The Significance of Naming or Terming

© 2011 Dlo08

As many of you may already know, there have been more self-immolations followed by protests by Tibetans lately. As a result, Chinese authorities have responded by shooting and killing Tibetan protestors. It has been a relief to see these recent incidents be reported in the international news. Unfortunately, some journalists have failed to correctly call the places where these incidents took place by their correct Tibetan names, especially for incidents that took place in regions of Amdo, Tibet.

Some may feel that not calling these places by their Tibetan names may not be a big issue so long as the incidents are being reported, I would argue otherwise.  Professor Carole McGranahan brought up an important issue that I’d like to reiterate. These self-immolations, protests, and shootings are taking place in Tibet and they are being reported and, therefore, recorded. How these incidents are reported now will affect how it will be remembered tomorrow. They will become (is now already) part of history and we need history to remember that these incidents happened in AMDO, TIBET not QINGHAI, CHINA.

As our fellow Tibetans in Tibet are endangering their safety to let the world know of China’s unwanted colonial control, those of us outside should do what we can to make sure journalists (and more) record history correctly, and that these incidents took place in TIBET not China. I thank Stand Up for Tibet and others for already taking this initiative.