July 6, 2012 (published in Hebrew on July 6)
Would that our hearts would melt, and Tibet and all of us would know a different world, a peaceful world.
"I've never eaten their food. It's dirty."
The Chinese traditionally eat with chopsticks, and look down on Tibetans who traditionally eat with their hands, like their Indian neighbors to the west and south.
What is truly precious? Individuals who have conquered their ego, who have purified their mindstream, who have developed great compassion, are truly precious. Tibetan lamas languish in Chinese prisons for decades due to our ignorance about the preciousness of genuine spiritual teachers.
Garchen Rinpoche spent 20 years in a Chinese prison:
At a Lhasa public school, Tibetan children have separate classes. Their classes are all conducted in Chinese, except for one 45 minute class per day in Tibetan.
An ad for a Chinese language evening paper shows a Tibetan family reading Chinese.
Kyuk is the traditional cursive Tibetan script used by educated Tibetans in Lhasa. Workbooks for kyuk are no longer available in Lhasa. After friends scoured all the bookstores in Lhasa looking for a kyuk workbook for me and couldn't find one, a friend gave me her own copy of this kyuk workbook.
Ten letters in the Tibetan alphabet used for Sanskrit transliteration, shown on the right, are missing from workbooks Tibetan children now use to learn the alphabet.
Tulkus are Tibetan reincarnate lamas. The Panchen Lama is considered second to the Dalai Lama in Tibetan Buddhism. The Dalai Lama is the sun, the Panchen Lama the moon, the Gyalwa Karmapa Orgyen Trinley Dorje, the day star, of Tibet. The 10th Panchen Lama was poisoned. The 11th Panchen Lama was abducted with his parents at age 6, in 1995, following recognition of his reincarnation by the Dalai Lama, and his whereabouts are unknown.
The Communist Chinese have issued a law to control the reincarnation of Tibetan tulkus, although the Communists don't believe in any religion or in reincarnation at all.
(Close pop-up and scroll for English: Past Lives - Science & Documentation - 3 Films)
Tibetans in exile continue the Monlam Chenmo tradition, celebrated two weeks after Losar, the Tibetan New Year, in India.
A Chinese article in 2009 claims that the Monlam Chenmo Festival continues in Lhasa today. The photo accompanying the article shows a typical debating session held at monasteries on any day of the year, but not the Monlam Chenmo celebration, as stated in the deceptive article.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama's birthday is a major Tibetan holiday, and, traditionally, the only birthday celebrated by Tibetans. The custom is to throw tsampa into the air, as an offering to the gods. A Tibetan from Lhasa, fondly recalling celebrating His Holiness' birthday, said,
"We would all be covered in white. It was a lot of fun."
Tibetans have a custom that when a family member has died, the family does not celebrate the next Losar, Tibetan New Year. As an act of solidarity with the many families and victims, Tibetans chose to collectively forego the Losar celebration of 2009. The Chinese coerced Tibetans to celebrate, issuing special holiday payments. Tibetans who were found not celebrating risked prison.
In a 2009, a TV program from mainland China aired in Hong Kong, showed the Tibetan Losar festivities.
Only people who know Chinese are eligible for government jobs, so Tibetans are at a severe disadvantage. There is a also generally a huge wage differential between Chinese and Tibetans.
Clockwise from top left:
Playing a dice game called 'sho';
Beggars lined up near the Jokhang temple during Losar;
A boulevard lined with kiosks full of Chinese and Tibetan prostitutes.
(Top right and lower left photos are screenshots from the film: Tibet: Cry of the Snow Lion)
Lower left: Rooftop guard under an umbrella and surveillance camera overlook the plaza in front of the Jokhang Temple.
Lower right: Behind the Jokhang Temple ticket seller, hidden from the visitor's view, is a security guard.
The Chinese government employs fake Tibetan monks to disgrace and discredit Tibetan Buddhism. Real Tibetan Buddhist monks never beg. On the left, a "monk" stands guard in the Barkhor, the route around the Jokhang Temple.
During 'sensitive times,' all Internet service is simply cut off in Tibet, for days, even weeks, at at time. There is no Youtube in Tibet.
Traditionally built houses are frequently razed, the residents displaced, and replaced with new "Tibetan style" houses.
...so that Rinpoche won't go to prison again!
Getting caught with a photo of His Holiness can send someone to prison for five years.
(Photos above were all taken from published sources.)
The Chinese quickly erased signs of unrest.
Below: A jewelry shop on a central Lhasa street, before and after its speedy repair.
Top: Damaged building on a side street that remained untouched a year after the riots.
All these empty places are usually packed with people.
Clockwise from top left:
Tea house near the Potala Palace;
Plaza in front of the Jokhang Temple (compare other photo above);
Sidewalk and street in front of the Potala, usually filled with pedestrians, traffic and prostrators;
Entrance to Ramoche Temple, the second most important temple in Tibetan Buddhism;
View from the back gate (title slide) of the university.
Tibetan tea house at Tibet University; all the tea houses were permanently closed the day after this photo was taken, shortly after the riots.
A sidewalk once packed daily with tables of mahjong players. After many months of inactivity, one lone table returned.
Many multinational interests bind Tibet. Tibet holds the source waters for all of Asia, so the environmental health of the Tibetan plateau has global importance.
Prof. Robert Thurman, author of "Why the Dalai Lama Matters," envisions that Tibet will be declared a global environmental peace park:
Chinese Communist propaganda, on banners, posters, pasted in taxis, and on a giant screen set up in front of the Potala, after the riots. The center poster shows two sisters, one Tibetan, one Chinese, in idyllic harmony.
More posters in Lhasa. Political reeducation is ongoing in Tibetan Buddhist monasteries. Students, monks, officials are all required to sign statements denouncing the Dalai Lama.
Chairman Mao was responsible for the deaths of around 40 million Chinese citizens, including around 1.2 million Tibetans. His busts, sculptures and pictures came down all over China decades ago. But in Tibet, his picture still hangs on the walls of offices and in homes, like a protective amulet, showing allegiance to the Chinese Communist party.
This slide presentation was first shown at Haifa University East Asian Studies Department, March, 2009, and then on two other occasions in Israel.
Nothing has changed since then.
This presentation is as relevant now as then.
The Tibetan problem has only worsened over the years.
1. environment http://www.tew.org
2. non-violence http://tinyurl.com/cp44k3y
3. creating healthy minds http://www.mindandlife.org
Original posting, July 7, 2012:
42 Tibetans have self-immolated,
sacrificing their lives for freedom and world peace.