Paul Robeson: The Beacon of Hope for the Oppressed

Apr 6, 2019 | Views: 236

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Paul Leroy Robeson (1898–1976) was a famous Hollywood actor, bass-baritone singer and stage performer who not only contributed to the entertainment industry, but also, as a political activist to the Civil Rights Movement and sociocultural movements around the world.

Robeson was a well-educated man. He earned an athletic scholarship at Rutgers University and continued his studies at Columbia University. Being curious about his roots and the rich African culture, he went to London to the School of Oriental and African Studies to learn the Swahili language.

Paul Robeson as the varsity catcher

Paul Robeson as the varsity catcher

After completing his studies, Robeson pursued acting and singing where he achieved fame and success. Subsequently, he became involved in political activism, which adversely affected his career. Today, Robeson is remembered as the first African American actor who achieved international prominence, a symbol of African American dignity, and a spokesperson for the oppressed.

The scene on Show Boat (1936) where Paul Robeson gave his legendary performance, “Ol” Man River

The scene from the “Show Boat” (1936) where Paul Robeson gave his legendary performance, “Ol” Man River

 

The Early Years

Paul Robeson’s parents, William Drew Robeson (Left) and Maria Louisa Bustill (right)

Paul Robeson’s parents, William Drew Robeson (left) and Maria Louisa Bustill (right)

Paul Robeson was born in Princeton, New Jersey on April 9, 1898. His mother, Maria Louisa Bustill, was a lady who came from a prominent Quaker family, and his father, William Drew Robeson, was a Presbyterian Church Minister at Witherspoon Street. Robeson had one sister, Marian, and three brothers, William Drew Jr, Reeve, and Ben.

St. Thomas A.M.E Zion Church

St. Thomas A.M.E Zion Church
(click to enlarge)

His father, William, had an interesting past. He was born into slavery but managed to escape from a plantation that owned him in his teens. In 1901, William resigned from his position in the Presbyterian Church due to racially charged conflict with the Witherspoon white financial supporters.

After he lost his ministerial position, William worked menial jobs to support his family. In 1904, Maria died in a tragic house fire accident. Robeson was only six years old. As the family’s financial condition worsened, they had to move to a shop’s attic in Westfield, New Jersey.

Fortune started to shine on the Robeson family when William secured a position at St. Thomas A.M.E. Zion Church in 1910 and a proper residence for his family. Paul would sometimes replace his father during sermons whenever he was not available.

Summerville High School

Somerville High School

Robeson attended Somerville High School in 1912. He excelled not only in his studies, but also music, sports, and performing arts. He participated in the school’s chorus and drama productions, “Julius Caesar” and “Othello”, and made a mark in track, baseball, basketball, and football. Robeson ignored any hints of racial discrimination and continued to accumulate academic achievements. Before his high school graduation, he won a statewide academic contest and secured a scholarship to Rutgers University.

A picture of Paul Robeson with the Somerville High School Football Team 1913

A picture of Paul Robeson with the Somerville High School Football Team in 1913

To earn extra income, Robeson took a job as a waiter at Narragansett Pier in Rhode Island. It was here that he became acquainted with Fritz Pollard who would later be the first African American coach in the National Football League.

 

The Rutgers Years

Winants Hall on the Rutgers campus as it looked prior to 1920. This building served as a dormitory for many Rutgers students, including Paul Robeson. In contrast to other Rutgers students, Robeson was not allowed to share room in Winants Hall.

Winants Hall on the Rutgers campus as it looked prior to 1920. This building served as a dormitory for many Rutgers students, including Paul Robeson.

Robeson enrolled at Rutgers University in 1915. He was the only African-American student at the time and the third to be enrolled at the university since its establishment. It was a challenging period for him being a person of colour.

During the tryout for the Rutgers Scarlett Knights Football team, Robeson was sorely tested and ended up with a broken nose and a dislocated shoulder. Seeing his determination, the coach, Foster Sanford, finally announced that he made the cut. In addition to the football team, Robeson joined the debate team and the Glee Club. He also earned pocket money by singing off-campus.

Paul Robeson in the Rutgers Football Team)

Paul Robeson with the Rutgers Football Team

In his sophomore year, Robeson’s skin colour adversely affected a football match, where a Southern American team refused to play with a black man on the field. He was subsequently benched. However, after a standout junior year of football, Robeson was recognised in “The Crisis”, the official magazine for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), for his academic, athletic, and singing talents.

It was around this time, his father fell ill and passed away. At the same time, Robeson was starting to question why African Americans were not given the same opportunities as white people despite the fact that they too fought for America in World War I.

Paul Robeson was a member of Cap and Skull, a senior-year honour society at Rutgers College

Paul Robeson was a member of Cap and Skull, an honour society at Rutgers University

Robeson graduated from Rutgers with honours. He had four annual oratorical triumphs and varsity letters for his athletic achievements under his belt. He was admitted into Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest national honour society, and Cap and Skull, Rutgers University honour society.

“The Daily Targum”, Rutgers official magazine, also featured Robeson’s achievements in the form of a poem. He was elected school valedictorian and in his farewell speech, he encouraged his classmates to work for the equality of all Americans.

 

Columbia Law School

Paul Robeson and his wife, Eslanda Goode

Paul Robeson and his wife, Essie Goode (click to enlarge)

After graduating from Rutgers, Robeson enrolled at New York University (NYU) School of Law in autumn 1919. To support himself through law school, he worked as an assistant football coach. Unfortunately, that was short-lived. He felt that NYU was not for him, and he moved to Harlem. Within less than a year, in February 1920, he transferred his academic credits to Columbia Law School. Robeson was well-known within the African American community for his powerful voice and was asked to perform at the dedication of Harlem YWCA. He was also recruited to play for the National Football League’s (NFL) Akron Pros.

During this time, Robeson also met and developed a relationship with his fellow schoolmate at Columbia, Eslanda “Essie” Goode, who encouraged Robeson to make his theatrical debut in Ridgely Torrence’s “Simon of Cyrene” where he played the lead role of Simon. He also took a short break from his study to play in Mary Hoyt Wilborg’s play, “Taboo” in Britain and sang in the off-Broadway musical production, “Shuffle Along”.

After one year of courtship, Robeson and Essie were married in August 1921. To support his new family, Robeson played professional football and gave Latin courses. He stopped playing football in 1922 and graduated from Columbia Law School in 1923.

Paul Robeson and the graduation class of 1923 at Columbia Law School

Paul Robeson and the graduation class of 1923 at Columbia Law School

 

Artistic Endeavours and Fame

After his graduation, Robeson had a short career stint at a law firm. However, he experienced racial discrimination at his workplace, and with his wife’s encouragement, he decided to pursue a career as an actor instead. Essie gave up her aspiration to study medicine and took on the role as her husband’s business manager and launched his acting career while working in the hospital to support herself and her husband.

“Even then, I never meant to [become an actor]. I just said yes to get her to quit pestering me.” ~ Paul Robeson

Source: Wikipedia.org

Robeson landed a role in a controversial play, Eugene O’Neill’s “All God’s Chillun Got Wings”, about an African American man married to a white abusive woman who resented her husband’s skin colour and destroyed his promising law career. Due to the play’s controversy, the premiere was delayed. Taking the opportunity from this delay, Robeson landed a 90-minute monologue role as Brutus Jones in “The Emperor Jones” revival, which won him critical acclaim and recognition.

Paul Robeson in the film The Emperor Jones (1933)

Paul Robeson in the film “The Emperor Jones” (1933)

In 1925, Essie quit her job at the hospital and negotiated a silent film role, “Body and Soul”, for her husband. Robeson also participated in a charity concert to support single mothers and performed his repertoire on radio shows. Around this time, he became acquainted with a pianist named Lawrence Brown, and the two held a captivating concert of African American folk songs and spirituals at Provincetown Playhouse. After this concert, Robeson won a contract with Victor Records. Robeson’s and Brown’s musical collaboration continued, and they embarked on a one and half year concert tour across the United States from January 1926 to May 1927.

Lawrence Brown and Paul Robeson rehearsing at the piano

Lawrence Brown and Paul Robeson during a rehearsal session
(click to enlarge)

While Robeson and Brown were performing in Europe in November 1927, Essie gave birth to Paul Robeson Jr. However, she experienced childbirth-related complications, and her health quickly deteriorated. Despite Essie’s protest, her mother informed Robeson of her condition, and he rushed home to be with his wife. Several months later, Essie recovered.

In 1928, Robeson landed the role of “Joe” in the widely successful musical “Show Boat” at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London. His performance on one of the songs, “Ol’ Man River” was legendary. The “Show Boat” ran for 350 performances and was considered as one of Theatre Royal’s most profitable show. While in London, he had the opportunity to perform at Buckingham Palace and became acquainted with the Members of Parliament from the House of Commons.

 

Ah Still Suit Me (Show Boat)

Or view the video on YouTube at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CKsPRIpYKc
 

Following their success, the Robesons bought a house in Hampstead, an area famous for intellectual, artistic, liberal, musical and literary associations. They became a common feature in the high society, went on holidays in the French Riviera and mingled with the likes of Gertrude Stein, an American novelist and playwright, and Claude McKay, a Jamaican novelist.

Although he was more fortunate than many African Americans of his day, a racially charged treatment at the Savoy where he was refused a seat prompted him to issue a press release about this unpleasant experience and insult. Regardless of the racial discrimination he received from time to time, he was grateful for his success and attributed them to God.

“God watches over me and guides me. He’s with me and lets me fight my own battles and hopes I’ll win.” ~ Paul Robeson

Source: Duberman, Martin, “Paul Robeson: A Biography” The New Press, p. 220

 

Marriage Crisis

Peggy Ashcroft as Desdemona and Paul Robeson as Othello in Shakespeare’s Othello

Peggy Ashcroft as Desdemona and Paul Robeson as Othello in Shakespeare’s “Othello”

Early in her marriage, Essie realised that her husband was a womanizer and tolerated her husband’s dalliances. However, over time she found it hard to contain her resentment of his illicit affairs.

In 1930, after appearing in the experimental Swiss film “Borderline”, Robeson played the lead in Shakespeare’s “Othello” opposite a famous English actress, Peggy Ashcroft, who played the role of Desdemona. The play was historical because Robeson was the first African American to play “Othello” in Britain since Ira Aldridge.

He understood what it meant to play “Othello” for a black man like him and stated that the best way to diminish the oppression African Americans faced, was for his artistic work to be an example of what “men of colour” could accomplish rather than to

“be a propagandist and make speeches and write articles about what they call the Colour Question.” ~ Paul Robeson

Source: Kinni, Fongot Kini-Yen, “Pan-Africanism: Political Philosophy and Socio-economic Anthropology for African Liberation and Governance : Caribbean and African American Contributions”, Langaa RPCIG, Page 201

Paul Robeson and Peggy Ashcroft’s two years affair ended Paul Robeson’s marriage to Essie

Paul Robeson and Peggy Ashcroft

During the play, Robeson and Ashcroft became attracted to each other and this led to an affair. Much hurt by this, Essie sought for a divorce. The affair lasted for two years until 1932, after which Robeson and Essie reconciled.

Paul Robeson and Eslanda Goode with their son Paul Robeson Jr.

Paul Robeson and Essie Goode with their son, Paul Robeson Jr.

 

Returning to his African Roots

Paul Robeson in the Sanders of the River (1935)

Paul Robeson in the “Sanders of the River” (1935)

In the 1930s, Robeson started to embrace his African heritage. In 1933, he went to London and played Jim in Chillun, free of charge. When he returned to the United States, he took the lead role of “Brutus” in “The Emperor Jones”. During this time, Robeson was very sensitive to the slightest actions that he perceived as degrading to his African American root.

Movie poster advertising the Belgian release of the film 'Sanders of the River’ where Paul Robeson played the role of Bosambo

Movie poster advertising the Belgian release of the film “Sanders of the River” where Paul Robeson played the role of Bosambo (click to enlarge)

When he went back to Britain, he complained to the media that the African Americans in the United States have rejected their culture and that he does not want to be associated with European opera as it has no connection with his culture. His controversial comments invited negative reactions from the American press. The New York Amsterdam News sarcastically remarked that Robeson made a fool of himself.

To enhance his knowledge on the African culture, Robeson enrolled at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies to learn about Swahili and other African languages in 1934. He also wrote about his preference for his ancestry in his essay titled “I Want to be African”.

His fondness for the African culture is also reflected in his choice of acting roles. He took part in “Sanders of the River” (1935) as Bosambo because he felt that the movie gave a realistic portrayal of the African colonial culture. However, this enthusiasm soon turned sour when during the retake of some scenes he found out that the message of the movie had been changed to support imperialism.

“The imperialist plot had been placed in the plot during the last five days of the shooting. I was roped into the picture because I wanted to portray the culture of the African people and I committed a faux pas which convinced me that I had failed to weigh the problems of 150,000,000 native Africans. I hate the picture.” ~ Paul Robeson

Source: https://www.indiewire.com

Since then, Robeson became more conscious of his choice of role. Regardless of his comment, “Sanders of the River” became a box office hit, and Robeson became an international superstar.

Sergei Mikhailovich Eisenstein (1898-1948)

Sergei Mikhailovich Eisenstein (1898-1948) (click to enlarge)

In December 1934, Sergei Eisenstein, a Soviet film director invited Robeson, Essie and another actress, Marie Seton to the Soviet Union. Robeson was very impressed, “Here I am not a Negro but a human being for the first time in my life. I walk in full human dignity.” So impressed was he with the treatment he received in the Soviet Union, Robeson decided to send his only son to continue his education in the Soviet Union to protect him from racism in early 1936.

His preference for niche roles did not seem to affect his popularity. He participated in a play about solidarity during labour strike titled “Stevedore”. The play received positive reviews from Nancy Cunard of “The Crisis”,

“’Stevedore’ is extremely valuable in the racial-social question – it is straight from the shoulder.” ~ Paul Robeson

Source: Cunnard, Nancy, “Stevedore in London”, “The Crisis”, 1935, page 238

After “Stevedore”, Robeson continued to entertain in various stage and screen roles. He was involved in the “Song of Freedom”, “Show Boat”, “My Song Goes Forth”, “King Solomon’s Mines”, and as a narrator in the “Big Fella” documentary. The year 1938 seemed to be the pinnacle of his career when Robeson was named as the 10th most popular star in British cinema by American Motion Picture Herald.

 

The Start of his Political Activism (1937-1939)

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The struggle between Democracy and Fascism in the Spanish Civil War affected Robeson whereby he decided to be a political activist that advocated the war’s refugees and the Republican cause. This political activism was reflected in his arts and performances.

In the rendition of his famous song “Ol’ Man River”, Robeson modified the word “niggers” to “darkies”. He changed the lyrics further and transformed the originally tragic song into a song of protest and defiance, i.e. from the original lyrics, “Ah gits weary, An’ sick of tryin’, Ah’m tired of livin’, An skeered of dyin’”; to the modified version of, “But I keep laffin’, Instead of cryin’, I must keep fightin’, Until I’m dyin’”.

Powerful statement by Paul Robeson that lead the way he lived

Paul Robeson’s famous quote

Robeson’s business agent was concerned about how his political activism would affect his career. However, Robeson believed that the many contemporary events that happened around the world were more important than any commercial interest. He recorded his famous message, “The artist must take sides. He must elect to fight for freedom or slavery. I have made my choice. I had no alternative.” This message would later become his epitaph.

Paul Robeson in New York with Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, 1957

Paul Robeson with the Indian Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru

Robeson continued to advocate world events that supported the Republican cause. In Wales, he commemorated the Welsh who died fighting for the Republicans. He lent his moral support to the Republican soldiers by going to the battlefront in Spain. He hosted Jawaharlal Nehru in England to show his support for the Indian independence cause. He also supported the political independence aspiration of the African nationalists.

 The song “Chee Lai’ by Paul Robeson

The song “Chee Lai’ by Paul Robeson (click to enlarge)

Robeson also sided with China during the Sino Japanese War. He performed and recorded the song, “Chee Lai!” (“Arise!”), which was also known as the “March of the Volunteers”. Robeson lent his fame and popularity to the song. He recorded the song in Chinese and English, and in 1941, premiered the song at New York City’s Lewisohn Stadium and later, performed it at Washington’s Uline Arena to a sold out crowd.

The recording consisted of a 3-disc album with the introduction from Soong Ching Ling, Dr Sun Yat Sen’s widow. Due to the popularity of the song, it became China’s National Anthem after 1949. Although the Chinese lyricist Tian Han, passed away in prison in 1968, Robeson still faithfully sent the royalties from the song to his family.

 

Paul Robeson’s Chee Lai!

Or view the video on YouTube at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJv0jMLLRcw
 

 

World War II and Return to the United States

After completing his last British film, Robeson and his family returned to the United States and settled in Enfield, Connecticut. He was then hired by Norman Corwin, to perform “Ballad for Americans”, an American patriotic song. However, during the tour to promote the song, Robeson had an unpleasant experience due to racism that was still rampant then. He found that the only hotel that was willing to accept him regardless of his skin colour was the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, but he was required to register under a different name. To support people of his race, he stationed himself at the hotel lobby “to ensure that the next time blacks come through, they’ll have a place to stay.”

He decided to stop taking film roles after acting in “Tales of Manhattan”, where he acted opposite Ethel Walters as a struggling African American. He viewed the role as demeaning and perceived other movie roles available for coloured actors like him as degrading.

Although he no longer acted in films, he was still active on stage. He became the first African American to play the role of “Othello” with white cast members in Broadway. He went on tour to play this role in North America until 1945.

Newpaper cutting of the show in Broadway which Robeson play the role of Othello

Newspaper cutting of the show in Broadway which Robeson played the role of Othello (click to enlarge)

After his move to the United States, Robeson continued his activism to promote the rights of the African Americans and the anti-Fascist group. He participated in concerts to benefit the war effort. He also became acquainted with members of the Jewish anti-Fascist Committee, Itzik Feffer and Solomon Mikhoels. He unsuccessfully attempted to convince the Commissioner of Baseball at the time, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, to allow African Americans to play in the Major League baseball.

 

The Challenging Years

After World War II ended, a new racial dynamic emerged in the United States. The African American men who fought for their country were unhappy to be treated as second-class citizens, while the white supremacists sought to restore their pre-war dominance. Dissatisfaction grew especially in the southern part of the United States.

On July 25, 1946, a white supremacist mob attacked, shot and murdered two African American couples, Roger and Dorothy Malcom, and George W. and Mae Murray on a dirt road near Moore’s Ford Bridge in Oconee and Walton counties. This tragic incident attracted national attention and became known as Moore’s Ford Lynching.

A historical marker commemorating the Moore's Ford Bridge Lynching

A historical marker on the Moore’s Ford Bridge Lynching (click to enlarge)

This invoked mass protests in New York City and Washington, D.C. which prompted President Harry S. Truman to introduce the draft of the anti-lynching legislation. However, some members of Congress opposed this legislation. Despite the FBI’s attempt to investigate and identify the guilty party, no one was prosecuted.

After the mass lynching incident, Robeson met with President Truman, and said that if the President did not enact the legislation to end lynching, “the Negroes will defend themselves”. President Truman immediately terminated the meeting with Robeson.

Robeson then made a public call for the Congress to pass the anti-lynching legislation and established the American Crusade Against Lynching organisation. He received support from famous civil right activist, William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (W.E.B. Du Bois). Around this time, Robeson also became enchanted with the concept of trade unionism and became a staunch supporter of Revels Cayton, a union activist.

W. E. B. Du Bois and Paul Robeson World Peace Congress in Paris, 1949

W. E. B. Du Bois and Paul Robeson at World Peace Congress in Paris, 1949

In the late 1940s to the mid-1950s, McCarthyism practice was rampant in the United States. The practice was named after Senator Joseph McCarthy. This era was characterised with accusations of treason and subversion without regard for proper evidence. McCarthyism era was triggered by the fear of espionage by Soviet agents and Communist influence in the American Institutions.

Senator Joseph McCarthy, the person who started the McCarthyism practice

Senator Joseph McCarthy

Robeson’s activism and sympathy with the Soviet Union raised suspicions about his communist tendencies. Jack B. Tenney (1898-1970) was a member of the United States Senate and Chairman of the California Committee of the Un-American Activities or also known as the Tenney Committee. Tenney believed that “You can no more coexist with communism than you can coexist with a nest of rattlesnakes” and attacked everyone whom he suspected to be a communist or had a communist tendency. Robeson was one of them. In front of the Tenney Committee, Robeson testified that he was not affiliated with the Communist Party USA. However, he was involved with the Civil Rights Congress (CRC) and Council on African Affairs (CAA) that were included in the Attorney General’s List of Subversive Organizations (AGLOSO).

Paul Robeson with Henry A. Wallace who ran for the 1948 presidential race

Paul Robeson with Henry A. Wallace who ran for the 1948 presidential race

After the preliminary inquiries by the Tenney Committee, Robeson was questioned by the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary regarding his connection with the Communist Party. During this questioning, Robeson made his famous remark, “Some of the most brilliant and distinguished Americans are about to go to jail for the failure to answer that question, and I am going to join them, if necessary.” In 1948, Robeson became involved in the unsuccessful presidential campaign of Henry A. Wallace, which worsened his political situation.

Paul Robeson listens to a speech during the Peace Partisans World Congress in Moscow 20 April 1949

Paul Robeson listening to a speech during the Peace Partisans World Congress in Paris

In the subsequent years, Robeson began to feel the pinch of his political activism. His concert performances were cancelled and he was forced to find work abroad. During his overseas tour, he continued his activism and refused to lay low. He made a speech at the World Peace Council whereby he was accused of equating the United States of America with a Fascist state.

After this speech, he received much criticism and was viewed as the enemy of mainstream America. He refused to submit to public criticisms and continued his controversial political activities such as supporting the twelve defendants in the Smith Act trials of suspected Communist Party leaders.

Paul Robeson with his old friends, Itzik Feffer and Solomon Mikhoels

Paul Robeson with his old friends, Itzik Feffer and Solomon Mikhoels

When Robeson went to Moscow to visit his old friends, Feffer and Mikhoels, he was unable to locate them and had to ask the Soviet authorities of their whereabouts. Because Robeson had always portrayed the Soviet Union in a favourable image, the authorities allowed him to meet with Feffer. During this meeting, Feffer informed Robeson that Mikhoels was dead and he would be executed next. To protect the Soviet Union’s reputation, Robeson kept this meeting a secret and denied the persecution that occurred.

In 1949, Robeson made a speech at the Paris Peace Congress that alarmed many in his native country,

“We in America do not forget that it was on the backs of the white workers from Europe and on the backs of millions of blacks that the wealth of America was built. And we are resolved to share it equally. We reject any hysterical raving that urges us to make war on anyone. Our will to fight for peace is strong. We shall not make war on anyone. We shall not make war on the Soviet Union. We oppose those who wish to build up imperialist Germany and to establish fascism in Greece. We wish peace with Franco’s Spain despite her fascism. We shall support peace and friendship among all nations, with Soviet Russia and the People’s Republics.” ~ Paul Robeson

Source: “The Emperor Robeson”, The New York Review of Books, P. 4

Paul Robeson giving speech at the Paris Peace Congress

Paul Robeson giving a speech at the Paris Peace Congress (click to enlarge)

After that speech, Robeson was politically isolated in the United States. Jackie Robinson, an African American professional baseball player, testified in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) that Robeson’s speech “if accurately reported, was silly”. Robeson’s scheduled concert in New York City was cancelled. His appearance on NBC’s Eleanor Roosevelt’s television program was also cancelled. The State Department denied him a passport and therefore restricted his movements within the United States. The State Department officials informed him that the reason for his passport denial was “his frequent criticism of the treatment of blacks in the United States should not be aired in foreign countries”. In 1951, an article that featured Robeson in unfavourable light was published in “The Crisis”. The article was also distributed in Africa to defame Robeson and reduced his popularity there.

Regardless of the pressures and the backlash to his career, Robeson remained true to his activism. On December 17, 1951, he presented We Charge Genocide, an anti-lynching petition, to the United Nations. The document stated that based on Article II of the United Nation Genocide Convention, the United States was “guilty of genocide” due to failure to act against lynching.

Paul Robeson presents “We Charge Genocide” by William Patterson to UN Secretary in New York

Paul Robeson presented “We Charge Genocide” by William Patterson to UN Secretary in New York

It did not help matters much that Robeson accepted the International Stalin Prize in New York due to travel restriction. Not long after Stalin’s passing in April 1953, Robeson wrote a praise to Stalin as a beacon of peace to the world,

“Through his deep humanity, by his wise understanding, he leaves us a rich and monumental heritage.” ~ Paul Robeson

Source: marxists.org

While the McCarthyism put a halt to Robeson’s career and restricted his movement, the parties he championed supported him. In May 1952, the labour unions in Canada and the United States held an International Peace Arch Concert on the border between Washington State in the United States and British Columbia Province in Canada. The labour union held three similar concerts within the next three years. Aneurin Bevan, a Welsh politician, encouraged Robeson to record several radio concerts for his supporters in Wales.

 

Continuing Political Oppression

Paul Robeson: activist, communist and spokesperson for the oppressed of the earth

Paul Robeson led Moore Shipyard workers in singing the Star Spangled Banner

In 1956, Robeson invoked the Fifth Amendment and refused to declare his political affiliation in front of HUAC. He was summoned after refusing to sign an affidavit to confirm that he was not a Communist. He was questioned as to why he did not stay in the Soviet Union since he liked their political ideology so much. He replied,

“Because my father was a slave and my people died to build the United States and, I am going to stay here, and have a part of it just like you and no fascist-minded people will drive me from it!” ~ Paul Robeson

Source: cpsr.cs.uchicago.edu

Robeson explained further,

“Whether I am or not a Communist is irrelevant. The question is whether American citizens, regardless of their political beliefs or sympathies, may enjoy their constitutional rights.”

Source: Bailey, Budd, “Red Scare: Communists in America” page 102

 

Paul Robeson at the House Un-American Activities Committee

In 1956 Paul Robeson was dragged in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee. His defiant answers to baiting by right-wing politicians were dramatized by James Earl Jones in this reproduction.

Or view the video on YouTube at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLVqCGeK6JM
 

Although his recordings and movies were removed from public distribution in the United States, his political activism did not dim his popularity overseas. In 1956, Topic Records in the United Kingdom released a single from Robeson titled Joe Hill, based on an early 20th-century labour activist (1879-1915). Joe Hill became the third popular songs on Desert Island Discs, a BBC radio program, and the top fourteen most popular songs for British politicians.

In 1956, Robeson performed at two concerts, one in Toronto and the other at Sudbury, Ontario, after he was given a one-time permission to travel to Canada due to public pressure.

As he was not able to travel overseas to entertain his fans, he would hold telephone concerts. “We have to learn the hard way that there is another way to sing”. His telephone concert in 1957, at St. Pancras Town Hall, London, was sold out within one hour. He also held a similar telephone concert in Wales via transatlantic telephone cable and sang to the 5,000 audiences who attended.

 

Paul Robeson’s Joe Hill

Or view the video on YouTube at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8Kxq9uFDes
 

 

The Revival of a Brilliant Career

Paul Robeson, member of the World Peace Council, in Moscow 1958

Paul Robeson in Moscow (click to enlarge)

In June 1958, the United States Supreme Court via Kent v. Dulles, ruled that the right to travel is a part of the ‘liberty’ of which a citizen cannot be deprived without due process of the law under the Fifth Amendment. Following this landmark decision, Robeson’s passport was restored and in the same year, he published his autobiography titled “Here I Stand”.

Upon receiving his passport, he went on a world tour. He performed classic Russian songs at the Lenin Stadium, Moscow, and received a thunderous reception. He and his wife, Essie, then went to Yalta to meet with Nikita Khrushchev and to rest. On October 1959, Robeson became the first African American performer to sing at St. Paul’s Cathedral.

 

Paul Robeson: Here I Stand

Or view the video on YouTube at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUki-v-NvoE
 

During a trip to Moscow, the Robesons experienced a health scare. He was hospitalised for two months due to having heart problems and dizziness. During this time, Essie was diagnosed with operable cancer. Upon his recovery, the couple went back to the United Kingdom.

Paul Robeson, singer, performer and civil rights activist, was welcomed in Russia, Moscow, Russia, January 19, 1935

Paul Robeson, singer, performer and civil rights activist, was welcomed in Russia, Moscow on January 19, 1935

In 1959, Robeson participated in Tony Richardson’s production of “Othello” at Stratford-Upon-Avon and befriended fellow actor, Andrew Faulds. Robeson stayed with Faults’ family in the nearby Shottery Village. In 1960, Robeson sang at the Royal Festival Hall to raise funds for the Movement for Colonial Freedom.

In October the same year, Robeson and his wife travelled to New Zealand and Australia on a two-month concert tour at the invitation of William Morrow (1888-1980), an Australian politician. Robeson was the first artist to perform at the construction site of Sydney Opera House.

Paul Robeson was the first singer to perform at the Sydney Opera House

Paul Robeson sang for the workers at Sydney Opera House’s construction site

During his time in Australia, he became acquainted with Australian Civil Rights activist, Faith Bandler, and attacked bigoted perception that Aborigines were uncultured. In his speech, he mentioned that “There’s no such thing as a backward human being, there is only a society which says they are backward.”

After his performance at the Brisbane Festival Hall, Robeson and his wife visited Auckland, New Zealand. There, Robeson became a staunch defender of the Maori people’s rights and denounced the inequality faced by the Maoris.

 

Paul Robeson Speaks! 1958 KPFA Radio Interview

Or view the video on YouTube at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YeHzzyisfM
 

 

Retirement and Death

After Robeson’s return to the United States In 1963, he started making appearances in support of the Civil Rights Movement, but soon his health worsened. In 1965, he suffered a kidney blockage and double pneumonia that almost killed him. His wife, however, was not so lucky. Essie was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1963 and two years later, Robeson lost not only his wife but his spokesperson and most loyal supporter.

Paul Robeson Jr, and his father

Paul Robeson and his son, Paul Robeson Jr.

After Essie’s passing, Robeson hardly appeared in public. In reply to questions about his father, his son said that his “father’s health does not permit him to perform or answer questions.” In 1968, Robeson moved into his sister’s home in Philadelphia. During his old age, there were many events held to honour his achievements and activism. However, other than the few messages in support of the civil rights movements, nationally and internationally, he seldom appear in public as he believed that his record spoke for itself.

In 1974, an American painter and sculptor, Kenneth Hari, drew a portrait of Robeson that is still displayed to this day at his alma mater at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey. In 1973, his health deteriorated, and he was unable to attend the tribute to mark his 75th birthday at Carnegie Hall. However, he recorded a message that was played during the event, in which he said,

“though I have not been able to be active for several years, I want you to know that I am the same Paul, dedicated as ever to the worldwide cause of humanity for freedom, peace, and brotherhood.” ~ Paul Robeson

Source: Wikipedia.org

On January 23, 1976, Robeson suffered a stroke and passed away from the complications. He was 77 years old. After the funeral service at Mother Zion AME Zion Church, Robeson was laid to rest at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York. Robeson’s biographer, Martin Duberman, wrote that, “the white American press ignored the continuing inability of white America to tolerate a black maverick who refused to bend, …downplayed the racist component central to his persecution during his life, as they paid him gingerly respect and tipped their hat to him as a ‘great American’; while the black American press, ‘which had never, overall, been as hostile to Robeson as the white American press had, opined that his life ‘would always be a challenge to white and black America.'”

Paul Robeson’s grave at Ferncliff Cemetery, New York, United States

Paul Robeson’s grave at Ferncliff Cemetery, New York, United States

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Today, Paul Robeson’s achievements and activism are commemorated across the United States.

 

Sources

  • Duberman, Martin, “Paul Robeson: A Biography”, The New Press, New York, 1995, eBook (accessed: 21 March 2019).
  • Sparrow, Jeff, “How Paul Robeson found his political voice in the Welsh Valleys”, The Guardian, 2 Jul 2017, [website], https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/jul/02/how-paul-robeson-found-political-voice-in-welsh-valleys (accessed: 21 March 2019)
  • Sparrow, Jeff, “Paul Robeson’s songs and deeds light the way for the fight against Trump”, The Guardian, 20 Feb 2017, [website], https://www.theguardian.com/music/2017/feb/20/paul-robesons-songs-and-deeds-shine-a-light-for-the-fight-against-trump (accessed: 21 March 2019)
  • “Paul Robeson”, Wikipedia.org, 26 March 2019, [website], https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Robeson (accessed: 26 March 2019)
  • “Eslanda Goode Robeson”, Wikipedia.org, 31 January 2019 [website], https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eslanda_Goode_Robeson (accessed: 21 March 2019)
  • “Paul Robeson (1898-1976)”, Coalfield Web Materials, [website], http://www.agor.org.uk/cwm/themes/life/international_relations/paul_robeson.asp (accessed: 21 March 2019)
  • Farell, Jenny, “Paul Robeson: activist, communist, and spokesperson for the oppressed of the earth”, culturematters.org.uk, 31 March 2018, [website], https://www.culturematters.org.uk/index.php/arts/music/item/2772-paul-robeson-activist-and-spokesperson-for-the-oppressed (accessed: 21 March 2019).
  • Nair, R. Divya, “Oraa Aamaader Gaan Gaaite Dyay Naa: A Bengali Panegyric to Paul Robeson”, Black Agenda Report, 20 June 2018, [website], https://www.blackagendareport.com/oraa-aamaader-gaan-gaaite-dyay-naa-bengali-panegyric-paul-robeson (accessed: 21 March 2019).
  • “Paul Robeson, a Brief Biography”, uchicago.edu, [website], http://www.cpsr.cs.uchicago.edu/robeson/bio.html (accessed: 21 March 2019).
  • Duchen, Jessica, “Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film.” Independent, 20 November 2014, [website], https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/features/paul-robeson-the-story-of-how-an-american-icon-was-driven-to-death-to-be-told-in-film-9874111.html (accessed: 21 March 2019).
  • Pollock, Arthur, “All God’s Chillun Got Wings” Brooklyn Daily News, 16 May 1924, [website], http://www.eoneill.com/artifacts/reviews/agc1_brooklyn.htm (accessed: 21 March 2019).
  • Sergio, “Paul Robeson Rarity ‘Proud Valley’ Airing on Turner Classic Movies This Thursday”, IndieWire, 1 April 2013, [website], https://www.indiewire.com/2013/04/paul-robeson-rarity-proud-valley-airing-on-turner-classic-movies-this-thursday-136819/ (accessed: 21 March 2019).
  • Robeson, Paul, “To You Beloved Comrade” Marxists.org, [website], https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/stalin/biographies/1953/04/x01.htm (accessed: 21 March 2019).

 

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3 Responses to Paul Robeson: The Beacon of Hope for the Oppressed

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  1. Chris on Apr 13, 2019 at 7:07 am

    Paul Robeson is a remarkable man with many achievements in his career as an actor cum singer. He is incredible because he is able to achieve so much when racism is still rampant in America. [/color]He has been lucky with his chances but he also possesses the talents that propelled him to stardom.

    He is a passionate human rights activist that fights for inequally wherever he goes and whenever he feels there is an injustice. He does not only fight for racial issues or issues that concern himself. He is a selfless man that would speak up for the weak and not afraid of the consequences that may come.
    [/color]
    His determination is legendary when he presses on with his career and activism even during the toughest time where he was accused of being a communist. He is still able to sell out concerts and even perform through a telephone. There is nothing that can stop him and his passion. His legacy has inspired so many activist and also performers around the world.

    images

  2. Yee Yin on Apr 11, 2019 at 6:13 am

    Many people have not heard of Paul Robeson before, including me. He is inspiring and his achievements are remarkable even though it is a bit sad towards the end of his life. He is inspiring because he fought for justice and equality regardless of their skin colour.

    Back in early 1900, black people in America were badly discriminated against by the white people. But against all odds, Paul Robeson still managed to excel in his study and his career. His success was mainly due to his determination and perseverance. Once he had made the choice, he just did it without giving up.

    What we can learn from Paul Robeson is his determination and that he didn’t give up no matter how difficult things are. He was bullied in the school but it didn’t affect him negatively, he used his experience to motivate himself to be better so he can overcome it. His bad experience made him a stronger and more positive person. Whatever pain he has gone through, he did not do the same to other people.

  3. Samfoonheei on Apr 7, 2019 at 12:16 pm

    Paul Leroy Robeson was an American singer, actor, and political activist. He became famous both for his cultural accomplishments and for his political activism. He was one of the most gifted men of the 20th century been inspired and deeply influenced by his father. An international activist fighting for equality and justice for black people. Robeson has devoted full time to campaigning for the rights of blacks around the world. Inspiring Renaissance man who spent most of his life fighting injustice, for which he was roundly persecuted. Interesting read.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this inspiring post of a great man.

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  • Yee Yin
    Friday, Apr 26. 2019 02:48 AM
    Thailand is a Buddhist country, the majority of Thai people are devoted Buddhists. Therefore, we can find Buddhist temples almost everywhere in Thailand. Wat Rong Khun is a fairly new temple. However, it is very unique because it is all white. It is a temple designed and built by Thailand’s famous artist, Chalermchai Kositpipat. Chalermchai Kositpipat builds this temple with his own money because he has a very strong faith in Buddhism and he hopes the temple will one day become a heritage to the world.

    http://bit.ly/AmazingTemple
    [no sender]
  • Sofi
    Thursday, Apr 25. 2019 11:11 PM
    A More Buddhist Facebook?

    Interesting how Facebook adopted some Buddhism into their corporate world. Read what did they use to inspire or activate their staff to better performance.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/a-more-buddhis-facebook.html
  • Lin Mun
    Thursday, Apr 25. 2019 09:45 PM
    I like this painting. Very nice colour combination, simple yet look so stunning. Even Lama Tsongkhapa emanation are depicted here separately. They are the great Buddha of Chenrezig, Vajrapani and Manjushri. Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this nice painting and the description.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/the-one-who-saves-four-armed-chenrezig#comment-841101
  • Lin Mun
    Thursday, Apr 25. 2019 09:22 PM
    Beautifully drawn thangka and thank you Rinpoche for providing the description of each Buddha. All 3 great Buddha of past, present and future are put here, including White Mahakala and Dorje Shugden. Very blessed to have this thangka to be in the house. To remind us to practise dharma as time is precious.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/the-future-buddha-to-come-buddha-maitreya
  • Sofi
    Thursday, Apr 25. 2019 05:39 PM
    He Rejected A $37 Million Contract To Do What?

    Wow, imagine someone rejecting USD37 millions! Don’t you just wonder why did he and for what? Must by such a strong conviction about something. Did he regret his decision?

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/he-rejected-the-37-million-contract-to-do-what.html
  • Yee Yin
    Thursday, Apr 25. 2019 12:40 PM
    Mr. Randy Pauch was very ill when he gave his last speech to the audience. In his speech, he had shared with us a few important points on how to be successful and happy.
    1. Always be appreciative and grateful to the people and things we have. In return, good things will happen to us.
    2. Don’t complain, because complaining does not solve the problems.
    3. When we are sorry for the mistakes we have made, we must do something to make it up. By just saying sorry is not enough.
    4. Be humble and not to react to the negative actions of others towards us.
    5. Be persistent and don’t give up easily. It took Mr. Randy 15 years to make his dream of working at Disney come true.
    6. Death is uncertain and it is beyond our control. We can choose to face death with a positive attitude so when we die, there will be no regret.
    7. Be honest and have integrity, it is hard to do but if we can do that, we will be truly happy and live our lives without regret.

    Mr. Randy had shown us that death is uncertain and we don’t have control over it. However, we have a choice on how we want to live our lives. We are in control of our own happiness. If we have positive thinking, we will be able to turn a negative situation into something positive and then learn and become a better person.

    http://bit.ly/TR-LiveHappy
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  • Yee Yin
    Thursday, Apr 25. 2019 11:57 AM
    There are four holy mountains in China, Mount Jiu Hua, Mount Wutai, Mount Emei and Mount Putuo. Mount Wutai is believed to be the abode of Buddha Manjushri, Mount Emei is believed to be the abode of Samantabhadra, Mount Putuo is believed to be the abode of Guan Yin (Avalokiteshvara) and Mount Jiu Hua is believed to be the abode of Ksitigarbha.

    Mount Jiu Hua is located in Qingyang County, Anhui Province in China, the highest peak being the Shiwang Peak (Peak of Ten Kings), at 1,342 metres above sea level. There are many temples on Mount Jiu Hua, the oldest and holiest one is called Huangcheng temple. A Korean prince called Jin Qiaojue engaged in a 75-year-long solitary practice and achieved enlightenment at the age of 99 when he passed away.

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  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Apr 25. 2019 11:42 AM
    Wow ……..outstanding colour art painting of Four-Armed Chenrezig and Dorje Shugden. Beautiful thangka to have it on altar or in our home. Merely looking at it tells a thousand words. Its truly a blessing.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/the-one-who-saves-four-armed-chenrezig
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Apr 25. 2019 11:41 AM
    Beautiful art paintings of Buddha of Power: Vajrapani and Dorje Shugden who is an emanation of the Buddha of Wisdom, Manjushri. Vajrapani is a Bodhisattva who represents the energy of the enlightened mind and energy that breaks through delusion. He dances wildly within a halo of flames, which represent the transformative power of Awakening.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing with a simple explanations for us to understand.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/the-buddha-of-power-vajrapani
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Apr 25. 2019 11:40 AM
    Hayagriva Is an extremely wrathful emanation of Amitabha and Chenrezig and Vajravarahi. Making prayers to Hayagriva is a swift and powerful means to overcome negative forces and obstacles including those caused by spirit harms. Its also beneficial to those who suffered from illnesses. A very powerful practice in the tradition of Kyerkangpa who received the practice from Guru Rinpoche in a dream. Beautiful thangka.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/tamer-of-nagas-hayagriva-sangdrup
  • Yee Yin
    Thursday, Apr 25. 2019 11:25 AM
    There are 3 Dharma Kings in Tibet. First Dharma King was Songtsen Gampo. His 2 wives from Nepal and China are said to be the emanations of Tara. Due to their influence, King Songtsen Gampo became an enthusiastic promoter of the Dharma in Tibet. The second Dharma King was King Trisong Detsen, he invited great Indian masters Padmasambhava and Shantarakshita to Tibet to spread the Dharma. He also constructed the first Buddhist monastery, Samye Monastery in Tibet and orchestrated the ordination of the first 7 Tibetan Sangha members. There are many good deeds King Trisong Detsen had performed in spreading the Dharma in Tibet, click here to read more:

    http://bit.ly/DharmaKing
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  • Sofi
    Wednesday, Apr 24. 2019 11:21 PM
    Neerja Bhanot – A Selfless Heroine

    She may be gone but she should not be forgotten for her brave deeds. Due her selflessness, she had saved many from the terrorists. Imagine under such conditions of fear and terror, she is still able to give up her safety for others. Do read of how Neerja Bhanot is a true heroine.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/neerja-bhanot-a-selfless-heroine.html
  • Sofi
    Wednesday, Apr 24. 2019 11:02 PM
    Rexie: the Australian Heroine

    Read about this loving dog that is protective of his family but also had save many lives. She had a special gift of saving people from suicide. We should never look down on animals just because they speak a different language and different set of living standard than us.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/rexie-the-australian-heroine.html
  • Sofi
    Wednesday, Apr 24. 2019 10:17 PM
    My Strange Addictions

    Many people develop some form of addition as an escape or temporary respite from the stress of life. But addictions are usually something that could affect our lives adversely, like drugs, sex, alcohol, smoking, food, etc. Do read more to find out stranger addictions that people have.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/my-strange-addictions.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Apr 24. 2019 12:44 PM
    Beautiful art painting Of Vajrapani and Dorje Shugden paints a thousands words. As a protector and guide of Gautama Buddha and rose to symbolize the Buddha’s power and Dorje Shugden a Dharma Protector in order to safeguard the Buddha’s teachings form a powerful combination in this beautiful thangka. It will be wonderful to have it printed in our house or on our altar.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/the-lord-of-secrets-vajrapani

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I love this picture of their Holinesses. Trijang Rinpoche was known to be very humorous and always joked and made Ling Rinpoche laugh very hard. The two tutors got along very well and very harmonious always. This made their job together of educating H.H. Dalai Lama very smooth and successful. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
I love this picture of their Holinesses. Trijang Rinpoche was known to be very humorous and always joked and made Ling Rinpoche laugh very hard. The two tutors got along very well and very harmonious always. This made their job together of educating H.H. Dalai Lama very smooth and successful. Tsem Rinpoche
(left to right)Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl. Super cute doggies of Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
(left to right)Dharma boy, Mumu boy and Oser girl. Super cute doggies of Tsem Rinpoche
You know you just want to kiss me reeeeeeeeal bad!!! ~Oser girl
3 weeks ago
You know you just want to kiss me reeeeeeeeal bad!!! ~Oser girl
Over 106k views! People really interested in this post: https://bit.ly/2Sczh6v
3 weeks ago
Over 106k views! People really interested in this post: https://bit.ly/2Sczh6v
This picture I found by accident on the internet recently. This exact photo was poster size and framed and was on Thubten Dhargye Ling\'s main altar in Los Angeles back in the 80\'s when I was there. It is beautiful picture of H.H. Dalai Lama in his youth with a light glow around his body as he meditates. I love this picture of His Holiness. Tsem Rinpoche Read more-  https://bit.ly/2FECC5S
3 weeks ago
This picture I found by accident on the internet recently. This exact photo was poster size and framed and was on Thubten Dhargye Ling's main altar in Los Angeles back in the 80's when I was there. It is beautiful picture of H.H. Dalai Lama in his youth with a light glow around his body as he meditates. I love this picture of His Holiness. Tsem Rinpoche Read more- https://bit.ly/2FECC5S
Starting on Vajra Yogini now. Practicing Vajra Yogini without initiation. Find out more- https://bit.ly/2JjTTXp
3 weeks ago
Starting on Vajra Yogini now. Practicing Vajra Yogini without initiation. Find out more- https://bit.ly/2JjTTXp
Beautiful new casing in Kechara for Vajra Yogini. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Beautiful new casing in Kechara for Vajra Yogini. Tsem Rinpoche
Thai tradition of Buddhism also reveres/respects/remembers their gurus and high monks just like in the Tibetan tradition. You can see here a high guru\'s statue housed beautifully with a canopy and enshrined in a altar inside a temple for people to pay homage to him. Also an act of collecting merits for the disciples. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Thai tradition of Buddhism also reveres/respects/remembers their gurus and high monks just like in the Tibetan tradition. You can see here a high guru's statue housed beautifully with a canopy and enshrined in a altar inside a temple for people to pay homage to him. Also an act of collecting merits for the disciples. Tsem Rinpoche
Offering sustenance on our shrine is a sign of appreciation spiritually
4 weeks ago
Offering sustenance on our shrine is a sign of appreciation spiritually
Beautiful piece of African Dogan style art you can print out large & frame for your home- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
4 weeks ago
Beautiful piece of African Dogan style art you can print out large & frame for your home- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
I hope you\'ll be blessed by this practice of Lady Ucchusma- 
https://bit.ly/2U5Arm9
4 weeks ago
I hope you'll be blessed by this practice of Lady Ucchusma- https://bit.ly/2U5Arm9
Beautiful painting of Nechung Pehar Gyalpo & Dorje Shugden together. Masterpiece. More free downloads: https://bit.ly/2oxb4qU
4 weeks ago
Beautiful painting of Nechung Pehar Gyalpo & Dorje Shugden together. Masterpiece. More free downloads: https://bit.ly/2oxb4qU
Beautiful painting of Nechung Dorje Drakden & Dorje Shugden together. Masterpiece. More free downloads: https://bit.ly/2oxb4qU
4 weeks ago
Beautiful painting of Nechung Dorje Drakden & Dorje Shugden together. Masterpiece. More free downloads: https://bit.ly/2oxb4qU
Tsem Rinpoche’s moving experience with Lama Zopa in Kopan (1987)- https://bit.ly/2YyE42m
4 weeks ago
Tsem Rinpoche’s moving experience with Lama Zopa in Kopan (1987)- https://bit.ly/2YyE42m
Massive 2,600 year old Buddhist Monastery-Afghanistan- read more- https://bit.ly/2HTM48q
4 weeks ago
Massive 2,600 year old Buddhist Monastery-Afghanistan- read more- https://bit.ly/2HTM48q
A good person is made by the intensity of his adversity~Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
A good person is made by the intensity of his adversity~Tsem Rinpoche
BREAKING NEWS- Dharamsala MP Tenpa Yarphel says to make peace with Dorje Shugden people now!~ 
 https://bit.ly/2CESoxf
4 weeks ago
BREAKING NEWS- Dharamsala MP Tenpa Yarphel says to make peace with Dorje Shugden people now!~ https://bit.ly/2CESoxf
How the incomparable yet down to earth Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen changed my life forever- https://bit.ly/2VJjCtk

Photo: His Eminence Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen and Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
How the incomparable yet down to earth Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen changed my life forever- https://bit.ly/2VJjCtk Photo: His Eminence Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen and Tsem Rinpoche
Joanne Kam and Justin Ripley in Kechara doing some cooking..
4 weeks ago
Joanne Kam and Justin Ripley in Kechara doing some cooking..
You have to see this spectacular outdoor Amitabah statue in Vietnam. So sacred and majestic.~ https://bit.ly/2Ed0s9n
4 weeks ago
You have to see this spectacular outdoor Amitabah statue in Vietnam. So sacred and majestic.~ https://bit.ly/2Ed0s9n
Everyday offerings of fresh cooked food and drinks are offered to awakened world peace protector Dorje Shugden on my shrine. It is my way to thank Him for all the help He has given to so many people throughout the decades I\'ve introduced Him to. It is my way to include Him as my family and a feeling of closeness and gratitude I have for Him. He\'s a revered family member who happens to be enlightened and also my close friend. Tsem Rinpoche (Food offering prayer~ https://bit.ly/1VkYXJa)
1 month ago
Everyday offerings of fresh cooked food and drinks are offered to awakened world peace protector Dorje Shugden on my shrine. It is my way to thank Him for all the help He has given to so many people throughout the decades I've introduced Him to. It is my way to include Him as my family and a feeling of closeness and gratitude I have for Him. He's a revered family member who happens to be enlightened and also my close friend. Tsem Rinpoche (Food offering prayer~ https://bit.ly/1VkYXJa)
Read about this special Goddess Lok Yeay Mao of Cambodia. I came across her picture and found her very unique and blogged about it. Do enjoy the reading- https://bit.ly/2HR3vqi
1 month ago
Read about this special Goddess Lok Yeay Mao of Cambodia. I came across her picture and found her very unique and blogged about it. Do enjoy the reading- https://bit.ly/2HR3vqi
March 18, 2019-Oser is very photogenic as usual.
1 month ago
March 18, 2019-Oser is very photogenic as usual.
Click on "View All Photos" above to view more images

Videos On The Go

Please click on the images to watch video
  • Beautiful Monastery in Hong Kong
    2 weeks ago
    Beautiful Monastery in Hong Kong
  • This dog thanks his hero in such a touching way. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 weeks ago
    This dog thanks his hero in such a touching way. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Join Tsem Rinpoche in prayer for H.H. Dalai Lama’s long life~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYy7JcveikU&feature=youtu.be
    2 weeks ago
    Join Tsem Rinpoche in prayer for H.H. Dalai Lama’s long life~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYy7JcveikU&feature=youtu.be
  • These people going on pilgrimage to a holy mountain and prostrating out of devotion and for pilgrimage in Tibet. Such determination for spiritual practice. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 weeks ago
    These people going on pilgrimage to a holy mountain and prostrating out of devotion and for pilgrimage in Tibet. Such determination for spiritual practice. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Beautiful new casing in Kechara for Vajra Yogini. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 weeks ago
    Beautiful new casing in Kechara for Vajra Yogini. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Get ready to laugh real hard. This is Kechara’s version of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane!” We have some real talents in this video clip.
    3 weeks ago
    Get ready to laugh real hard. This is Kechara’s version of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane!” We have some real talents in this video clip.
  • Recitation of Dorje Dermo‘s mantra or the Dharani of Glorious Vajra Claws. This powerful mantra is meant to destroy all obstacles that come in our way. Beneficial to play this mantra in our environments.
    4 weeks ago
    Recitation of Dorje Dermo‘s mantra or the Dharani of Glorious Vajra Claws. This powerful mantra is meant to destroy all obstacles that come in our way. Beneficial to play this mantra in our environments.
  • Beautiful
    1 month ago
    Beautiful
    Beautiful sacred Severed Head Vajra Yogini from Tsem Rinpoche's personal shrine.
  • My little monster cute babies Dharma and Oser. Take a look and get a cute attack for the day! Tsem Rinpoche
    1 month ago
    My little monster cute babies Dharma and Oser. Take a look and get a cute attack for the day! Tsem Rinpoche
  • Plse watch this short video and see how all sentient beings are capable of tenderness and love. We should never hurt animals nor should we eat them. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 months ago
    Plse watch this short video and see how all sentient beings are capable of tenderness and love. We should never hurt animals nor should we eat them. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Cruelty of some people have no limits and it’s heartbreaking. Being kind cost nothing. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 months ago
    Cruelty of some people have no limits and it’s heartbreaking. Being kind cost nothing. Tsem Rinpoche
  • SUPER ADORABLE and must see
    3 months ago
    SUPER ADORABLE and must see
    Tsem Rinpoche's dog Oser girl enjoying her snack in her play pen.
  • Cute!
    4 months ago
    Cute!
    Oser girl loves the balcony so much. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTcoWpKJm2c
  • Uncle Wong
    4 months ago
    Uncle Wong
    We were told by Uncle Wong he is very faithful toward Dorje Shugden. Dorje Shugden has extended help to him on several occasions and now Uncle Wong comes daily to make incense offerings to Dorje Shugden. He is grateful towards the help he was given.
  • Tsem Rinpoche’s Schnauzer Dharma boy fights Robot sphere from Arkonide!
    4 months ago
    Tsem Rinpoche’s Schnauzer Dharma boy fights Robot sphere from Arkonide!
  • Cute baby owl found and rescued
    4 months ago
    Cute baby owl found and rescued
    We rescued a lost baby owl in Kechara Forest Retreat.
  • Nice cups from Kechara!!
    4 months ago
    Nice cups from Kechara!!
    Dorje Shugden people's lives matter!
  • Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
    4 months ago
    Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
    Chirping birds and other forest animals create a joyful melody at the Vajrayogini stupa in Kechara Forest Retreat (Bentong, Malaysia).
  • His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche makes offering of khata to Dorje Shugden.
    4 months ago
    His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche makes offering of khata to Dorje Shugden.
    Trijang Rinpoche never gave up his devotion to Dorje Shugden no matter how much Tibetan government in exile pressured him to give up. He stayed loyal inspiring so many of us.
  • Very rare video of His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche the 10th, the all knowing and compassionate one. I pay deep respects to this attained being who has taken many rebirths since the time of Lord Buddha to be of benefit to sentient beings tirelessly. Tsem Rinpoche
    4 months ago
    Very rare video of His Holiness Panchen Rinpoche the 10th, the all knowing and compassionate one. I pay deep respects to this attained being who has taken many rebirths since the time of Lord Buddha to be of benefit to sentient beings tirelessly. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This bigfoot researcher gives good reasonings on bigfoot. Interesting short video.
    4 months ago
    This bigfoot researcher gives good reasonings on bigfoot. Interesting short video.
  • His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche of Gaden Shartse Monastery was one of the teachers of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Here in this beautiful video is Geshe Kelsang Gyatso showing his centre to Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, then proceeding to sit down to receive teachings. For more information- https://bit.ly/2QNac1u
    5 months ago
    His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche of Gaden Shartse Monastery was one of the teachers of Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso. Here in this beautiful video is Geshe Kelsang Gyatso showing his centre to Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, then proceeding to sit down to receive teachings. For more information- https://bit.ly/2QNac1u
  • Tsem Rinpoche’s dog, Oser girl always sits on Rinpoche’s chair. When Rinpoche’s other dog, Dharma tries to get into the chair, he is chased away. Oser is the boss. She is possessive. Cute.
    5 months ago
    Tsem Rinpoche’s dog, Oser girl always sits on Rinpoche’s chair. When Rinpoche’s other dog, Dharma tries to get into the chair, he is chased away. Oser is the boss. She is possessive. Cute.
  • Lama Yeshe talks about how to practice at the beginning and at the end of each day during teachings given in London during the Lamas’ first European teaching tour in 1975. Lama Yeshe was a brilliant teacher and I wanted to share this with everyone so his teachings can reach more people. Tsem Rinpoche
    5 months ago
    Lama Yeshe talks about how to practice at the beginning and at the end of each day during teachings given in London during the Lamas’ first European teaching tour in 1975. Lama Yeshe was a brilliant teacher and I wanted to share this with everyone so his teachings can reach more people. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Our beautiful Dorje Shugden shop in the busiest part of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Many tourists visit our store and this area.
    5 months ago
    Our beautiful Dorje Shugden shop in the busiest part of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Many tourists visit our store and this area.
  • Living off the grid in Australia
    5 months ago
    Living off the grid in Australia
    A Jill Redwood is a jack of all trades, Jill built her own house on her property and lives entirely off the grid with no mains power or town water, mobile reception or television. Living on around $80 a week, Jill has over sixty animals to keep her company and an abundant garden that out serves as an organic supermarket right at her doorstep. Her main expenses are animal feed and the rates on her property. Watch this incredible three minute video and be inspired to live differently.
  • Kyabje Dagom Choktrul Rinpoche offering gold on a 350 year-old Dorje Shugden statue in his chapel in Lhasa. This is how Tibetans show homage and pay respect to a holy image. This chapel and statue of Dorje Shugden in Lhasa dedicated to Dorje Shugden was built by the Great 5th Dalai Lama. Tsem Rinpoche
    5 months ago
    Kyabje Dagom Choktrul Rinpoche offering gold on a 350 year-old Dorje Shugden statue in his chapel in Lhasa. This is how Tibetans show homage and pay respect to a holy image. This chapel and statue of Dorje Shugden in Lhasa dedicated to Dorje Shugden was built by the Great 5th Dalai Lama. Tsem Rinpoche
  • My sweet little Oser girl is so photogenic and adorable. Tsem Rinpoche
    5 months ago
    My sweet little Oser girl is so photogenic and adorable. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Heart Sutra sang by a monk for the modern crowd. Very interesting and beautiful. Tsem Rinpoche
    5 months ago
    Heart Sutra sang by a monk for the modern crowd. Very interesting and beautiful. Tsem Rinpoche
  • Submerging powerful mantra stones in water at Kechara Forest Retreat in Malaysia.
    5 months ago
    Submerging powerful mantra stones in water at Kechara Forest Retreat in Malaysia.
  • This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    1 years ago
    This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    This video is thought-provoking and very interesting. Watch! Thanks so much to our friends at LIVEKINDLY.
  • Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
    1 years ago
    Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
  • BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
    1 years ago
    BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
    1 years ago
    Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
  • Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
    1 years ago
    Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
  • Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
    Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    2 yearss ago
    This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    she received “one last visit from an old friend” 💔💔
  • Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
    2 yearss ago
    Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
  • Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
    2 yearss ago
    Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
  • Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant  Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
    2 yearss ago
    Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
  • Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
    2 yearss ago
    Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
  • Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
    2 yearss ago
    Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
  • What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    2 yearss ago
    What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    Sick animals are more profitable... farms calculate how close to death they can keep animals without killing them. That's the business model. How quickly they can be made to grow, how tightly they can be packed, how much or how little can they eat, how sick they can get without dying... We live in a world in which it's conventional to treat an animal like a block of wood. ~ Jonathan Safran Foer
  • This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
    2 yearss ago
    This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
  • SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    2 yearss ago
    SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    This happens daily in slaughterhouse so you can get your pork and Bak ku teh. Stop eating meat.

ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

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.

Scroll down and click on "View All Questions" to view archived questions.

View All Questions

CHAT PICTURES

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for other?’ Mr. Lim is definitely one of our dedicated volunteers for the past 10 years. He dedicates his time to fully support our Kechara Food Bank programme, not only to raise #zerofoodwastage awareness amongst the public but also to help the less fortunate. Thank you for taking part in making the world better. Your great work is much appreciated, Mr. Lim. #Kechara #foodbank #volunteer - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
7 hours ago
Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for other?’ Mr. Lim is definitely one of our dedicated volunteers for the past 10 years. He dedicates his time to fully support our Kechara Food Bank programme, not only to raise #zerofoodwastage awareness amongst the public but also to help the less fortunate. Thank you for taking part in making the world better. Your great work is much appreciated, Mr. Lim. #Kechara #foodbank #volunteer - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
KSK Penang Team visited a dialysis patient to deliver dry food provisions for his family. He has a kidney transplant when he was 12 years old and for the past years is undergoing dialysis three times a week and this has put a financial strain to him. We will try to assist him in anyway we can. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
yesterday
KSK Penang Team visited a dialysis patient to deliver dry food provisions for his family. He has a kidney transplant when he was 12 years old and for the past years is undergoing dialysis three times a week and this has put a financial strain to him. We will try to assist him in anyway we can. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
One day, we received a humble wish list from this poor family, an elderly mother who takes care of her grown up son with special needs. ‘It’s quite uneasy to use toilet without a proper door but I do not have enough money to fix it,’ said the mother. Without a second thought, our kindest sponsor, La Hong Eu has decided to make meaningful sponsorship to this case. Big thanks to Bernard Ting and Vickneshwaran for helping this family to replace the broken one with a brand new folding door. Together we are the reason that someone has a sweet smile on her face. #Kechara #foodbank #care - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 days ago
One day, we received a humble wish list from this poor family, an elderly mother who takes care of her grown up son with special needs. ‘It’s quite uneasy to use toilet without a proper door but I do not have enough money to fix it,’ said the mother. Without a second thought, our kindest sponsor, La Hong Eu has decided to make meaningful sponsorship to this case. Big thanks to Bernard Ting and Vickneshwaran for helping this family to replace the broken one with a brand new folding door. Together we are the reason that someone has a sweet smile on her face. #Kechara #foodbank #care - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Laying the rescued food down on the table would mean we will minimise chance of wastage from another level when our recipients will have the privilege to choose what they really need and want. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
3 days ago
Laying the rescued food down on the table would mean we will minimise chance of wastage from another level when our recipients will have the privilege to choose what they really need and want. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Have you ever done beading? Join us for a blessed Saturday in Kechara Forest Retreat! http://bit.ly/2IMh5eN - shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 days ago
Have you ever done beading? Join us for a blessed Saturday in Kechara Forest Retreat! http://bit.ly/2IMh5eN - shared by Pastor Antoinette
What do you do on Saturday mornings? Join us for a meaningful time and be blessed by the Buddhas during the Spiritual Saturday at Kechara Forest Retreat! - shared by Pastor Antoinette
3 days ago
What do you do on Saturday mornings? Join us for a meaningful time and be blessed by the Buddhas during the Spiritual Saturday at Kechara Forest Retreat! - shared by Pastor Antoinette
With Dorje Shugden in your car, bus, bike, boat or lorry, you will be protected and blessed. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 days ago
With Dorje Shugden in your car, bus, bike, boat or lorry, you will be protected and blessed. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Recently in Kechara Forest Retreat, this bus was blessed and is now protected by the Three Jewels. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 days ago
Recently in Kechara Forest Retreat, this bus was blessed and is now protected by the Three Jewels. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Volunteers do not necessarily have the time, they just have the heart. In order to send the foodpack to our client in johor bahru area, we need a team that are always ready . Luckily, we have a group of wonderful volunteers that are commited to serve our community. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
4 days ago
Volunteers do not necessarily have the time, they just have the heart. In order to send the foodpack to our client in johor bahru area, we need a team that are always ready . Luckily, we have a group of wonderful volunteers that are commited to serve our community. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Children paint their own mask for Halloween day. Lin Mun KSDS
5 days ago
Children paint their own mask for Halloween day. Lin Mun KSDS
Parents and students did a group discussion together on the Bully topic  Lin Mun KSDS
5 days ago
Parents and students did a group discussion together on the Bully topic Lin Mun KSDS
A talk on Bully by Peggy. A very informative sharing for students and parents. Lin Mun KSDS
5 days ago
A talk on Bully by Peggy. A very informative sharing for students and parents. Lin Mun KSDS
Great to start kids with dharma knowledge from young. Lin Mun KSDS
5 days ago
Great to start kids with dharma knowledge from young. Lin Mun KSDS
Teacher Victoria guided the students to do prayer in the dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
5 days ago
Teacher Victoria guided the students to do prayer in the dharma class. Lin Mun KSDS
Creative horror drawing created by Teacher Kien. Alice, KSDS
5 days ago
Creative horror drawing created by Teacher Kien. Alice, KSDS
Teacher Asyley led the kids to participate animal liberation. Alice, KSDS
5 days ago
Teacher Asyley led the kids to participate animal liberation. Alice, KSDS
Healthy Meals for lunch sponsored by Mr Ravi & friends! We thank you for your unending support to #kecharasoupkitchen in our plight in serving the #homeless. Would you like to sponsor lunch for our street friends? To find out more, checkout our website for more details :) Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
6 days ago
Healthy Meals for lunch sponsored by Mr Ravi & friends! We thank you for your unending support to #kecharasoupkitchen in our plight in serving the #homeless. Would you like to sponsor lunch for our street friends? To find out more, checkout our website for more details :) Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
1 week ago
1 week ago
Bernard was briefing the volunteers on the details before they headed out last Saturday to PPR Kota Damansara. #kechara #foodbank #urbanpoor - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
1 week ago
Bernard was briefing the volunteers on the details before they headed out last Saturday to PPR Kota Damansara. #kechara #foodbank #urbanpoor - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Seen here are team leaders giving their final briefing to the respective volunteers before they head out last night. Thank you very much to all the volunteers who turned up. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 weeks ago
Seen here are team leaders giving their final briefing to the respective volunteers before they head out last night. Thank you very much to all the volunteers who turned up. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thank you very much to James and Shereen for sponsoring oranges for tonight's distribution. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 weeks ago
Thank you very much to James and Shereen for sponsoring oranges for tonight's distribution. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
We received a lot wine bottles for recycling. It was packed nicely by the person. KEP-Serena
2 weeks ago
We received a lot wine bottles for recycling. It was packed nicely by the person. KEP-Serena
Today we are having recycling activity at Kechara Soup Kitchen. You can drop the recycled items here if you are nearby. KEP-Serena
2 weeks ago
Today we are having recycling activity at Kechara Soup Kitchen. You can drop the recycled items here if you are nearby. KEP-Serena
The generous support from Tesco Malaysia and AEON Retail Malaysia have made it possible for us to continue with this contribution to those less fortunate. Thank you very much! Here are photos taken during the distribution at government low cost flat. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 weeks ago
The generous support from Tesco Malaysia and AEON Retail Malaysia have made it possible for us to continue with this contribution to those less fortunate. Thank you very much! Here are photos taken during the distribution at government low cost flat. - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
The Promise
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  Tsem Rinpoche's Long Life Prayer by H.H. Trijang Choktrul Rinpoche
  Support Blog Team
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  Vajrayogini Stupa Fund
  White Tara Mantra Bank Project
  Rinpoche's Medical Fund
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Turkey 104,780
Russia 83,608
Romania 83,443
Hong Kong 80,211
Sri Lanka 76,367
South Africa 70,595
Mexico 68,151
United Arab Emirates 66,480
New Zealand 66,072
Switzerland 62,764
Myanmar (Burma) 60,699
Japan 57,760
Cambodia 55,929
South Korea 55,089
Bangladesh 49,186
Pakistan 48,797
Egypt 44,463
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Dorje Shugden
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