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Tibetan monks from Drepung Gomang Monastic College in south India create a sand mandala, or Tibetan sand painting at UMKC's Katz Hall.

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Tibetan monks build sand mandala and present cultural pageant at UMKC

To raise awareness of the ancient Tibetan culture, Tibetan monks from Drepung Gomang Monastic College in south India will visit UMKC from Sept. 6-10. The monks will create a sand mandala, or Tibetan sand painting; present a Tibetan cultural pageant; and participate in a class discussion. Support for the monks' visit is provided by the Bernardin-Haskell Lecture Fund; UMKC Buddhist and Daoist Group; and the College of Arts and Sciences' Departments of Communication Studies; Architecture, Urban Planning + Design; Philosophy; Art and Art History; English; History and Religious Studies.

Sand mandala details:

WHAT: Geshe Lobsang Dhondup will lead the monks in creating and ultimately deconstructing a sand mandala. An ancient art form of Tibetan Buddhism, the mandala is carefully constructed, using dyed sand particles that represent interfaith preservation and tolerance. After four days of construction, a closing ceremony is performed, complete with chanting, cymbals, drums, horns and flutes. To symbolize the impermanence of all that exists and carry healing energies throughout the world, the sands will be swept up and poured into Brush Creek.

PUBLIC VIEWING HOURS: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 6, 7 and 9; 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sept. 8; and 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sept. 10 at Rm. 101, Katz Hall, 5005 Rockhill Rd., Kansas City, Mo.

CLOSING CEREMONY: 1 to 2:30 p.m. on Sept. 10, Katz Hall and Brush Creek

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Public parking is located at St. Francis Xavier Church, 1001 E. 52nd St., Kansas City, Mo.

Tibetan cultural pageant details:

WHAT: The monks will present a cultural pageant that showcases ancient Tibetan cultural rituals of dance, costumes, chanting and debate.

WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 9 at the UMKC University Center's Pierson Hall, 5000 Rockhill Rd., Kansas City, Mo.

TICKETS: Tickets are available at the mandala construction event or at the door. Tickets are $5 for UMKC students, staff and children and $10 for general admission.

About Drepung Gomang Monastic College:

Drepung Monastery was founded in 1416 near Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. Based in Mundgod in the state of Karnataka, India, Drepung Gomang Monastic College is the oldest of Drepung Monastery's four colleges. Since its beginning, Drepung Gomang Monastic College has produced many eminent Buddhist masters. Each of the colleges of Drepung has its specialty and the focus of Gomang is logic and debate.

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The Drepung Gomang monks are visiting UMKC as part of their 2011 Kansas City tour.

Tibetan monks from the Drepung Gomang Monastic College used dyed sand particles to create a sand mandala.

Tibetan monks from the Drepung Gomang Monastic College meditate.