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Dechen Shak-Dagsay is a contemporary singer of traditional Tibetan Buddhist mantras in new modern melodies for younger generation. She is the daughter of the Dagsay Tulku. Born in Kathmandu, Nepal in 1959, Dechen and her family moved to Switzerland in 1963, where she has resided ever since.
Strongly committed to "preserving Tibetan culture in the West," Dechen studied and performed traditional Tibetan music and dance throughout her childhood and adolescence. However, she considers herself to be truly a product of Eastern and Western culture. As an adult, she pursued a successful career as a marketing assistant to marketing executive in Zurich.
In 2001, Dechen recorded and released Dewa Che: The Universal Healing Power of Tibetan Mantras. Although the album was intended as singular creative side-project, its success far surpassed the artist's expectations. In 2002, Dechen was signed to PolyglobeMusic Austria and signed an additional contract with the US-based label New Earth Records in 2004, thus affording her music access to North American markets.
In 2005, Dechen left her job to pursue her career in music full-time. 2006 saw the release of Shi De: A Call For World Peace. The artist describes the album as "A collection of powerful Tibetan peace songs that calls on all people to participate in the healing of the world."
- “I hope I can reach out as far as possible with these songs of peace—they are a strong statement about community-in-action and about working together toward a common goal. Together, we can make a difference. Together we can make our world a better place.”
In May 2006, Dechen was accompanied by Swiss National Television on a trip to Tibet to follow up her social projects, including a central clinic and orphanage schools. In 2010 she visited Tibet to launch a new tailoring school where many young poor uneducated people can learn the tailoring skill to earn their living in their villages. They are sewing local traditional cloths for grown ups and children, school uniforms, monastery decoration pieces and local summer tents. Besides the existing central clinic has a new room for midwifery. In 2012, she wishes to introduce in the clinic a new important section for child nutrition care. This introduction of child nutrition care is very important for healthy development of children under 15 years.
In June 2009, she released an album with American singer Tina Turner and Regula Curti, called Beyond. In 2010, her new CD Jewel was released under the label Universal Music.
In 2010, Dechen Shak started a tailoring school giving chance to those youths from poor family incomers for learning to start their own business for moderate living. The sewing machines SINGER are bought in Chengdu and a good experienced tailoring teacher hired to give teaching for 14 youths for three months. During these three months they learn to make local dresses, monastery decos, school uniforms, festival tents etc.
In 2011, Swiss Bernina Sewing machine company sponsored another 12 new Bernina machines. From these 5 machines are shipped to Chokri-Tehor and the rest are sent to Tailoring School TCV in Dharamasala, India through the kind guidance of HH Dalai Lama's sister Jetsun Pema-la. All the machines have reached Dharamsala and Swiss Bernina Delhi Branch is giving now the required know-how training at Dharamsala.
In the year 2011 Dechen also managed to start this time another snowballing rolling effect project for the talented young Tibetan youths in the field of mechanical profession. From the selection of 5 motivated young talented Tibetan youths from Chokri-Tehor regions now got the chance of one year's intensive cars, trucks, tractors and motor-bikes repair training in renowned Chengdu Machine Technological Institute. Their one year's total expenses are sponsored by Dechen's Dewache Stiftung. As in their agreement contract, after finishing the training successfully they are obliged on their own initiative to train in future further interested young poor Tibetans on the concept of "Snowball Rolling Effect".
In 2012, Dechen could again to send 15 new Bernina Sewing machines again to Dharamsala, and this time to TCV Tailoring Department where the graduated ones start earning through tailoring.
In the beginning of 2013, after a successful Buddhist Mantra Concert in South Korea, Dechen was contacted by one of the audiences who wished to help Tibetan school in Dharamsala with new computers. So Dechen contacted Exile Tibetan Educational Minister in Dharamsala and asked if she could send those 150 new computers from South Korea to TCV High School students. This computer donation is already in process between Dharamsala and S. Korea.
In 2013, Dechen also sponsored 10 youngsters in Tibetan Kham region in learning typical traditional Tibetan restaurant cooking style. These graduates can work in big restaurants, hotels or can start their own restaurant business.
Besides beginning of 2013, Dechen decided to build a centrally situated "Central Mechanical Workshop" in Tehor Chokri region and thus those 5 graduated mechanical college students could work there. Besides 28 youngsters from poor regional families get 2 years mechanical repair training course under the expert of a highly qualified Chinese Instructor. The most important goal in opening this mechanical workshop center is to further able to give basic mechanical training for other interested youngsters from poor families in these wide region. This Central Mechanical Workshop Center serves the surrounding 14 villages and the Sechuan-Tibet Highway traffic which passes through this town.
In 2013–14 Dechen is recording 2 parallel modern contemporary CDs with its contents touching environment, culture, spiritual and love text songs. This time also Dechen will be working with Tina Turner in 1 CD and in the other CD working with other prominent international musicians.
In 2014 after successful launching of "ASIAN JEWEL" translated Traditional Chinese version for China and Taiwan, "DAY TOMORROW" album will be released after 3 years' preparation in texting and recording on 7 March 2015 worldwide. The main themes in this unique upbeat Pop Album carries important message for global issues. These are sustainable global sustainable environmental care; better human relationships through sustainable interfaith and inter-culture respect and tolerance and to sensitise people on inhuman treatment of commercial animals.
- "Concert announcement" (in German). Staatsschauspiel Dresden. 2011. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
- Biography at New Earth Records
- Dagsay Tulku Rinpoche (2002). The practice of Tibetan meditation: exercises, visualizations, and mantras for health and well-being. Rochester VT: Inner Traditions. ISBN 0-89281-903-0. Her father's cook on meditation with autobiographical sketch
- Dechen Shak-Dagsay: Biography at the Wayback Machine (archived May 3, 2006)