The beautiful game is giving Tibet a sense of Nationhood

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The 15th edition of the Gyalyum Chemo Memorial Gold Cup is currently being played in the vertigo inducing heights of Dharamsala(headquarters in India of the Tibetan Government in exile).The tournament was instituted in the memory of the Dalai Lama’s mother and has been played since 1981.The GCMGC (as it is called by Tibetans the world over) is the one unifying sporting meet for Tibetans in exile.
This year, 18 teams – mainly comprising college students on their summer break – have assembled at Dharamsala. The 10-day-long knock-out tournament is spaced so that the final on Tuesday, doesn’t clash with Sunday’s Miss Tibet contest. An added draw is the local team. The crowd has swelled for the 4 pm kick-off. A group of local theatre artistes, who go by the name of Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA), blend their operatic skills with slick football, drawing gasps of appreciation from the crowd perched precariously all along the hilly terraces. More..

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