There’s more to Tibet than just Tibetan momos. This was a slow and eventual realization over a few years as I was exposed to the land and its people.

Through my sister, I came to know of Tenzin Tsundue (whom she befriended in Mumbai) and who had climbed the 14th floor of the Oberoi Hotel in Nariman Point some years ago to unfurl a flag saying “Free Tibet” as the Chinese premier was visiting.

A few years ago, my sister and I also went and visited Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, home to one of India’s most beautiful (and largest) monasteries. Situated on a hill-top with its bright yellow and red paint, it stands out from anywhere, its beauty unsurpassed in this small hilly kingdom.

In Bangalore, I met the dreamy Aqua through whom I was exposed to more of this country.

Last year in Kushalnagar, I had a chance to visit one of South India’s largest Tibetan settlements in the South of India. It is also home to a beautiful Namdroling monastery.

Then this year, I got a chance to visit the abode of His Highness the Dalai Lama at McLeodganj in Dharamsala. His heavily guarded residence is just in front of the main monastery and I try and peep in through the thick iron gate only to encounter a suspicious security guy. There is a huge sign at the monastery that talks about the Panchem Lama (and successor to the Dalai Lama), who was taken by the Chinese authorities when he was about eight years old and no one has any idea as to where he is today.

I often wonder what it will be like not to be able to return to your homeland? What if I went abroad and was told I could never come back to India. What if some other country takes over and does not allow me to come back? It’s unimaginable. And yet, it’s living reality for the thousands of exiled Tibetans living in all parts of the world including India.

Some excerpts from the World Tibet Day site:

  • Since the Chinese Army invaded Tibet in 1949, and under Chinese occupation, over 1.2 million Tibetans have died and more than 6000 monasteries have been destroyed.
  • Forced to flee his homeland in 1959, the Dalai Lama has lived in exile since then in northern India, working with his countrymen and Tibet supporters to keep alive the culture and religion of his people, while trying to establish a peaceful dialogue with the Chinese government.

Politics apart, just talking to those Tibetans you encounter is heart-breaking when they express a desire to see their country (some of them are born outside and can’t go back or even visit) and you can sense their sadness as they speak about never being able to return to Tibet. You’d think that freedom is every human’s right but you realise how far we have to go in this struggle for freedom when you look at what’s happening in this country.

I do hope, for every Tibetan out there, that their dreams of a ‘free Tibet’ comes true someday soon.

If you feel the same way, please do post about it on your blog too. If you do, please leave a link so I can add it here:

Aqua’s post

Support peace, support Tibet – Usha

Dilip’s post on Free Tibet

Joy’s original post

7 thoughts on “Bloggers for Tibet

  1. Ahem,…awesome post Anita. very heartfelt and I thank you for supporting the Tibetan cause. A lot of people don’t even think about this issue…some even openly ridicule a seemingly ‘lost’ cause…but I’m glad we do have a handful of supporters 🙂

  2. as next door neighbours to tibetan hinterland…. i somehow have no idea about this fight for tibetan homeland. having seen the young tibetan boys is 22 company, being trained for some unknown purpose in the indian army, while away their time drinking and brawling in our little town, it is hard to have sympathy. but as one steps out into the mainland and reads a lot of history one tends to develop a sense of kinship with homelessness of tibetans.

    as my people who still do broder trade in tibet we get news from atleast these border areas.. and they dont talk much about freedom movement ou there. there are discos opening up, mobile network, internet access… and right across to our side of border we are still struggling to get a road networkk built up.

    today when chinese themselves are engrossed in the new found consumerism and have left the dreams of democracy behind, i guess new shining trains and all the goodies of developing economies help china reduce Free Tibet into mere slogans.

    which is a sad thing for sure but i just hope someday world will change for tibetans..!! specially for the ones who have been living there and facing the brunt of the chinese rule ( i dont know if they feel it as brunt any longer).

    its hard to say what a tibetan feels today, surely they would want to get their country back but without chinese rule they wouldnt have had the development which has come to tibet ( counter argument is that it is for bringing in more chinese into tibet, true also).

    tibet we people know was full of hardships, lawlessness, dacoits etc etc. hope when they get their country back they would establish something that would be best of old and new world!!

  3. i think it’s great that more people today are taking up the cause of tibet. but awareness is not something prevelant in this issue. actually, some of my classmates ( i am still in school) did not even know that tibet had been an independent country!!!!
    but it’s thanks to people like you all that tibet will one day be free.

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