UT's Cultural Attractions Committee and Central Program Council will host an event this week that will highlight Indian culture.
The Mystical Arts of Tibet is a world-renowned tour group from the Drepung Loseling Monastery of South India. The event will run from Feb. 10-14.
According to its website, Drepung Loseling is committed to helping preserve the endangered Tibetan culture. It coordinates The Mystical Arts of Tibet World Tours and oversees the Drepung Loseling Educational Fund, a sponsorship program for the adoption of monks in training at Drepung Loseling Monastery.
Margaux Joe, sophomore in biochemistry and cellular and molecular biology and CAC subcommittee member for the Mystical Arts of Tibet, said the event adds culture that UT students may not normally get the chance to experience.
"A lot of cultures people are interested in are basically European and maybe South American cultures but not really Asian or African cultures," Joe said. "It's important to give UT students the opportunity to engage in these types of cultures."
The opening ceremony for the event is Monday, Feb. 10, at noon in the UC Auditorium, with the making of the sand mandala following immediately afterwards. There will also be three different lectures spanning Tuesday to Thursday, with each also beginning at noon.
The monks will perform a traditional Tibetan music and dance act at the Bijou Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Each day, the monks will work on the sand mandala from 10-6 p.m. in the UC.
On Friday, the closing ceremony will begin at noon in the UC auditorium and immediately afterwards, the monks will pour the sand mandala into the Tennessee River.
Sean Wright, senior in political science, is the chair of the CAC and worked to bring the group to campus.
"Mystical Arts of Tibet will expose UT students to Tibetan culture in a way they most certainly wouldn't be able to otherwise and highlight the importance of Buddhism within that culture," Wright said.
Post Mystical Arts of Tibet, CAC will be subsidizing tickets for STOMP, with students being charged $5 per ticket. Later in the semester, CAC will host an event for the California Celts and Motionhouse Dance, a contemporary dance that uses images for an "unforgettable performance," Joe said.
As for Mystical Arts of Tibet, Joe said she hopes students will come out to learn about the Tibetan lifestyle.
"Between the lectures and the evening performances, UT students should expect to see and hear a lot about the Tibetan culture, from the Tibetan conflict to the traditions of the sand mandala," Joe said. "I would hope students would learn a lot about Tibet, Buddhism and the history behind a lot of traditions they have there."
All events throughout the week are free to UT students and open to the general public.
For more information, visit mysticalartsoftibet.org.