Who is Tingsha Bobo?

Tingsha Bobo has been a rare but most welcome visitor in my life. I have experienced the gift of his wonderful ability to touch people's hearts and tickle their funny bones only twice in my life. The first time was on my 50th birthday several years ago ("several" is more than 3 but probably less than 10, yes?). Last Saturday he reappeared as if by magic while a few family members and I were in the midst of a celebration for my mother's 90th birthday.

I decided to write about him in this blog because sound is one of the vehicles he uses to transport people into his world of magic. His recent visit was quite short- no more than 7 minutes altogether- but during that time he played a small didgeridoo which he pulled out of his knapsack as well as a set of Tibetan tingshas (presumably where he gets his name) and a small rattle. When he appeared at my birthday he brought out a long haunting flute and quickly brought a group of 50 or so people under its spell. Both times he has combined the gifts of music and laughter, two of the best medicines known to man. We also discovered that he has a marvelous voice when he unabashedly serenaded my mother with her favorite birthday song! Anyone who has ever had a birthday in her presence has heard her sing that song. How did he know???

I have been looking on line for a derivation of the word "Bobo" which seems to be a fairly commonly used name for a clown. So far this is the most interesting and seemingly relevant bit of information I have come up with:"Who is Boo-Boo the Fool? A listener wonders if this African-American character has any relation the Puerto Rican fool, Juan Bobo. Martha draws a connection to the Spanish term bobo, meaning “fool,” and its Latin root balbus, meaning “stammerer”. Grant notes that the name Bobo has been extremely common for clowns since at least the 1940s, and the bobo/clown/jester character is prevalent in most all cultural folklores, be they African, South American, or Anglo-European."

So, if anyone were to ask me "Who is Tingsha Bobo?" (which they occasionally do since we have an extra line for him on our phone just in case someone needs to reach him for some laughter and song- hopefully we could call him in through the ethers) from my brief introductions to him my answer would be that he is a clown, a very sweet clown, who uses music as his medium- although I suspect he has some other tricks up his sleeve (or in his knapsack) that have yet to be revealed.