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6 Poems on Life in Exile and Of Home from “A Thousand Parallel Lives” by Tenzin Pema Chashar


The first poem “The Young, the Holy, and the Wealthy” is one version of my interpretation from the many stories I’ve been told about how key members of a family, who had been identified for torture/prison/thamzing, were given fair warning from those whose loyalty the Chinese tried to buy but couldn’t. 

The second poem “Here Vs. There” is something I wrote from my memory of listening to the elders talk constantly about how everything was always that much better or more abundant or brighter or bigger (even the ravens, as I recall) in Tibet. So it’s written from the vantage of someone who is about to set off for life in exile and has these hopes for how this new life/home should be.

The third poem “Wait for Me” is something I wrote from the perspective of so many of our parents and elders who had to leave their parents or children and loved ones behind as many of them had to make a hasty escape. However, many stayed somewhere close to the borders, waiting for their loved ones to join them, and not making the final descent into exile because of their belief too that the issue of Tibet would be a temporary one.

The fourth poem “Call to Arms” is about early life in exile when Tibetans in nearly every settlement called on their youth to practice ‘March Past’ every morning (with wooden toy guns) so that they would be ready if ever there was a war with the Chinese.

The fifth poem “Stone Bench” is about life in exile in the 1980’s and 1990’s when the longing for home (where the life they had left behind was home) was still palpable and a focal point of all conversations between the elders.

Tsomo’s Speech at the Tibetan solidarity rally for HHDL in Toronto 4/26/2023


To my fellow Tibetans, what I am going to share today will trigger some of you and I am sorry. But we know all too well as a people who have endured seven decades of colonial dispossession and displacement in Tibet and in exile, that we have no choice but to be resilient and resist.

For non-Tibetans who are outsiders to our community and culture, and who don’t understand why the past two weeks have been so traumatic for us, I want to share few things we experienced and are experiencing as a collective.

In honor of the 13th Dalai Lama’s proclamation of Independence: Neglecting the invasion of Tibet in analysis of early exile as ‘Geluk Hegemony’


How can we honor the complexities and challenges of our distant past without compromising collective experiences of the recent present? There is value in acknowledges the multi-dimensionality of Tibetan communities and the messiness of making communities in new places, without having to compromise the story of invasion and colonial occupation. How can we focus on what unites us as Tibetans rather than what divides us? Can we even afford such divisiveness at a time when it feels as though Tibet is experiencing an intensification of colonial incorporation and exile is stretched to its limits in diaspora with confusing political alignments that does not address Chinese colonialism?

Modern Secularist vs. Religious Fanatic: Goldstein’s reading of Tibet, a review by Nicole Willock


What does a modernist secularist reading of recent Tibetan history look like? How do such readings reinforce notions of Tibetans as religious fanatical barbarics? Nicole Willock (2011) takes a stab at these questions in her review of Melvyn Goldstein’s (2007, 2009) History of Modern Tibet. While she acknowledges his contributions, she also highlights the limitations of such a framing. Pointing out how such lens tend to reify notions of Tibetans as either modern or not-modern. One way of remedying this, according to Willock, is to engage Tibetans themselves, who have historically engaged in the practice of translation and continue to do so in the present. Highlighting how Tibetans continue to be agentive in translating and negotiating new political and cultural moments and the terminologies these moments spawned.  

Registration Open For Tibetans of Mixed Heritage Conference, October 9-13, Join Us in Dharamsala!


Hi everyone! This post is a special shout out to Tibetans of Mixed Heritage and friends. After successful gatherings in London, Zurich and New York, the Mixed Tibetans team are pleased to announce… Continue reading

Lhasa Ballers: A Conversation with Tenzin Wangchuk, Founder of New Clothing Line, Union of Prophets


Tenzin Wangchuk, A.K.A. Exiled Prophet, is a New York based Tibetan rapper and creative force behind the newly released clothing line, Union of Prophets. I sat down with Wangchuk recently to discuss his transition from rapper to designer. We met for dinner in Jackson Heights, at one of my favorite restaurants, Little Tibet, and discussed everything from the origins of American Hip Hop and it’s universal themes, his aspirations as a designer and activist, to addressing his concerns about the appropriation of Hip Hop and Black culture.

Life Sentence


[Guest poem by ‘Just Another Tenzin] Life sentence The purpose of language is to communicate But so much gets lost in translation and we just hate Each other and this broken tie to… Continue reading

The Othered Tibetan Stories


Throughout history, too many people have made assumptions about what it means to be woman and what it means to be Tibetan. They have been the most privileged members of our society; those with access to pen and prestige and they have continuously made an ass out of me, you, and them. I don’t want to continue that legacy.

“Tibet and Modernity” with Sperling, Venturi, & Vitali: What is Tibetan modernity?


I think Dr. Sperling and Dr. Venturi are correct in saying we need to be clear when we use the word ‘modern’ in Tibetan studies. However, in such an engagement, following Dr. Vitali’s warnings, we also need to be careful we do not reproduce the same problems in reifying notions of ‘tradition,’ and assumptions of cultures as belonging on a singular (Euro-American) evolutionary trajectory that is assumed under the banner of the singular modern. This is the same critique that has been launched against academia in general for over 70 years, and something Tibetan studies has only recently begun to consider.



[Guest post by Tenzin Sudip Chogkyi] One of my female friends messaged me in a rather perplexed manner to ask what I thought about Kalon Dicki Chhoyang’s ‘sudden’ resignation. She was disappointed for obvious… Continue reading