Artist, Teaching Artist
Folk Art, Music, Visual
I make art to entertain people. Whether it is cooking, storytelling, dancing, or singing I want people to get lost in it, and enjoy it. I want to give people happiness, and take them away from their problems in life. Ever since my childhood I loved to dance and sing. I would never get tired listening to my elders playing music for events. In school I found that I could easily be an entertainer. Music is at the center of my artistic practice. First, when I was very young, I learned the folk music traditions of the Tamang people, from my family. When living in exile in a refugee camp as a teen I studied classical Indian singing and got deeper instruction in the Tamang and Kirati folk music and dance traditions. I also got involved in theater group at the refugee camp that solved community problems with original plays. We addressed human trafficking, public health, and other issues.
It is important to provide organic entertainment to my Nepali-Bhutanese community. Even in this modern world, we still come from a tradition. It is important for us to remember our ancestors through our natural arts. I want my children and the new generation to understand their roots. My traditional music provides the elders a flashback to before they had TV or internet, and they can remember their youth and it encourages them and gives them comfort. I want to share my traditional art with people outside of my culture so they can explore something new. They can get a deeper appreciation of our culture. I am very proud of my Nepali-Bhutanese culture, it brings joy, celebration, peace, and beauty.
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Gyan Ghising is a folk artist who specializes in the traditional dance and music of his native Nepali-Bhutanese and Tamang culture. His first teacher was his father, who could make people cry, or laugh in a minute depending on what he sang. When Gyan was about seven years old, his older brother showed him how to play the madal, a traditional two-headed Nepali drum. When he was eleven, he and tens of thousands of other Nepali-speaking people were forced out of Bhutan and then housed in refugee camps in Nepal. During his exile, Gyan attended a cultural center where he learned the folk dances and theater discipline of two Nepali ethnic groups, the Tamang and the Kirat people. Gyan learned a range of dances for traditional ceremonies that mark the New Year, and planting and harvest times. After graduating high school, he became an elementary teacher and went to college where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in sociology and anthropology. He went on to be a school administrator where he supervised music, dance, and drama instructors for six years.
In 2011, Gyan came to the United States and settled in Erie with his mother, wife and two young daughters. He is the owner of My Way Bar and Grill. In 2019 the Tamang community opened the Tamang Buddhist Cultural Center in Lawrence Park. Gyan serves on the board of the Center as the secretary. He is also serving on the board of directors at Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority.
Gyan is a rostered teaching artist with Erie Arts & Culture. His work within the northwestern PA region includes: Oil City with the Hot Spot Youth Initiative, Barber National Institute, McKinley Elementary School, East Middle School, Old Songs New Opportunities, tours on Asian art at the Erie Art Museum, North East Elementary School After School Program, SafeNet, and Erie Insurance. He has performed at the Asian Pacific American Community's Asian festival and Celebrate Erie.
This song is about a man dreaming of a girl he met when visiting Nepal. Gyan wrote, composed, and is the lead singer. It is a typical Tamang selo music of Nepal . This song describes the natural beauty of Nepal, Bhutan and USA that is a metaphor to the lady's beauty, the one he met in Nepal .
This song is about the love between the lady who loves to sing in the typical Nepali club call Rodhi. Rodhi is also a typical Nepali folk song genre. Gyan wrote and sang this song . This song explains about the lady who is fallen in one sided love with a man coming into the traditional Nepali costume to join the Rodhi . It is the song of Nepal where most family get together and enjoy .
This song is written by Gyan and he performs in the music video . In this song is about the true love between the blind man and a beautiful lady who fell in love at his music learning center. The man really appreciates his lover being his eye sight . He compares his beloved with beautiful nature of this world .
This song is written and sung by Gyan. In this song a man is trying to convince his beloved by showing the beautiful night full of stars moon and the birds and insects. He says life is so beautiful when you’re there for me and I feel you’re my palpitations of my heart. You have made my life meaningful when you started giving me your company.
This video shows Gyan doing a traditional Tamang dance playing the Damphu frame drum.
This song is typical of the Tamang selo genre of Nepal. Gyan plays it on bamboo flute. He composed this song. It says, "Red red cheeks, all of you guys, you're the apple of my eye. You're from Erie and from U.S., you're the one who I like best." This song motivates the young students to work together and coordinate with each other. Recorded at the Erie Art Museum.
This song is a folk song from the Congo that he learned from an African woman now living in Erie. Gyan performs it for children on a tour at the Erie Art Museum.
This video features Gyan's cooking skills on WQLN TV, a local channel.
Our Erie podcast with Gyan as guest.