Losar belongs to Tibet. Losar belongs to the Tibetan people. No one can steal it from us.
I live in a foreign land where Tibetan festivals hold no immediate meaning. Struggling onto crowded subways each morning and each night, avoiding the empty gaze of strangers, the ground I walk upon is many seas and skies away from my mountainous home. So why should I celebrate Losar? The real New Year is already past, any way. Well, the answer is simple: No matter where I live, I am Tibetan, and if I don't celebrate my own tradition, who will?
It has become clear that Chinese authorities have been encouraging Tibetans in certain parts of Tibet to celebrate Losar, even handing out cash for fireworks in some cases. Understandably, this pathetic attempt by China to hijack Losar has angered Tibetans, some of whom may have decided to skip Losar in a knee-jerk reaction.
To celebrate Losar just because China tells us to do so - that's a mistake. Likewise, to skip Losar just because China tells us to celebrate it - that's also a mistake. Our tradition should not be relegated to a mere reaction - equal or opposite - to China's demands. China should have no say in how we practice our tradition. We Tibetans must proactively decide whether, when, where and how to observe Losar.