The Unexpected Familiary: Finding Myself in the Kingdom of Lo (Mustang)

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After two weeks in Boudha, Kathmandu, Nepal, I became bored. I was itching to get out. Several friends on Facebook suggested I check out Sherpa country or Mustang, and then I remembered my… Continue reading

Face To Face With The Dalai Lama

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  “The Dalai Lama is having a public audience.”   These were the first words I heard upon arrival to McLeod Ganj, India, exile home of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. The… Continue reading

Dancing in New York

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A few Lhakar Wednesdays ago, NY & NJ Lhakar team held one of the most (among many) fun celebratory event. According to their Facebook album, they wrote, Gorshey night at heart of Jackson… Continue reading

Lhakar on the Hill

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*Guest post by the Interns of the 2014 Parliamentary Friends of Tibet Internship Program* This year the Parliamentary Friends of Tibet (PFT) Internship program saw four new Tibetan interns. It started on May… Continue reading

Conflict of Desires: Female Tibetan Leaders and Gender Advocacy

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[This essay has been published on the UK collective HYSTERIA and the literary journal Muse India] This is the longer version of the essay, “Gender Violence, Leadership, and the Modern Tibetan Woman,” that… Continue reading

4 Rivers 6 Ranges

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*Guest post by Olo Bayul, rapper and writer based in Boston* Chushi Gangdruk (4 Rivers 6 Ranges) was a voluntary resistance army comprised mainly of Tibetans from the Kham region of Tibet. With… Continue reading

Moving Past the Shaming Effect (A Response to Rinchen Dolma’s Post)

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After reading Rinchen Dolma la’s post I felt more relaxed, like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. Hearing her talk about her experiences did something for me that is usually acquired in… Continue reading

The Struggle : I make no apologies for my Tib-lish

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                                                                                      Collage I made on 13-03-2014   I see you, I do. so clear it hurts to hear you your words they… Continue reading

Dharamsala Days Dharamsala Nights: A review

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Although MacDonald’s tone is one of good intention and conviction to tell the hardships and stigmas that newcomers from Tibet face in McLeod-Dharmsala, my main problem with her book was that she decides to choose sides: she favors newcomers over exile Tibetans, and even further makes exile Tibetans, whom she calls “settlers,” the villains. Choosing a side requires categorizing the two groups as single entities at odds with each other. This doesn’t allow room for complexities within and between the group, and also ignores complexities that create tensions between the groups in the first place.

“Speak Tibetan, Stupid”: Concepts of Pure Tibetan & the Politics of Belonging

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Recently, the Tibetan virtual world has seen an increase in the controversial subject of racial and linguistic “purity” framed in the context of preserving the Tibetan identity. According to these Tibetans, the ideal Tibetan needs to be of “pure” Tibetan blood and speak “pure” Tibetan. The conversation has attracted transnational participants and audiences that include Tibetans of racially mixed backgrounds and/or engage in speaking Tibetan mixed with other languages. In this post, I frame this current purity conversation, rooted in the idea of a “pure” Tibetan ideal, in relation to earlier Tibetan conversations of purity to better understand its historical significance and how this current version, like its previous avatars, also engages with Tibetan identity politics surrounding who does and does not get to be Tibetan.