The Zurich section was founded in 2002 on a hot summer day at the swimming pool in Oetwil-at-the-lake after an information event organized by the member of the board (evening?). At the first session, Tseyang Gangshontsang was elected as the head of section, together with Tashi Lhamo Gangshontsang, who became the deputy. The working committee consisted of Namdu Balok and Namgyal Dhakyel. Shortly afterwards, everybody agreed on the name “Choelsum”, which stands for the three provinces of Tibet, Amdo, Ü-Tsang and Kham.
The name Choelsum is also a metaphor for our belief in togetherness and solidarity and represents Tibetans with different backgrounds. Very often, the meetings are held in German and in the Tibetan language because several members have only recently come to live in Switzerland. Membership is open to anybody who lives in the canton of Zurich, but our main focus is on Zurich city and the bordering areas. At the beginning, there were approximately twenty members. By now, we pride ourselves with over seventy members, which makes Choelsum the biggest section of the Tibetan Youth Association in Europe. The following people were the head of section: Tenzin Kelsang Frischknecht, Rigzin Gyaltag, Ginz Zatul, Pema Zatul, Tenzin Dechen Yundung, Sonam Palmo Brunner, Jigme Adotsang and Sonam Martig.
Head of Section
Our main features are:
- our openness: everybody shares openly his/her ideas during our lively meetings
- our comradeship: very often, members get together after a session for a drink or two
- our sportiveness: FC Choelsum is very well known within the Tibetan football community
- our helpfulness: Shenpen started as a Choelsum project
The annual events of Choelsum are the football tournament “Trunkar” and the Choelsum Grill’n’Chill. Both events are very popular and attract a lot of young Tibetans. The Trunkar tournament even attracts Tibetans participating from abroad. At the Grill’n’Chill, also a very popular event, Tibetans from different sections can get together and enjoy a warm summer day in a relaxed atmosphere, with barbecue, swimming, playing football and table tennis.
In the coming years we are going to continue to do our best for the cause of Tibet by using all the strengths of our Association to support the goals so that our culture can be preserved and our political commitment realized. Choelsum is also committed to help improve relations between young Tibetans as well as to assist fellow Tibetans integrating in a foreign environment.