Lhakar Diaries Celebrates One Year Anniversary!

In just one year, Lhakar Diaries has gone above and beyond our expectations. As a project with humble beginnings, a few of us started brainstorming last spring, during our time at the Lhakar Academy, Tibetan School of Leadership and Change. What we came up with was a forum that would act as a platform for young Tibetans to explore different topics of identity, history and culture, exploring what “Tibetaness” is, and how we identity ourselves. We wanted to honour the Lhakar movement inside Tibet, both by naming our blog “Lhakar Diaries” and also by launching our site on Wednesday July 6th 2011, which coincided with His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s 76th birthday.

We had originally envisioned a modest blog that would create a space for young Tibetans around the world to connect with each other. Today, we hit 56,000 all-time views since our launch and are still counting! Our contributors are young Tibetans in exile raised in different parts of the world, and are all examples of how diverse the Tibetan Diaspora is today.

Our posts reflect this diversity with different topics such as Tibetan history, food, clothing, your favorite local Tibetan restaurant, Tibetan shopping areas, Tibetan heroes, everything and anything that we can think of. We’ve also tacked some pretty serious issues such as the self immolations inside Tibet, the idea of heroes vs. martyrs and violence as a form of resistance. Now that we’ve created and established this dialogue, we hope that it continues with new topics, discussions and new contributors.

We have a team of six regular contributors from five cities around the world, with several guest contributors. Lhakar Diaries has become a solid presence online and has had several mentions on Voice of America’s Tibetan News Service, Kunleng TV, China Digital Times and Radio Free Asia as well. Even our YouTube channel (LhakarDiaries) has gotten some notice with our videos bringing in anywhere from a few hundred to over 6,000 views each.

Here’s a list of our Top Ten posts to date, including the number of all-time views for each post this past year:

1) FROM BUDDHA TO BOLLYWOOD, AND HOLLYWOOD TO HALLYU: exile living in the age of pop culture
2) A Tibetan Stranger in Zurich City on Lhakar
3) How About Some R-e-s-p-e-c-t?
4) Can’t Imagine; Can’t Stop Trying
5) “Boeche” by Lodoe Laura
6) ལྷག་དཀར་གྱི་གཞས་གསུམ། Three Lhakar Songs
7) A Lhakar Pledge: Learning My Own Way, by the Young Turquoise Bee
8) The Art of Continuous Future
9) Lhakar Academy: Tibetan School of Leadership and Change
10) identities, large and small

Thanks to all of our readers for your support this year. Seeing our posts spread like wildfire all over Facebook and Twitter this year has been so encouraging for our team, thanks for sharing our posts online! If you haven’t done so already, friend us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, we also welcome all comments and suggestions, including submissions from Tibetans anywhere in the world.

Below is a series of reflections from some of our most frequent contributors, looking back on what Lhakar Diaries has meant for them over the past year. Thanks for reading, we hope you enjoy the videos and our re-designed site – feel free to spread the word about Lhakar Diaries with your friends!

Kunsang Kelden, New York, USA

Dorjee Tseten, Dharamsala, India

NYC Yak, New York, USA

Dawa L, Colorado, USA

Tenzin Lobsang, Ottawa, Canada

Rinchen Dolma, Toronto, Canada