Monks Training workshop for Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage, Korzok

Ritual arts and performances form a vital component of Korzok’s Intangible Cultural Heritage centred around the 17th century monastery. The monastery is the oldest building in Korzok and has a rich legacy of ICH. The annual festival, held in summer every year is an important event in the Changpa calendar. It is at this time that many of the ritual arts of creating sacred ephemeral mandalas, sculptures of dough and butter ( torma) are carried out and the sacred chams performed during the festival.

Since 2019, in a partnership with the monastery a series of monks training workshops have been organised in Korzok to safeguard this invaluable heritage. The first workshop focussed on preparation of kilkhor dedicated to the monastery’s protector deity, Gonbo, torma for Ishey Gonbo, Paldan Lhamo and other protector deities. Training was also imparted on three specific chams – Nya Cham, Don Cham and Zor cham. 

The second workshop, held in 2021, focussed on the Guru Tsangyat chams, the eight manifestations of Guru Padamsambhava. The training culminated in the first performance of the chams at Thukje and is now an annual feature. Senior monks from Hemis and Chemday monasteries led the training.

The third workshop was organised in Korzok in 2022 and focussed on the complex knowledge system of skar tsis rigpa (astrology).

Following the enourmous success of the training workshops, a documentary film is currently in production which explores climate change through the lens of culture, specifically ICH.