This troupe sent him to a school for performance where he studied for a year in a program so rigorous he said that the instructors seemed to relish making the dancers cry. This was also when he first began to learn Chinese, his second language after Amdo-Tibetan. He later took time off from his troupe to attend a two year program in Tibetan Language and Literature at Northwest Nationalities (Minorities) University in Lanzhou, China. Consequently he can read and write literary and modern Tibetan and is familiar with the classics of Tibetan literature.
Living in the prefectural seat of Hezuo for fifteen years with the exception of his time in university Karjam attained a high degree of training in Tibetan traditional dance from many different regions and in many different forms, ranging from the slow Buddhist dances usually performed by the monks to huge Communist-style mass productions where the troupe would train hundreds of townspeople to create a massive display for festivals. He had perhaps the most experience with dance to occupy the eye while a singer or two belted out a song from center stage. As he grew older and more experienced the troupe realized his singing talent and he began to gain a reputation for his voice, now the members of his troupe began to dance around him as he stood with a microphone. Fate threw him an unexpected curve ball when he went to perform at a traditional mask dance festival in Korea and fell in love with an American woman.
His troupe began to worry that he’d go on an overseas tour and become an illegal immigrant, preventing all of them from ever getting a “special purposes passport” ever again, and just as it had seemed he was to emerge as a front-liner he was confined to the domestic stage. Frustrated, Karjam looked outwards, singing in a Tibetan-themed nightclub in Beijing and even revisiting Korea after he secured a passport not restricted to special purposes. Today he’s living in America and he’s also been on a Buddhist Pilgrimage to India and Nepal, seeing all the major sites associated with Buddhism in the past and Tibetan Buddhism today. In America he’s tackling the uphill battle of becoming a music and dance professional without government funding and an entire troupe around him. Read more on Last.fm.
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