Most of the members in the Sherpa community practices Buddhism. Since Sherpa linguistics and cultural heritage in deeply rooted in its religion and livelihood, preservation and promotion of religion and culture is very essential. The association provides a permanent platform for preservation and promotion of cultural and religious events not limited to.
With the growing number of Sherpa community in United States of America, particularly in the east coast, Sherwi Rishyung Lapta (Sherpa Culture School) was initiated in New York in early November 2009 with an aim of dispelling the ignorance in the community. The Sherpa community is fortunate to have Lopen Gyurme Chodak, the former professor at Namdroling Buddhist University in India, as the main Guru at the Lapta. Another scholar, Dr. Yula Sherpa who has received his PhD in Buddhism long back from India has been giving teachings on various aspects of Buddha’s teachings during various occasions at the Lapta. Time and again, many other Rinpoches have given important teachings to the community.
Mr. Lhaten Lama and Mr. Gelu Lama have been volunteering as assistant teachers at the Lapta since its establishment. Mr. Pasang Chhiring Paldorje has been playing key role in organizing activities of the Lapta as a coordinator on behalf of the executive committee of United Sherpa Association Inc. for its term 2015/2016. Mr. Pasang Chhiring has been also teaching Sherpa dances and songs to different age groups at the Lapta.
The association Inc. has rented a separate facility for the Lapta close to its’ main community center located at 41-01 75th ST, Elmhurst, NY-11373. Classes are conducted on every weekend at the Lapta located at 41-58 73rd ST, Woodside NY-11377. More than 70 students have been attending class on every Sunday and about 50 students on Saturday. Many of the students are now qualified to perform high level tantrik practices. They are recognized their completion of courses empowered by initiation, reading transmission and explanation from qualified teachers of the lineage. Therefore, Sherwi Rigshyung Lapta has been playing significant role in producing qualified individuals who can give proper guidance to the community.
The Lapta has been producing necessary textbooks and audio-visual materials for the class on its own. The school has published 12 various booklets, and different CDs and DVDs so far.
Various types of religious and cultural teachings and classes are held at the Lapta. Current volunteers under the Religion and culture sub-committee:
-Mr. Pasang Chhiring Sherpa (Pangboche)
-Mr. Serki Sherpa (Kurima)
-Mr. Mingmar Dorji Sherpa (Khumjung)
-Mrs. Kanchhi Sherpa (Jambuk)
-Mrs. Pasi Sherpa (Bulnasa)
-Mrs. Nima Phutti Sherpa (Monjo)
-Mr.s Pasang Diki Sherpa (Thame)