Smith College and Hampshire College
His Holiness The Dalai Lama
WIsdom, Compassion, Peace. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama at Hampshire and Smith Colleges


The Pioneer Valley is home to a strong community of Tibetan people. His Holiness the Dalai Lama granted a private audience to members of the Tibetan Association of Western Massachusetts on May 10, from 9:30–11:30 a.m, in John M. Greene Hall. This event was be coordinated through the organization.

Getting to Smith College

The Tibetan Association of Western Massachusetts (TAWM) was founded in 1992 in Amherst when the first group of Tibetans arrived in the area following the resettlement program for Tibetan refugees passed by the Congress. Today there are more than 100 Tibetans living in the area. The TAWM is a registered non-profit community organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the rich Tibetan cultural heritage and further the just cause of Tibet. The association is committed to the principle of non-violence and supports the leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the temporal and spiritual leader of Tibet. It recognizes the Tibetan Government in Exile, based in India, as the legitimate government of Tibet.


Aims and Objectives

To preserve, share and promote the rich cultural heritage of Tibet.

To raise awareness about the Chinese occupation of Tibet and the plights of the Tibetan people.

To educate and empower the younger generation of Tibetan-Americans about their history, religion and culture.

To promote His Holiness Dalai Lama’s message of love, compassion and kindness.


What We Do?

We organize the annual Tibet Awareness Day in Amherst. This is a cultural festival that is open to the general public.  The day is marked with presentations on Tibetan medicine, Buddhism, stone masonry, activism, photos of Tibet, music, dancing and food.

We plan and organize activities to honor various Tibetan holidays and observance such as the birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama on July 6, Tibetan National Uprising Day on March 10, and the "LOSAR" Tibetan New Year.

We maintain close touch with the Tibetan Government-in-Exile through the Office of Tibet, in New York, in the promotion of the Tibetan people's distinct political, religious and cultural heritage.


Would you like to help?

The Tibetan Association relies upon volunteers and supporters to carry out its mission. If you would like to help in any way, be it helping a Tibetan with their spoken or written English or driving lessons; making a contribution toward the Tibetan Cultural Center project fund or sponsoring a Tibet event, please contact us at Tibetan Association of Western Massachusetts, P.O. Box 2276, Amherst, MA 01004.


Anyone in the local Tibetan community with questions should contact:

Thondup Tsering, president, Tibetan Association of Western Massachusetts,

Yeshi Gyaltsen, secretary, Tibetan Association of Western Massachusetts,

About the Visit

For Smith and
Hampshire faculty,
staff, students

For the Local Tibetan Association Members

For Local Residents

For the News Media



Reading List

Five College Tibetan Studies

Tibetan Studies

Planning Committee

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