Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Free Tibet!

A casual train conversation that turned into a full fledged political discussions on Tibet... I promised to blog about it so here goes...

  • Tibetans travel through the passes of Himalayas to reach India via Nepal illegally in search of a better future/education.
  • They have a 'Government-in exile' in Dharmashala, Himachal Pradesh headed by the Dalai Lama
  • The Government-in exile has various departments much like our own. For example the education department allots Tibetan students to study at various educational institutions across the country. Chennai has 120!
  • Apart from Himachal Pradesh Tibetans live in a few large Refugee camps around the country in places like New Delhi, Karnataka etc
  • Children make the treacherous trip via the mountains to reach India to study. They don't see their parents for years together. They have a school in Mussorie where they study and move on to colleges. They can return to the school even during their college holidays!
  • Though all Graduates dream of returning to return to Tibet, many choose to work for the Government in Exile in India.
  • When the Dalai Lama dies he'll leave a clue as to where his next incarnation would be and the Tibetans will have to go an identify the child.
  • Next in hierarchy to the Dalai Lama is the Panchen Lama, the real Panchen Lama was a 5 year old kid when he and his family 'disappeared'!
  • Now there's a Chinese government 'installed' Panchen Lama who is doing the rounds in Tibet. He gives 'religious sermons' which at least one person from every family has to attend.
  • Considering the Dalai Lama is the only potent force for the Tibetans, wonder what the Chinese will do to the child who gets identified as the next Dalai Lama
  • They're happy to have self rule within the Chinese framework
  • They're happy with India's neutral stance. But an aggressive posturing from India is like their main hope!
  • The Yummy part: There's just one Tibetan run Tibetan restaurant in Chennai, Mount Kailash, near Loyola. Recco: The mo-mo :D

I'm sure at least half of this is news to most people!

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