to enlarge.

Who was Nirgidma’s father? Prince Palta was a man of great culture, both Chinese and Oirat-Mongolian, a statesman with a thorough grasp of military science which he had studied in Tokyo in the years 1906–1908. Nirgidma was born there. Back in China, Palta became governor of the vast Altai region. In 1917, when Nirgidma was ten years old, her father moved to Peking to take up his post as senator of the Chinese Republic. Already as a young man he had astonished Chinese scholars by his profound knowledge of Chinese history and literature. He also knew English and Japanese well. The famous Finnish orientalist G. Ramsted was greatly impressed by young Palta when during a visit to the estate of his father, Prince Bayar, they talked about such diverse subjects as Buddhist philosophy, and the mutual influence of Western and Oriental culture in the future.

Palta, who believed that a person’s greatest riches were his intellect, erudition and knowledge, wanted his four children to receive both an Oriental and Western education, thus including elements of a Eurasian nature. In 1915, at his request, Tsar Nicholas II granted his eldest son, Mindzhur-Dordzhi, admission to the Russian officers’ school for the nobility in St. Petersburg. When this son returned to Peking three years later, he was initially considered by some as a Russophile, but after his father’s death inherited his titles, and dedicated himself to the task of increasing the well-being of his people. In 1949, after the Guomintang was defeated, he fled with his family to Tibet, and thence to India, from where he emigrated to Taiwan. He briefly served as a member of parliament there and died in 1975.

Princess Nirgidma was known to be a great beauty and very independent

His sister Nirgidma, following her father’s wish, went to Europe for her university studies. When this princess, then a ravishing beauty, arrived in Paris, she created a furore there, particularly among the intelligentsia of the Oirat-Kalmyk emigrants. They dedicated poems to her, admired her, fell in love. One of them wrote that her high spirituality and boundless soul’s delight were in evidence whenever she met her compatriots from Russia. And another, Prince Nicolai Tundutov, wrote in a letter to the Kalmyk historian and journalist Ilishkin: “Are you interested in Princess Nirgidma? The mention of that name brought memories of years long past. There are in one’s life encounters which leave an indelible memory in one’s subconscious. With her sharp mind, her wide range of culture, charming manners and incredible warmth, the princess easily won the hearts of men. Just like many others I became enchanted by this amazing woman.

While studying in Paris, she kept the Torghut Khan, Seng Chen, and her brother, who ruled the eastern wing of the Torghuts in Khara Ossun, informed of political and other developments in Europe. She never mentioned this to me, but when her brother was visiting Peking, he told me how welcome her reports had always been to them, who lived in isolation in Central Asia.

This photograph of Nirgidma was taken in Peking in the mid-1930's by Madame Thorbecke, wife of the Netherlands Minister to China

This photograph of Nirgidma was taken in Peking in the mid-1930’s by Madame Thorbecke, wife of the Netherlands Minister to China

Nirgidma and her elder brother Mindzhur-Dordzhi were children of Prince Palta and his first Torghut wife Orloma. His second wife, a Khoshut, gave him a daughter, Sertso, and a son, Tsedn-Dordzhi. Sertso, a very talented girl, who apart from Mongol and Chinese, soon mastered English, French and Japanese, died when seventeen years old.

In line with Prince Palta’s ideas about giving a different western education to each of his children, Tsedn-Dordzhi was sent to Germany for his higher learning, whence he returned in the beginning of the Second World War to teach German at the Catholic University of Peking. In his book Flaneur im alten Peking (Lounger in old Peking), he writes, under his Chinese name of Ce Shaozhen, that his sister Nirgidma, as the wife of the French Consul-General in Peking, was able to provide him and his mother with the means to return to that city from Chungking. As its title indicates, the book gives some rather superficial, though occasionally amusing glimpses of the old Peking, and one gets the impression that the author was a bit of a playboy. Tsedn-Dordzhi’s daughter Devu Nimbo studied in the U.S.A., married an American of Oirat-Kalmyk origin, and has two children. Her brother lives in Taipei and has become a Chinese author, calling himself Min Huk Hueay.

Princess Nirgidma (front row, centre) upon her arrival in Belgrade on September 20, 1933.

When during our talks in Peking I told Nirgidma that in my student days I had written an article about the trek of the Torghuts from Russia to China and had translated passages from the official Ch’ing annals about their reception by the Emperor, she wanted to read the article and so I translated parts of it from Dutch into English for her. She helped me with some of the names, and this article was later published in Hong Kong by the university there. Her people and some allied Oirat tribes had migrated from Central Asia to the Volga region in the early 17th Century. When the pressure of Russian expansion became too strong, about three-quarters of them went back to Central Asia in 1771. Much had been written about this event, especially in Russian, but I appeared to be the only one who had studied the Chinese sources and described their reception in China. This episode, which was new to Nirgidma, fascinated her.

The Oirat-Mongols are of a tolerant and peaceful nature. She was not at all anti-Chinese, although her people had been badly treated by them. In 1932, the Danish explorer Henning Haslund Christensen writes in his book Men and Gods in Mongolia (London, 1935), he received the following information through Princess Nirgidma:

“A movement or revolt against the Chinese provincial government had arisen among the Mohammedan population of Sinkiang. The Chinese Governor invited [the Torghut Khan] Seng Chen to Urumchi in order, as he pretended, to discuss with him the suppression of the revolt. Seng Chen arrived surrounded by his most powerful chiefs, but no discussion ever took place. For after the first day’s banquet, as the Torghuts sat drinking tea in the Governor’s yamen, he had all of the guests shot from behind by his servants.”

For this book by Haslund, Nirgidma wrote a Foreword, in which she says that when meeting him she “enjoyed the pleasure, seldom vouchsafed to us Mongols, of talking freely and unconstrainedly about our country. There was nothing for me to tell him or explain to him, for he was one of us.”

Princess Nirgidma

Princess Nirgidma

How had they met? Haslund had participated in a Central Asian expedition by Sven Hedin, had lived for years among the Khalka Mongols and the Torghuts. When he was on his way back to Europe, Torghut friends accompanied him on his way to the Russian border. “One day we were overtaken by twenty galloping Torghuts. They were lusty youths on spirited horses wild with the delight of speed across limitless steppes. They checked their course for a while to exchange gay greetings and inquisitive questions, and though we had never seen one another before we were soon like old acquaintances. […] They were Torghuts from Khara Ossun on their way to meet their princess.”

When they had galloped away, “What was all this about a princess”, I asked Lyrup. Did I not know? Nirgitma of the Torghuts was expected back on the steppes from the land of the Franks.

“Nirgitma of the Torghuts, that was of course her whom Seng Chen had so often quoted and of whom I had heard in the tents so many unbelievable things that I had come to regard as a figment of the imagination, the Mongolian girl who spoke the languages of the West and whose qualities had made her a legendary figure on the steppes.

“The same evening we came, dripping with sweat and dusty, to the frontier town of Chugochak where I was to experience a marvellous encounter. She, Nirgitma of the Torghuts, was a slender young woman, whose exquisite Parisian clothes looked exotic against her dark Mongolian beauty. It was only two days since she had left the wagon-lit that she had boarded in Brussels, and her speech and bearing had been formed by seven years of university study and life in European capitals. As many years of nomadic life lay behind me.

Princess Nirgidma

Princess Nirgidma

“And so it came about that we sat there giving one another widely separated impressions from East and West. […] Our environment was the sun-drenched courtyard of an Asian sarai with horses, asses, camels and caravan people coming and going.

She had a complete and elegant command of the speech of Western culture and to all my questions she had apt answers. For fourteen hours we talked, and, as the hours went by, her speech slipped more and more into Mongolian lines of thought. When we separated to go to the starting-places of our respective caravans […] our farewell words were spoken in Mongolian.” Such was the Danish explorer Haslund’s impressions. We also have an account and photographs by an American author.

In his accompanying article the National Geographic editor writes:

“During our stay [in Urumchi] he [Georges Le Fèvre, the Expedition historian] and I had a delightful discussion with a Mongol princess. She wore riding boots, a tight blue skirt, and a simple white blouse, lightly touched with coral embroidery. Her hair was slightly dishevelled by her dashing ride on a tough-mouthed pony. Attractive, intelligent, objective, this oriental woman spoke French without accent and Anglo-American English seasoned with slang. Dancing with her had seemed strange. Talking with her seemed utterly natural.

“Why do occidentals and orientals dislike one another?” we asked, our actual relationship belying our thesis.[…]

“Why call conservatism dislike?” she replied. “Do you always welcome strangers to your clubs and homes? The oriental has his psychological Great Wall, whose protection is beginning to seem less sure. The man behind it doesn’t want to be loved or even appreciated. He wants to be undisturbed.

“People seek to protect not only property, but modes of life. Perhaps your way of life is right for you, but it threatens ours.

“You are in a hurry and hence barbaric. You are entranced by mechanical toys, which you haven’t mastered. You like frankness; but, until real understanding exists, even formal politeness helps. You dominate world ideals, which differ from ours.”

The National Geographic editor and photographer also took a black-and-white picture of her (op.cit.):

“You are men of auto, railway, radio [Nirgidma continued]. You find this a backward land, without roads, speed, a free press, a balanced budget, sanitation, or familiar forms of justice. Hence you pity the Chinese. But they live in the Celestial Kingdom, the center of all the world that counts. Your progress is chaotic, at least in its impact on orientals, because its spiritual values are not realized. We Mongols are emancipated. ‘A good horse and a wide plain under God’s heaven’, that’s our desire. And we realize it.

“My uncle is Shaliva Gegen, the third Buddhist dignitary. One simply can’t shock him; he’s too deeply rooted in righteousness. He doesn’t know any great Westerners, even by name; but he said to me, ‘The spark of creative life now exists in the Occident. The Westerners will find the light. But it is still hidden under the husk of materialism. In a future incarnation, the Pantshen Lama will be a Nordic.”

Such were her views when she met the American writer in the thirties. They were more cosmopolitan when I knew her in Peking some fifteen years later. Her praises risk becoming monotonous, but I have it on the authority of many colleagues and my own observation, that when married to a French diplomat, she was an excellent hostess, who radiated charm and authority, a learned, culturally interested woman, who learnt Persian in Kabul, and Arabic somewhere else. Michel Bréal served as Ambassador in Afghanistan, Laos and Thailand. She liked music, gardening, and preferred essays to novels.

In the 1970s a renewed contact with her inspired me to write a novel about the second son of Donduk-Dashi, Khan of the Volga Torghuts, who in the 18th Century was taken hostage by the Russian government. When I read about this young Prince Asaray in Russian historical literature, I could at that time not find anything about his life, and wondered how a young, Buddhist-educated oriental prince would react to the splendour of St. Petersburg and its alien culture. For me, he was an ideal character for a novel. Nirgidma, with whom I was corresponding, told me that according to an oral tradition in her family Asaray had made the return journey to China with his people and played an important role there. She urged me to write the book, which I did, in both English and Dutch. It appeared in the Dutch language in 1997 and I dedicated it to her memory. In a Russian translation, it is now being published in Kalmykia. Nirgidma never saw the finished novel; she had died in 1983 in Paris.

(Source: http://www.barkman.nl/en/werk_compleet.jsp?categorie=1&nummer=1)

 

Printsessa Nirdzhidma i kniga pesen torgutov Kitaia

(The Biography of Princess Nirdzhidma)

Click on the image to download the PDF

Click on the image to download the PDF

 

Wants to be Undisturbed

(Source: Heathen Chinese)

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge (Source: https://heathenchinese.wordpress.com/2015/01/04/wants-to-be-undisturbed/)

 

МОНГОЛ НОЁНЫ ЦУУТАЙ ГҮНЖ НИРЖИДМАА

(Source: Analiz.mn)

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge (Source: http://analiz.mn/postview/2693)

 

Монгол ноёны цуутай гүнж Ниржидмаа

(Source: News.mn)

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge (Source: http://news.mn/r/675947)

 

Монгол ноёны цуутай гүнж Ниржидмаа

(Source: News.mn)

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge (Source: http://news.mn/r/675947)

 

Монгол ноёны гүнж Парист ном үзсэн түүх

(Source: Fact.mn)

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge (Source: http://www.fact.mn/35403.html)

 

Бөх гүнж буюу Хотол цагаан гүнжийн домог

(Source: Mongolcom.mn)

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge (Source: http://mongolcom.mn/read/20522)

 

Монгол ноёны гүнж Парист ном үзсэн түүх

(Source: Bolod.mn)

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge (Source: http://www.bolod.mn/News/71008.html)

 

Nirgidma from Torhout

(Source: Wikiwand)

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge (Source: https://www.wikiwand.com/fr/Nirgidma_de_Torhout)

 

Short Biography on Nirgidma

(Source: МАРКО ПОЛО Facebook Page)

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge

 

Epilogue >>

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Epilogue: Interview of Queen Dechen and
Princess Dewa Nimbo

These two audio files are a recording of an interview done by Dr Fred Adelman, an anthropologist and student of a famous professor of Mongolian studies, Professor Nicholas Poppe of University of Washington. Dr Adelman had visited Queen Dechen who was 63 years old at that time, to ask her about what she knew of the Torghuts. Rinpoche’s mother Princess Dewa Nimbo acted as the interpreter.

Amongst other things, Princess Dewa Nimbo explained that Queen Dechen’s husband or the King Migyur (Migyur Wang), is a descendent of Ayuka Khan and is a Noyin and that Princess Dewa Nimbo, together with her father, had met famous painter, Tibetologist and practitioner, Nicholas Roerich before.

The audio files are part of the Indiana University Center for Language Technology (CeLT) archives.

(Source: http://celt.indiana.edu/portal/languages/kalmyk/archive.html#menu)

      Interview of Queen Dechen & Dewa Nimbo – Part 1

      Interview of Queen Dechen & Dewa Nimbo – Part 2

 

Epilogue: David Minh

David is Rinpoche’s uncle, the younger sibling of Rinpoche’s mother Princess Dewa Nimbo.

He is a resident of Taiwan, having fled there from the family’s ancestral homeland of present-day northern Xinjiang where they are Kalmyk royalty. In Taiwan, he is regarded as a minor celebrity due to his status as Mongolian royalty, fluent in Mongolian, Mandarin and English. He has two children and is a notable freelance columnist who writes about politics in Taiwan.

With the help of a Lama named Yangduk, it took his family two months to travel from Kalmykia to Lhasa where they had an audience with the 13th Dalai Lama, then later over the mountain passes of the Himalayas, to Kalimpong, India. At that time, Austrian explorer Heinrich Herrer was in Lhasa and got to know his family. In his book “Seven Years in Tibet”, Herrer mentioned meeting the family – a Mongolian prince with his two wives and the two wonderful children (one of which is David Minh).

Later, as refugees, his family relocated to Taiwan, travelling from Kalimpong to Calcutta by rail, then from Calcutta to Taiwan via Hong Kong by ship. Port calls along the way included Bangkok, Penang, and Singapore. Meeting him in Taiwan, David explains that he had lost contact with his sister Dewa Nimbo when she moved to the United States but was reunited with her in the mid-1970s when he started doing business there and met her in Philadelphia. David has however now lost contact with her and described her as becoming “quite a hermit”, refusing to also meet her own two sons.

Rinpoche stated that all his life he wanted to be close to his biological mother but she rejected him. Rinpoche lamented that if he could connect to her and help her, that it would be nice.

 

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Editor’s note:

In seeking to learn more about the incredible lady that was Nirgidma, the more we learned, the more it became impossible to ignore the distinct similarities between the princess and the grandnephew she never met, Prince Iska Minh, also known as His Eminence Tsem Rinpoche.

Nirgidma was considered unusual for her time, an independent and highly educated woman who was vocal about her opinions at a time when women were expected to be silent partners to their husbands. Just like his grandaunt, decades later, Tsem Rinpoche too proved to be a pioneer of his time, standing firmly for his beliefs, whether it was his wish to pursue spirituality in spite of his adoptive parents’ objections, or his campaign to uphold religious freedom for practitioners of Dorje Shugden.

We are proud to be able to shed some light on a luminary of Rinpoche’s family tree and to bring to you the story of Nirgidma, the accomplished princess of the Torghuts.

 

For more interesting information:

 

Please support us so that we can continue to bring you more Dharma:

If you are in the United States, please note that your offerings and contributions are tax deductible. ~ the tsemrinpoche.com blog team

2 Responses to The Princess Nirgidma (My Grandaunt)

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  1. Rolf Gilberg on Jun 11, 2022 at 9:51 pm

    My e-mail sliped away before I finished it. I 2017 I did a paper on Nirgima in the journal, Ger, of the Danish Mongolian Society. You can find it on the net. Start with: Dansk Mongolsk Selskab, then hit “Ger”, then “bladfortegnelse” and find volumen 98. The paper is at page 10-13. Please tell me about Tseden Dorjii’s visit to Denmark in the 1930s.

  2. Samfoonheei on Jun 13, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    Very interesting biography of Rinpoche’s grandaunt Princess Nirgidma. She was a princess of the Torghuts, a nomadic people in Central Asia. Due to her background and up bringing , she could speck multiple languages, such as beautiful French and very good English, Chinese and Russian. She was had an extraordinary personality and her interesting life story. Also known as Princess Palta, Nirgidma de Torhout or even Miss Nina de Torghut . A Mongol Princess who thinks the thoughts of both orient and western .
    Thank you for this beautiful sharing which shed some light on a luminary of Rinpoche’s family tree.

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KECHARA FOREST RETREAT PROGRESS UPDATES

Here is the latest news and pictorial updates, as it happens, of our upcoming forest retreat project.

The Kechara Forest Retreat is a unique holistic retreat centre focused on the total wellness of body, mind and spirit. This is a place where families and individuals will find peace, nourishment and inspiration in a natural forest environment. At Kechara Forest Retreat, we are committed to give back to society through instilling the next generation with universal positive values such as kindness and compassion.

For more information, please read here (english), here (chinese), or the official site: retreat.kechara.com.

Noticeboard

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  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Jun 30. 2022 02:12 PM
    Chogyam Trungpa was a Tibetan Buddhist meditation master and holder of both the Kagyu and Nyingma lineages of Tibetan Buddhism. He was recognized for playing a pivotal role in the transmission of genuine Buddhadharma to the West. Simple and meaningful advice by Chogyam Trungpa. Nothing is easy and no short cut to learning Dharma. We have to endure hardship to learn something like Dharma or what ever so. Never give up once we decided to learn and practice. We must face the problems or rather obstacles along the way, there is always a way to over come it with courage.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/get-your-money-back.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Jun 30. 2022 02:10 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for this meaningful quotes simple yet profound. Stop blaming other for our problems or mistakes. Accept it and try solving it instead blaming it . Take responsibility of whatever the choice and decision we have make. Take charge of our own attitude instead blaming others. We have to look within ourselves to move forward.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/quotes.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Jun 30. 2022 02:09 PM
    Buton Rinchen Drup, 11th Abbot of Shalu Monastery, was a 14th-century Sakya master and Tibetan Buddhist leader. Buton Rinchen Drub is considered to be one of Tibet’s greatest scholars, historians, translators, and writers . Shalu Monastery became one of the most renowned and important monastery in Tibet . He had influenced the Gelug and Sakya traditions as well, having helped to preserve and propagate the teachings throughout Tibet. He left a legacy worth of translated teachings into the encyclopedic Kangyur and Tangyur collections. That’s is inspiring. These collections have become well known by all of the schools of Buddhism in Tibet, till to this day. Even after retiring he continued composing a number volumes of commentaries and he wrote the famous book, the “History of Buddhism in India and Tibet. Many Tibetan scholars still utilize his work in their studies which is still continuing to this day, and cannot be underestimated. He truly was one of the brightest lights of Tibetan Buddhism. Interesting read.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing of a Great Lama.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/buton-rinchen-drub.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Jun 28. 2022 02:15 PM
    Wonderful indeed………our Guru Kyabje Tsem Rinpoche’s biography “The Promise” in Mongolian for those Mongolian readers. More people will be able to read and understand better. The truth and the only truth all about Rinpoche and Dorje Shugden controversy. The Mongolian has a long history and connection with Manjushri Dorje Shugden.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/tsem-rinpoches-short-biography-mongolian.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Jun 28. 2022 02:10 PM
    Thank you Dr Matthew William King great work done on the research on Dorje Shugden . His research shows that Dorje Shugden had played a central role in both monastic and political life in Mongolia. Zaya Pandita, an accomplished translator, linguist and scholar, Lobsang Tamdin, a prolific author and Mongolian lamas had preserved the tradition of Dorje Shugden through ways as such scholarship and study, and also via active propitiation. Mongolia’s own lamas did independently promoting and encouraging the practice centuries ago. Yet there is still some who claimed Dorje Shugden is a evil spirit. Even though there is clear evidence ,Mongolia’s long history of reliance on this enlightened Protector. Zaya Pandita and Lobsang Tamdin were masters of sutra, tantric adepts, and the peers and equals of Tibetan lamas of their time, they cannot be wrong about Dorje Shugden. Interesting read article on The Mongol Invention of the Dorjé Shukden and Trülku Drakpa Gyeltsen Literary Corpus (1913-1919) by Dr Matthew William King.
    Thank you with folded hands Zava Damdin Rinpoche for preserving the works for generations to come.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing for more and more people to understand better.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/how-mongolia-saved-dorje-shugden.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Jun 28. 2022 01:59 PM
    Looking at these beautiful pictures of the Holy entourage of Powerful Protector Dorje Shugden in Kechara Forest Retreat is a blessing. We are indeed fortunate able to view all the Holy beings at one go with the world largest Dorje Shugden. In Kechara Forest Retreat , Bentong Pahang, Wisdom Hall a special Chapel dedicated to World Peace Protector Dorje Shugden.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/downloads/main-assistants-of-the-dharma-king.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Jun 28. 2022 01:54 PM
    We are very blessed for being able to learn Buddhism . Learning Dharma and putting into actions remind us of the Buddha’s teachings. The Dharma reveals truths as taught by the Buddha. It also gives us a way to live life that transform our mind and leading us towards achieving enlightenment. Having the opportunity to learn the Buddha’s teachings and cultivate ourselves is indeed very precious. We have to sincerely and consistently practice nor matter what happens and be true to ourselves. The efficaciousness of this all depends on our faith, loyalty and devotion to our Guru. Dharma is beautiful I do agree with it as explained by Rinpoche. Dharma is the moral law combined with spiritual discipline that guides one’s life. And is extremely approachable by everyone and has since changed my life.
    Thank you Rinpoche with folded hands

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/instructions-for-tsem-rinpoches-name-mantra-retreat.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Jun 22. 2022 01:15 PM
    Dulduityn Danzanravjaa was a prominent Mongolian writer, composer, painter, Buddhist scholar, physician and was the Fifth Noyon Khutagt. Talented known as the Lama of the Gobi and was an extraordinary polymath having authored hundreds of spiritual songs. Danzan Ravjaa is significant for his eclectic religious outlook that combined both the reformed ‘Yellow Hat’ and the unreformed ‘Red Hat’ sects of Tibetan. Famous for his poetry and songs in which he did composed more than hundreds of poems to date. He was well known for his medical skills, prophecies, and his knowledge of philosophy and astrology. Inspiring indeed , well respected by many.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing a multi-talented Lama.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/danzan-ravjaa-the-controversial-mongolian-monk.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Jun 22. 2022 01:13 PM
    One of the few surviving historic Buddhist buildings in Mongolia. The temple of the Choijin Lama is an important example of Chinese-style religious architecture. It is one of the few surviving historic Buddhist buildings in Mongolia. Hidden among the tallest sky scappers this hidden gem is an architectural wonder. It was the home of Luvsan Haidav Choijin Lama, who is the state oracle and brother of the Bogd Khan. The State Oracle of Mongolia had a long historic connection with Dorje Shugden. Even took trance of 3 different deities , Nechung, Tsiu Marpo and Dorje Shugden. It is a temple with a lot of old, ancient artifacts as Choijin Lama would go into a trance. After been through historic changes it was reopened as a museum. The Choijin Lama Temple’s history is documented with many religious hardships and interesting happenings. Interesting read and detailed explanation for one to understand better . A must see place when travelling there .
    Thank you Rinpoche and Seow Choong Liang for this sharing

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/choijin-lama-the-state-oracle-of-mongolia.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Jun 22. 2022 01:10 PM
    Merely looking at these rare precious pictures of great masters is a blessing. Two great tutors HH Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and HH Kyabje Ling Rinpoche of H H Dalai Lama as seen in these pictures tells us a thousands words. Ling Rinpoche was considered an emanation of Yamantaka while Trijang Rinpoche was considered an emanation of Heruka/Vajra Yogini.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/blessed-upon-sight-of-these-masters.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Jun 15. 2022 03:53 PM
    Very rare precious pictures of HH Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche and HH Kyabje Zong Rinpoche had lunch together in their previous lives. Well amazingly now in this life they meet again and having lunch together. Beautiful pictures we have the fortune to see this. Looking at this pictures paints a thousand words. Both have returned many times since the time of Lord Buddha incarnating in many forms to benefit sentient beings. Having a very close relationship throughout their previous incarnations.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these rare pictures with folded hands.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/perfect-practice-equals-perfect-rebirths.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Jun 15. 2022 03:50 PM
    Breaking news the Tribune Journal published December 15, 2017 H H Dalai-lama planning to visit China. Since exile HH the Dalai Lama left Tibet in 1959, returning to China will be a wonderful reunion for many. This potential visit to China by HH the Dalai Lama might lead to those who left their homeland able to visit Tibet again. Millions of Tibetans in Tibet would definitely wish to see Dalai Lama again. The Dalai Lama would be too happy as great memories to see places as such his palace, relatives and so forth. If the return is successful all negative attacks on Dorje Shugden practitioners should cease immediately. There are indeed many benefits if Dalai Lama visit to China as it would clear the doubts of some. May Dalai Lama fondest wish come true soon.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this news

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/the-tribune-publishes-dalai-lama-planning-to-visit-china.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Jun 15. 2022 03:47 PM
    This mandala offering is the symbolic offering of the prosperity of the whole universe. Mandala offering is a powerful method for accumulating extensive merit if we do it with proper visualization. Doing it this way we dedicate the merit from each offering for the sentient beings as it is performed. It is very effective for the mind. It is important to understand all about the offerings. Doing the mandala offering is a way of clearing out all these negative states of mind. The mandala offering purifies our attachment, the stinginess, the miserliness, the clinging mind. It enriches the mind with the positive potential from giving. We create a lot of positive potential or merit just by giving. The mandala offering is training us to develop the mind that takes delight and joy in making other people happy. In doing so, we create merit. Interesting read.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing with explanations.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/mandala-offering-a-powerful-method-to-accumulate-merits.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Jun 15. 2022 03:45 PM
    Changkya Rolpai Dorje a Grand Lama of China, Imperial Art Consultant, a principal Tibetan Buddhist teacher in the Qing court. He is closely associate with Qianlong Emperor of China. This relationship proved extremely significant. He served as Qianlong’s main Buddhist teacher and adviser in matters related to Buddhism. Including art, literature, religious initiations and practices, and diplomacy. He was recognized as a reincarnation of the previous Changkya Lama. As a Buddhist administrator in Beijing, he played an important role in founding Yonghegong Temple , a monastic college for Mongol, Manchu, and Chinese monks. He was also instrumental in developing the systems of iconography, cataloguing, and inscribing that would prove so important to the Qianlong emperor’s projects in Buddhist art. Truly talented.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing of a Great Lama.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/the-third-changkya-rolpai-dorje.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Sunday, Jun 12. 2022 02:49 PM
    Giuseppe Tucci was a scholar of oriental cultures, specializing in Tibet and the history of Buddhism. He is considered one of the founders of the academic field of Buddhist Studies. Tibetan painted scrolls, also known as thangkas came to Tibet from India. They
    are synonymous with Tibetan culture and religion.The tradition of thangka painting which is also known as scroll painting came to Tibet from India. It was largely influenced by the art form developed in Nepal. Tucci, highly literate in Sanskrit and Tibetan as well as fluent in many Himalayan languages, was the first western scholar to travel widely through the Tibet and India. Thangka served as important teaching tools depicting the life of the Buddha. The scroll paintings are framed with colour stain ,an art form with unique features in Tibetan culture. Wow in one of the thangkas he even described the mythical kingdom related with the Kalachakra Tantra and its divine kings. What he did was truly amazing.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor Niral for this wonderful sharing explaining all about it.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/tibetan-painted-scrolls-the-land-of-shambhala.html

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

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The Unknown

The Known and unknown are both feared,
Known is being comfortable and stagnant,
The unknown may be growth and opportunities,
One shall never know if one fears the unknown more than the known.
Who says the unknown would be worse than the known?
But then again, the unknown is sometimes worse than the known. In the end nothing is known unless we endeavour,
So go pursue all the way with the unknown,
because all unknown with familiarity becomes the known.
~Tsem Rinpoche

Photos On The Go

Click on the images to view the bigger version. And scroll down and click on "View All Photos" to view more images.
According to legend, Shambhala is a place where wisdom and love reign, and there is no crime. Doesn\'t this sound like the kind of place all of us would love to live in? https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=204874
2 years ago
According to legend, Shambhala is a place where wisdom and love reign, and there is no crime. Doesn't this sound like the kind of place all of us would love to live in? https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=204874
108 candles and sang (incense) offered at our Wish-Fulfilling Grotto, invoking Dorje Shugden\'s blessings for friends, sponsors and supporters, wonderful!
2 years ago
108 candles and sang (incense) offered at our Wish-Fulfilling Grotto, invoking Dorje Shugden's blessings for friends, sponsors and supporters, wonderful!
Dharmapalas are not exclusive to Tibetan culture and their practice is widespread throughout the Buddhist world - https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=193645
2 years ago
Dharmapalas are not exclusive to Tibetan culture and their practice is widespread throughout the Buddhist world - https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=193645
One of our adorable Kechara Forest Retreat\'s doggies, Tara, happy and safe, and enjoying herself in front of Wisdom Hall which has been decorated for Chinese New Year
2 years ago
One of our adorable Kechara Forest Retreat's doggies, Tara, happy and safe, and enjoying herself in front of Wisdom Hall which has been decorated for Chinese New Year
Fragrant organic Thai basil harvested from our very own Kechara Forest Retreat farm!
2 years ago
Fragrant organic Thai basil harvested from our very own Kechara Forest Retreat farm!
On behalf of our Puja House team, Pastor Tat Ming receives food and drinks from Rinpoche. Rinpoche wanted to make sure the hardworking Puja House team are always taken care of.
2 years ago
On behalf of our Puja House team, Pastor Tat Ming receives food and drinks from Rinpoche. Rinpoche wanted to make sure the hardworking Puja House team are always taken care of.
By the time I heard about Luang Phor Thong, he was already very old, in his late 80s. When I heard about him, I immediately wanted to go and pay my respects to him. - http://bit.ly/LuangPhorThong
2 years ago
By the time I heard about Luang Phor Thong, he was already very old, in his late 80s. When I heard about him, I immediately wanted to go and pay my respects to him. - http://bit.ly/LuangPhorThong
It\'s very nice to see volunteers helping maintain holy sites in Kechara Forest Retreat, it\'s very good for them. Cleaning Buddha statues is a very powerful and effective way of purifying body karma.
2 years ago
It's very nice to see volunteers helping maintain holy sites in Kechara Forest Retreat, it's very good for them. Cleaning Buddha statues is a very powerful and effective way of purifying body karma.
Kechara Forest Retreat is preparing for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations. This is our holy Vajra Yogini stupa which is now surrounded by beautiful lanterns organised by our students.
2 years ago
Kechara Forest Retreat is preparing for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations. This is our holy Vajra Yogini stupa which is now surrounded by beautiful lanterns organised by our students.
One of the most recent harvests from our Kechara Forest Retreat land. It was grown free of chemicals and pesticides, wonderful!
2 years ago
One of the most recent harvests from our Kechara Forest Retreat land. It was grown free of chemicals and pesticides, wonderful!
Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
3 years ago
Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
3 years ago
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
3 years ago
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
The first title published by Kechara Comics is Karuna Finds A Way. It tells the tale of high-school sweethearts Karuna and Adam who had what some would call the dream life. Everything was going great for them until one day when reality came knocking on their door. Caught in a surprise swindle, this loving family who never harmed anyone found themselves out of luck and down on their fortune. Determined to save her family, Karuna goes all out to find a solution. See what she does- https://bit.ly/2LSKuWo
3 years ago
The first title published by Kechara Comics is Karuna Finds A Way. It tells the tale of high-school sweethearts Karuna and Adam who had what some would call the dream life. Everything was going great for them until one day when reality came knocking on their door. Caught in a surprise swindle, this loving family who never harmed anyone found themselves out of luck and down on their fortune. Determined to save her family, Karuna goes all out to find a solution. See what she does- https://bit.ly/2LSKuWo
Very powerful story! Tibetan Resistance group Chushi Gangdruk reveals how Dalai Lama escaped in 1959- https://bit.ly/2S9VMGX
3 years ago
Very powerful story! Tibetan Resistance group Chushi Gangdruk reveals how Dalai Lama escaped in 1959- https://bit.ly/2S9VMGX
At Kechara Forest Retreat land we have nice fresh spinach growing free of chemicals and pesticides. Yes!
3 years ago
At Kechara Forest Retreat land we have nice fresh spinach growing free of chemicals and pesticides. Yes!
See beautiful pictures of Manjushri Guest House here- https://bit.ly/2WGo0ti
3 years ago
See beautiful pictures of Manjushri Guest House here- https://bit.ly/2WGo0ti
Beginner’s Introduction to Dorje Shugden~Very good overview https://bit.ly/2QQNfYv
3 years ago
Beginner’s Introduction to Dorje Shugden~Very good overview https://bit.ly/2QQNfYv
Fresh eggplants grown on Kechara Forest Retreat\'s land here in Malaysia
3 years ago
Fresh eggplants grown on Kechara Forest Retreat's land here in Malaysia
Most Venerable Uppalavanna – The Chief Female Disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni - She exhibited many supernatural abilities gained from meditation and proved to the world females and males are equal in spirituality- https://bit.ly/31d9Rat
3 years ago
Most Venerable Uppalavanna – The Chief Female Disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni - She exhibited many supernatural abilities gained from meditation and proved to the world females and males are equal in spirituality- https://bit.ly/31d9Rat
Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns~ https://bit.ly/2Z1C02m
3 years ago
Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns~ https://bit.ly/2Z1C02m
Mahapajapati Gotami – the first Buddhist nun ordained by Lord Buddha- https://bit.ly/2IjD8ru
3 years ago
Mahapajapati Gotami – the first Buddhist nun ordained by Lord Buddha- https://bit.ly/2IjD8ru
The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像- https://bit.ly/2Wpclni
3 years ago
The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像- https://bit.ly/2Wpclni
Sacred Vajra Yogini
3 years ago
Sacred Vajra Yogini
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
3 years ago
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
3 years ago
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha. She was his step-mother and aunt. Buddha\'s mother had passed away at his birth so he was raised by Gotami.
3 years ago
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha. She was his step-mother and aunt. Buddha's mother had passed away at his birth so he was raised by Gotami.
Another nun disciple of Lord Buddha\'s. She had achieved great spiritual abilities and high attainments. She would be a proper object of refuge. This image of the eminent bhikkhuni (nun) disciple of the Buddha, Uppalavanna Theri.
3 years ago
Another nun disciple of Lord Buddha's. She had achieved great spiritual abilities and high attainments. She would be a proper object of refuge. This image of the eminent bhikkhuni (nun) disciple of the Buddha, Uppalavanna Theri.
Wandering Ascetic Painting by Nirdesha Munasinghe
3 years ago
Wandering Ascetic Painting by Nirdesha Munasinghe
High Sri Lankan monks visit Kechara to bless our land, temple, Buddha and Dorje Shugden images. They were very kind-see pictures- https://bit.ly/2HQie2M
3 years ago
High Sri Lankan monks visit Kechara to bless our land, temple, Buddha and Dorje Shugden images. They were very kind-see pictures- https://bit.ly/2HQie2M
This is pretty amazing!

First Sri Lankan Buddhist temple opened in Dubai!!!
3 years ago
This is pretty amazing! First Sri Lankan Buddhist temple opened in Dubai!!!
My Dharma boy (left) and Oser girl loves to laze around on the veranda in the mornings. They enjoy all the trees, grass and relaxing under the hot sun. Sunbathing is a favorite daily activity. I care about these two doggies of mine very much and I enjoy seeing them happy. They are with me always. Tsem Rinpoche

Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
3 years ago
My Dharma boy (left) and Oser girl loves to laze around on the veranda in the mornings. They enjoy all the trees, grass and relaxing under the hot sun. Sunbathing is a favorite daily activity. I care about these two doggies of mine very much and I enjoy seeing them happy. They are with me always. Tsem Rinpoche Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can\'t stop thinking of you and I can\'t forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
3 years ago
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can't stop thinking of you and I can't forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
3 years ago
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
3 years ago
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
3 years ago
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
3 years ago
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
3 years ago
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
3 years ago
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
3 years ago
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
3 years ago
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
DON\'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
3 years ago
DON'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
3 years ago
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
3 years ago
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
3 years ago
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
3 years ago
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
3 years ago
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
3 years ago
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
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A section for you to clarify your Dharma questions with Kechara’s esteemed pastors.

Just post your name and your question below and one of our pastors will provide you with an answer.

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CHAT PICTURES

Kechara Earth Project 12 June 2022
2 weeks ago
Kechara Earth Project 12 June 2022
#Throwback. Visitation of Ven. Zawa Tulku Rinpoche and Ven. Geshe Jangchup Gyaltsen to Kechara Penang Chapel on 17/5/2022. We did a short prayers together. Really happy for the short visit. Kechara Penang Study Group~ by Jacinta
1 month ago
#Throwback. Visitation of Ven. Zawa Tulku Rinpoche and Ven. Geshe Jangchup Gyaltsen to Kechara Penang Chapel on 17/5/2022. We did a short prayers together. Really happy for the short visit. Kechara Penang Study Group~ by Jacinta
Photo from JC
1 month ago
Photo from JC
Trying to WE-fie. Do we get that just alright, lol? Come and join us next time at Jalan Seang Tek, Kechara Penang Chapel. Celebrate Wesak with us ~ by Jacinta
2 months ago
Trying to WE-fie. Do we get that just alright, lol? Come and join us next time at Jalan Seang Tek, Kechara Penang Chapel. Celebrate Wesak with us ~ by Jacinta
Trying to "WE-fie". Do we get that just alright, lol? Come and join us next time at Jalan Seang Tek, Kechara Penang Chapel. Celebrate Wesak with us ~ by Jacinta
2 months ago
Trying to "WE-fie". Do we get that just alright, lol? Come and join us next time at Jalan Seang Tek, Kechara Penang Chapel. Celebrate Wesak with us ~ by Jacinta
Celebrated Wesak Day 2022 in Penang, with a group of fun, committed, helpful and also devoted friends & family. Kechara Penang Study Group 15/5/2022 ~by Jacinta
2 months ago
Celebrated Wesak Day 2022 in Penang, with a group of fun, committed, helpful and also devoted friends & family. Kechara Penang Study Group 15/5/2022 ~by Jacinta
Vesak Day 2022 - Bird liberation. Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
2 months ago
Vesak Day 2022 - Bird liberation. Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
All attendees are paying homage to Rinpoche and Buddhas before the start of our weekly Dorje Shugden puja. Outwardly, it seems that Dorje Shugden helps practitioners overcoming their obstacles and problems but ultimately Dorje Shugden’s supreme purpose is to help practitioners on their path to Enlightenment. Do join in our weekly DS puja, every Saturday @3 pm at Jalan Seang Tek, Penang. ~by Jacinta
2 months ago
All attendees are paying homage to Rinpoche and Buddhas before the start of our weekly Dorje Shugden puja. Outwardly, it seems that Dorje Shugden helps practitioners overcoming their obstacles and problems but ultimately Dorje Shugden’s supreme purpose is to help practitioners on their path to Enlightenment. Do join in our weekly DS puja, every Saturday @3 pm at Jalan Seang Tek, Penang. ~by Jacinta
All of us are practicing on how to properly use dorje(Vajra), bell and damaru ~ Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
2 months ago
All of us are practicing on how to properly use dorje(Vajra), bell and damaru ~ Kechara Penang Study Group by Jacinta
After inviting Dorje Shugden Wangze, Pastor Seng Piow teaches us how to use ritual objects and the full set of prayer accompanying it. Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
2 months ago
After inviting Dorje Shugden Wangze, Pastor Seng Piow teaches us how to use ritual objects and the full set of prayer accompanying it. Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
With great happiness, merits and excitement that Penang Group have invited Buddha Wangzey to Penang chapel, complete with full rituals and prayer. 30th April 2022 Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
2 months ago
With great happiness, merits and excitement that Penang Group have invited Buddha Wangzey to Penang chapel, complete with full rituals and prayer. 30th April 2022 Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
Come and get your blessing from Lama Tsongkhapa and Dorje Shugden in Penang @ Jalan Seang Tek ~ by Jacinta.
2 months ago
Come and get your blessing from Lama Tsongkhapa and Dorje Shugden in Penang @ Jalan Seang Tek ~ by Jacinta.
Special thanks to one of our dedicated Penang group members, Choong for superb tormas. Swift Return Puja @ every Saturday, 3pm. Do contact William for more info ~ by Jacinta
2 months ago
Special thanks to one of our dedicated Penang group members, Choong for superb tormas. Swift Return Puja @ every Saturday, 3pm. Do contact William for more info ~ by Jacinta
Thanks to William for being the Umze for Swift Return Puja at Penang Centre. ~ by Jacinta
2 months ago
Thanks to William for being the Umze for Swift Return Puja at Penang Centre. ~ by Jacinta
The members of Kechara Penang Study Group are offering serkym to Dorje Shugden and His entourage. There's puja every Saturday @ 3 pm at Penang Chapel, Jalan Seang Tek. All are welcome. ~by Jacinta
2 months ago
The members of Kechara Penang Study Group are offering serkym to Dorje Shugden and His entourage. There's puja every Saturday @ 3 pm at Penang Chapel, Jalan Seang Tek. All are welcome. ~by Jacinta
We are in the third week of Ramadan this year, and kind volunteers have never failed to feed people in need since Tengku Zatashah started this meaningful #zerofoodwastage initiative in 2016. The aim is to benefit the underprivileged with nice surplus food collected from Ramadan buffets. Every night during the month of Ramadan, volunteers collect surplus cooked food from hotels and distribute it to charity homes and low-income families. THANK YOU, Tengku, dedicated volunteers and hotel partners, for making this Ramadan special for the underprivileged. #kecharasoupkitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment - KSK @ Vivian
2 months ago
We are in the third week of Ramadan this year, and kind volunteers have never failed to feed people in need since Tengku Zatashah started this meaningful #zerofoodwastage initiative in 2016. The aim is to benefit the underprivileged with nice surplus food collected from Ramadan buffets. Every night during the month of Ramadan, volunteers collect surplus cooked food from hotels and distribute it to charity homes and low-income families. THANK YOU, Tengku, dedicated volunteers and hotel partners, for making this Ramadan special for the underprivileged. #kecharasoupkitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment - KSK @ Vivian
We were chanting Migsetma mantra at the time this picture was taken. Thanks to all our Penang members who are very committed to attend Swift Return puja weekly. Kechara Penang Study Group, every Saturday @ 3pm. ~by Jacinta
3 months ago
We were chanting Migsetma mantra at the time this picture was taken. Thanks to all our Penang members who are very committed to attend Swift Return puja weekly. Kechara Penang Study Group, every Saturday @ 3pm. ~by Jacinta
William, who is our leader/ Umze is cleaning the pantry and Gordon offered up 4 carton of packet drinks today. We cannot thank you enough for all kind hearted who sponsored various offerings weekly. Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
3 months ago
William, who is our leader/ Umze is cleaning the pantry and Gordon offered up 4 carton of packet drinks today. We cannot thank you enough for all kind hearted who sponsored various offerings weekly. Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
Siew Hong came with a basket of fruits while Choong, who is expert in baking offered tormas today for our Swift Return Puja. Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
3 months ago
Siew Hong came with a basket of fruits while Choong, who is expert in baking offered tormas today for our Swift Return Puja. Kechara Penang Study Group ~by Jacinta
Dedicated sisters, Sharyn and Swee Bee. They always make sure our puja offerings, especially fruits are arranged nicely. Kechara Penang Study Group ~ by Jacinta
3 months ago
Dedicated sisters, Sharyn and Swee Bee. They always make sure our puja offerings, especially fruits are arranged nicely. Kechara Penang Study Group ~ by Jacinta
Committed and hardworking Kechara Penang members, Mr. Tang and Mr. Huey. Really appreciate having you both at our weekly puja . Kechara Penang Study Group ~ by Jacinta
3 months ago
Committed and hardworking Kechara Penang members, Mr. Tang and Mr. Huey. Really appreciate having you both at our weekly puja . Kechara Penang Study Group ~ by Jacinta
KSK medic personnel have been tending to the needs of the clients every week. Their consistent kindness helps improve the medical welfare of those without a home. Thank you for serving and making them your priority on your weekends. #medicteam #kecharasoupkitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment
4 months ago
KSK medic personnel have been tending to the needs of the clients every week. Their consistent kindness helps improve the medical welfare of those without a home. Thank you for serving and making them your priority on your weekends. #medicteam #kecharasoupkitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment
In the midst of chaos, let's start healing. We have Dorje Shugden Puja every Saturday @ 3 pm. Contact William for more info. Kechara Penang Study Group. ~ by Jacinta.
4 months ago
In the midst of chaos, let's start healing. We have Dorje Shugden Puja every Saturday @ 3 pm. Contact William for more info. Kechara Penang Study Group. ~ by Jacinta.
4 months ago
Pastor is in da' house!!!! Kechara Penang Study Group @ Saturday, 3 pm. Contact William for more info ~ by Jacinta
4 months ago
Pastor is in da' house!!!! Kechara Penang Study Group @ Saturday, 3 pm. Contact William for more info ~ by Jacinta
4 months ago
5 months ago
After Dorje Shugden puja @Penang Chapel, Jalan Seang Tek, members went to a nearby vegetarian shop for gathering. #CNY2022 #HappyReunion by Jacinta.
5 months ago
After Dorje Shugden puja @Penang Chapel, Jalan Seang Tek, members went to a nearby vegetarian shop for gathering. #CNY2022 #HappyReunion by Jacinta.
In 2021, we've encountered far too many challenges—Pandemic, months-long lockdown, landslide, and flood. We are proud to witness Malaysians helping one another as these agonies come sequentially. Looking back to 2021, Kechara Soup Kitchen has made significant progress, with more to come in 2022. Every year, we move a little closer to our vision. We are immensely thankful to have such dedicated teams of volunteers willing to go above and beyond for our clients. Not to mention our sponsors and donors; none of this would have been possible without you. Thank you. Thank you for being you. Thank you for helping the underprivileged to a better future. Have a blessed year ahead from our hearts to your hearts. #2022 #newyear #kecharasoupkitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment
6 months ago
In 2021, we've encountered far too many challenges—Pandemic, months-long lockdown, landslide, and flood. We are proud to witness Malaysians helping one another as these agonies come sequentially. Looking back to 2021, Kechara Soup Kitchen has made significant progress, with more to come in 2022. Every year, we move a little closer to our vision. We are immensely thankful to have such dedicated teams of volunteers willing to go above and beyond for our clients. Not to mention our sponsors and donors; none of this would have been possible without you. Thank you. Thank you for being you. Thank you for helping the underprivileged to a better future. Have a blessed year ahead from our hearts to your hearts. #2022 #newyear #kecharasoupkitchen #kecharafoodbank #kecharaempowerment
Ipoh members were taking turns to offer Serkym and lights to Dorje Shugden. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
7 months ago
Ipoh members were taking turns to offer Serkym and lights to Dorje Shugden. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Kechara Ipoh members were preparing for Dorje Shugden puja. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
7 months ago
Kechara Ipoh members were preparing for Dorje Shugden puja. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Kechara Ipoh Study Group has carried out Dorje Shugden puja in Ipoh on 4th Dec 2021. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
7 months ago
Kechara Ipoh Study Group has carried out Dorje Shugden puja in Ipoh on 4th Dec 2021. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Jun, our new Ipoh member, offered lights to Lama Tsongkhapa, Dorje Shugden & The Three Jewels. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
7 months ago
Jun, our new Ipoh member, offered lights to Lama Tsongkhapa, Dorje Shugden & The Three Jewels. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Mr. Cheah has offered 3 sets of Serkym prior to Dorje Shugden puja in Ipoh. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
7 months ago
Mr. Cheah has offered 3 sets of Serkym prior to Dorje Shugden puja in Ipoh. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Kechara Ipoh Study Group has completed a Dorje Shugden puja in Ipoh on 20th Nov '21. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
7 months ago
Kechara Ipoh Study Group has completed a Dorje Shugden puja in Ipoh on 20th Nov '21. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Mr. Philip, our new visitor to Ipoh centre, offered lights to Lama Tsongkhapa and the Three Jewels prior to DS puja. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
8 months ago
Mr. Philip, our new visitor to Ipoh centre, offered lights to Lama Tsongkhapa and the Three Jewels prior to DS puja. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
Kechara Ipoh Study Group has resumed our Dorje Shugden puja in Ipoh on 6th Nov 2021. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
8 months ago
Kechara Ipoh Study Group has resumed our Dorje Shugden puja in Ipoh on 6th Nov 2021. So Kin Hoe (KISG)
8 months ago
Mark your calendars - we are about to embark on an epic ride! Kechara Food Bank will be travelling across the Peninsular in our giant truck to send dry food to over 2300 families. Thank you Volvo Trucks Malaysia for your generous donation of this custom-designed truck. What’s more – PPB Group Bhd is generously donating the food provision for this one-of-a-kind journey. Thank you on behalf of our grateful beneficiaries! Want to see all of this in action? Join us live or watch the videos and photos on our social media. Stay tuned!
9 months ago
Mark your calendars - we are about to embark on an epic ride! Kechara Food Bank will be travelling across the Peninsular in our giant truck to send dry food to over 2300 families. Thank you Volvo Trucks Malaysia for your generous donation of this custom-designed truck. What’s more – PPB Group Bhd is generously donating the food provision for this one-of-a-kind journey. Thank you on behalf of our grateful beneficiaries! Want to see all of this in action? Join us live or watch the videos and photos on our social media. Stay tuned!
Underprivileged residents of two PPRs in Kuala Lumpur recently received a total of 427kg from our longterm surplus produce sponsor, Lotuss Stores (formerly Tesco Stores). The 65 families are our regular beneficiaries, and are grateful to receive fresh vegetables on a consistent basis right at their doorstep. One of our recipients, Rajeswari, 52, single mother of 2 children, shared that she stopped receiving welfare aid due to unforeseen circumstances. Her words: "Saya cakap untuk Kechara [Soup Kitchen] banyak terima kasih sebab kasi makanan. Dan lebih mau tolong orang lain yang susah seperti saya". Our heartfelt thank-you goes to Lotuss Stores for being a dependable source of food aid and for #helpingthepoor with us. #kecharafoodbank #makingadifference #kitajagakita #charity #foodbank #bantuan #ngomalaysia #givingback #strongertogether - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
1 years ago
Underprivileged residents of two PPRs in Kuala Lumpur recently received a total of 427kg from our longterm surplus produce sponsor, Lotuss Stores (formerly Tesco Stores). The 65 families are our regular beneficiaries, and are grateful to receive fresh vegetables on a consistent basis right at their doorstep. One of our recipients, Rajeswari, 52, single mother of 2 children, shared that she stopped receiving welfare aid due to unforeseen circumstances. Her words: "Saya cakap untuk Kechara [Soup Kitchen] banyak terima kasih sebab kasi makanan. Dan lebih mau tolong orang lain yang susah seperti saya". Our heartfelt thank-you goes to Lotuss Stores for being a dependable source of food aid and for #helpingthepoor with us. #kecharafoodbank #makingadifference #kitajagakita #charity #foodbank #bantuan #ngomalaysia #givingback #strongertogether - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
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