Pull My Spirits Up High
© 2012 Dlo08
Just when it felt like all news on Tibet was getting sadder, Shapaley dropped “Tsampa” this Wednesday on Lhakar.
In the middle, he says:
The Tibetan spirit will always remain. You can threaten us, but we keep on doing our thing. I’m sorry, you can’t stop us!!!
This was just what I needed to hear to bring up my morale and remind me again who we are as a people. That our spirit “will always remain.” The spirit of Lhakar is epitomized in this video.
Shapaley (Karma Norbu) and Exiled prophet (Tenzin Wangchuk) team up in this stylistic video with Shapaley in his swag Jean Jacket and cameo’s of Exiled Prophet with his “Made in Tibet” bar-code black slick T-shirt with NYC serving as the backdrop. They dance, sing, rap, and eat Tsampa while dropping lyrics that pull my spirits up high and I nod along with all the love that’s being transmitted through this song and video.
Lhakar is a threat to China because it is rooted in us Tibetans feeling proud of who we are as a people—expressed, asserted, and lived in multiple different modes—which threatens their legitimacy over Tibet as their territory. China has dominated the channel/narratives on Tibet since the invasion but Lhakar has provided a platform for previously existing and new forms of mediums that empower the Tibetan identity (materially, spiritually, psychologically, and/or physically) to exist together ideologically as a cooperative. This is how Tibetans inside and outside take back the narrative on Tibet from China.
Lhakar is successful precisely because it is voluntary. It is about individual Tibetans taking their own initiatives to empower the self and the whole.
Shapaley, dressed in his NYC chic jean get-up, makes this clear. It doesn’t have to just be about, or limited to, wearing the Chupa. It’s about digging deeper, finding out what it is that moves the individual and collective, in empowered directions, that embraces the multiplicity of our identities as Tibetans, born and raised in the diaspora and/or Tibet, who are living, breathing, struggling, defining, re-defining, fighting, defying, learning, and teaching in ways that enhance us as a people.
This past summer, in Dharamsala, the chuba was being made mandatory on Wednesdays by the Tibetan administration and other organizations. The mandatory and coercive aspect of this campaign is not what I imagined Lhakar to represent.
I totally agree with you on that one. Anything forced upon as a rule is not keeping in spirit with the Lhakar movement.
Chupa is not made mandatory in the Tibetan administration.. you got it wrong.
Actually the Tibetan shop organization made it mandatory on Wednesdays. As for the CTA, not sure whether they’ve released an official statement but the chupa was mandatory even before Lhakar (for women). But the Kalon Tripa was recently at Colombia University expressing his disappointment at some Tibetans for not wearing the Chupa. He was wearing a suite.
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