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Is Nationalism a Good Thing?

Shokjang

Shokjang is a leading intellectual of his generation. He was born in Labrang in Amdo. He studied Tibetan literature at the Northwest Nationalities University in Lanzhou. He has published four books: The Courage of the Path (ལམ་གྱི་སྙིང་སྟོབས།); The Pen’s Strength (སྙུ་གུའི་སྟོབས།); For Freedom I Have No Regrets (རང་དབང་གི་དོན་དུ། ང་ལ་བློ་འགྱོད་མེད་།); and The Courage of Rangdrol (རང་གྲོལ་སྙིང་སྟོབས།). He writes on Tsenpo and Samsara. In the following piece, posted on Samsara in May 2014, he makes a very strong defense for the individual’s right and freedom. (more…)

Shut Your Dog’s Mouth

Chen

Chen Metak (གཅན་མེ་སྟག) is a very well-known Tibetan writer from Amdo. The poem “Shut Your Dog’s Mouth” is a sarcastic poem written to criticize a certain unnamed person. It was published in December 2014 on Chodmey (Butter Lamp) online journal, one of the most popular online journals. We have translated the first part of the poem. (more…)

An Old Thangka

Shoklong

Thopa Rangdrol writes under the pen name Shoklung (Morning Wind). He was born in Amdo Golok in the 1980s. He has studied at Serta Monastry and Rongwo monastery in Tibet. His writings were published on several Tibetan magazines including the “Nationalities Literary Magazine”. He has published a book called “The Dream of An Education” in 2009. (more…)

Dear Bureau Chief, don’t block our way

Tibetans have been debating about Tibetan Language preservation for a while. Fortunately, in recent years, these debates have turned into a movement or protests led by Tibetans students in Tibet, in places as Amdo Rebkong and Chabcha. A few months back, Tibetans on WeChat were criticizing two local Chinese chiefs of the education bureau in Tibet. They are Tan Ke, the Chief of Ngaba (Aba) Prefecture Education Bureau and Han Tin Bhu, the Chief of Ganlho Prefecture Education Bureau. (more…)

Who Is The Hero Who Carries Half the Sky?

Boshuk Kyi is from Trika, south of the Kokonor in Amdo. She works at the Qinghai Research Center for Tibetan Medicine (མཚོ་སྔོན་བོད་ཀྱི་གསོ་རིག་ཞིབ་འཇུག་ཁང་།) and studies at the Qinghai Tibetan Medical School (མཚོ་སྔོན་གསོ་རིག་སློབ་གླིང་།). She has been published in numerous journals including Sunlight (ཉི་འོད་།), Dolma (སྒྲོལ་མ), Snowflower (གངས་རྒྱན་མེ་ཏོག) and the very prestigious Light Rain (སྦྲང་ཆར།).

Boshuk Kyi’s poem “Who Is The Hero Who Carries Half the Sky?” won the national Tibetan women’s writing competition in 2011. The poem is a celebration of Tibetan women. Of the women mentioned in the poem, Queen Trimalho was a powerful queen regent of the ancient Tibetan empire of the Yarlung valley, Machik Labdron was a visionary who created the practice of Chod-the only Tibetan to create such a practice instead of importing from India, and Milarepa’s mother was arguably as powerful an influence on his life as his teacher Marpa. But history underestimates their achievement. The below is an excerpt. The original in Tibetan has five more stanzas. (more…)

These Days

In 2009, the Wolf Band released their first album “Brother” (ཕུ་བོ) and in 2011, they released their second album “The Wolf Looks Back” (རི་སྤྱང་གི་ཕྱི་མིག). They have played at concerts in different parts of Tibet, and are the second rock band in Tibet after Namchak (གནམ་ལྕགས). They have said they are inspired by the unity and courage of wolves. The five members in the band are Pema Dorjee, Kathup Gyal, Tsering Shawo, Tashi Shawo and Dhondup Shawo. For this song, “These days”, the lyrics were composed by Trungsang and the melody by Kathup Gyal. (more…)

The First Howl

Wolf band

In 2009, the Wolf Band released their first album “Brother” (ཕུ་བོ) and in 2011, they released their second album “The Wolf Looks Back” (རི་སྤྱང་གི་ཕྱི་མིག). They have played at concerts in different parts of Tibet, and are the second rock band in Tibet after Namchak (གནམ་ལྕགས). They have said they are inspired by the unity and courage of wolves. The five members in the band are Pema Dorjee, Kathup Gyal, Tsering Shawo, Tashi Shawo and Dhondup Shawo. For this song, “The First Howl”, the lyrics were composed by Lhadruk Tsering and the melody by Kathup Gyal. (more…)

On Translating the Kangyur and Tengyur into English

The Kangyur and Tengyur are the vast corpus of Buddhist literature. The Kangyur are the Buddha’s teachings and the Tengyur are the commentaries written over by Indian masters. Over the course of centuries, Tibetan translators translated this entire corpus into Tibetan and now this literature, which originally came from India, survives only in the Tibetan language. (more…)

Tibetan Spelling Mistakes and More

Labrang

Shokjang was born in Labrang in Amdo. He studied Tibetan literature at the Northwest Nationalities University in Lanzhou. He is a leading intellectual of his generation. He has published four books: The Courage of the Path (ལམ་གྱི་སྙིང་སྟོབས།); The Pen’s Strength (སྙུ་གུའི་སྟོབས།); For Freedom I Have No Regrets (རང་དབང་གི་དོན་དུ། ང་ལ་བློ་འགྱོད་མེད་།); and The Courage of Rangdrol (རང་གྲོལ་སྙིང་སྟོབས།). He writes on Tsenpo and Samsara. (more…)

Why Are People Fighting Over The Caterpillar Fungus?

Caterpillar fungus

Recently there was a fight between two villages in Tibet over caterpillar fungus. As a result of this fighting, a young man of thirty was stabbed and killed. These two villages, called Kude and Dornying Nyalung, were both in Rebkong in Amdo. There were even four or five op-eds written about this brouhaha on the literary site Tsanpo. Tsanpo.com is a new Tibetan language literary site with dedicated columns for writers where they can post their own writings, so Tsanpo has become very active and popular. Tsanpo has essentially become what Sangdor used to be. (more…)