TUPILAK AWARD-WINNER DESMOND TUTU DIES AT 90
Stockholm -- Tupilak (Nordic rainbow culture workers) joins the many all over the world in mourning the death of South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu who has died at the age of 90 -- a man courageously condemning apartheid, injustice and violence -- and one of the few African leaders denouncing discrimination of LGBT people.
He is the second South African leader to receive the Golden Tupilak award diploma -- the organization's highest award -- which was also given to Nelson Mandela via the South African ambassador in Stockholm.
The name "Tupilak" comes from the Inuit eskimos of Greenland -- a voodoo figure carved out of animal tusk or bone.
When Inuit come into conflict, they do not fight but go home to carve out a little figure -- instructed to travel through the night to destroy an enemy. Tupilak's enemies are not people but intolerance, hatred and homophobia.
Tupilak Meeting the Archbishop in Person
Tupilak has indeed met Desmond Tutu in Person -- on Swedish soil -- I think around 2006. Thanks to a reminder from Susanne Zetterblom -- friend of Tupilak and a Swedish NGO human rights worker who has spent many years in Africa.
At the annual Swedish Book Fair in the west coast city of Gothenburg, and at the "International Square" event there where NGO's struggle to get their half-hour moment on the stage to reach potential supporters, Tupilak was informed that the visiting Desmond Tutu team had arrived late -- afterall -- with no speaker's slot for the archbishop.
Would anyone give up their precious speaker's time to the archbishop? Tupilak did.
And after his powerful speech and much applause, the archbishop gave Susanna and the Tupilakers standing by some solid hugs - and confirmation that we support each other in the human rights struggle.
Tupilak note to the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation:
Please add our voices to the many offering condolences to the Archbishop's family, friends and all those working with your foundation.
We join in deep mourning over his passing, but are convinced that his messages of humanity, peace, solidarity and respect for all people -- despite race or background or sexual orientation -- will not die.
We were deeply honored when he accepted our highest award diploma -- the Golden Tupilak -- a figure combating intolerance, hatred and homophobia.
Bill Schiller, international secretary of Tupilak (Nordic rainbow culture workers)