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Social Commentary

The Chang that doesn’t violate the Ten Virtues

The article is written by one of the prominent contemporary Tibetan writers from kham, who uses the pen name Yumtso (meaning “turquoise colored lake). Yumtso is a common name among Tibetans and also the name of several famous lakes such as Mipam Yumtso and Yamdrok Yumtso. The writer mentions that because of the Tibetan lamas’s dharma teachings in Tibet, the number of smokers and drunks is gradually shrinking, but on the other hand, this medical herb drink called “huo-xiang-zheng-qi water” and contains alcohol, is becoming very popular in the market. (more…)

Return my old Dekyi Thang

Dekyi Thang literally means “happy field” in Tibetan. The author remembers the Dekyi Thang of her childhood and mourns the neglect and commercialization of present-day Dekyi Thang. The author notices the growing number of butter lamp shops inside Dekyi Thang, which seems to be changing from a place of worship to a place of business, and points out that only butter lamps bought from each hall can be offered in the hall. This article was published on March 26th. (more…)

About Sunlight Valley

This article was posted in August 28, 2011. This is a journal about a journey from Amdo Xining to Lhasa, on the train which starts from Beijing. The train began running in 2006 and made it much easier for Chinese travelers and migrants to come from the mainland to Tibet. The writer compares the attitude of the present travelers’ versus the attitude of travelers twenty years ago, when the Tibetans took off their hats when they entered Lhasa as a sign of respect for the holy city. (more…)

An Interview with Jamyang Kyi

By Jamyang Kyi

1. What are your thoughts on the increasing number of Tibetan prostitutes in the cities?


There are some hateful men who use offensive words such as “prostitute, slut, whore” to dishonor the nature of women in general. Even the scholar Gen Sangye Dondrub, whose publications are supposedly rich with “rights” and “equality,” likes to use such types of words. Those people have wounded my heart and the hearts of other women like me. Today, suddenly facing such a question has saddened me. (more…)

Tibetan nannies have gone abroad

In Lhasa, jobs as nannies are mostly sought and found through relatives, as well as the introduction and recommendation by friends. As a result, there is a continuous flow of young Tibetan women from agricultural and pastoral areas to Lhasa, which has slowly formed a spontaneous but sizable nanny market and workforce. At the homes of Tibetan cadres, workers and local residents, their main responsibilities include rearing children, cleaning, taking care of and accompanying elderly people, and housekeeping. Among the retired Tibetan cadres, workers, local residents with private houses or dual-career Tibetan families with more than two children, most of them hire nannies. Some families even have two to three nannies. (more…)

Is it right for feelings between men and women to be influenced by ethnic (traditional) ideologies?

[ 2010/2/5 23:44:00 | By: joice] See the original article in Chinese

A few days ago, I heard a friend of mine had found a Han Chinese girlfriend. At that time no one cared very much, but recently, I found there were many resentful remarks about him within our own circles. Many think he is betraying his own culture; hence, this inevitably made me consider whether it is appropriate to apply ethnic ideologies to one’s personal relationships…actually I am also not a rational person, but things eventually should be understood according to realities. Sometimes thinking about feelings has no limit; otherwise, it (ethnic ideology) cannot also be a medium of love. (more…)

The Middle of the Tibetan Sixth Month: Below Minyak Stupa (II)

By Laozangmin (Old Tibetan) See the original article in Chinese

Group photo of retired cadres and Aku Tenba (from the left: Drolma gyab, Dorje, Tseden, Youla, Dorje Tsering, Louba, Geri, Dorjetar, Guoba)

It is difficult to drive through Guomai pass’ wall of fog (“Guomai la” is “Laji Mountain” in Chinese, the watershed of the Yellow River and the Tsongkha River (Chin. Huang Shui), the mountain dividing “Haidong” from “Qingnan”), on the other side of the mountain you can see a project underway—“Xijiu Highway’s Laji Mountain Tunnel”. By 2011 at the latest, this five-kilometer tunnel will overcome this 3,820 meter high natural barrier, saving a lot of trouble and all kinds of potential driving hazards. In all, this time it took me almost three hours before I arrived at the Trika (Chin. Guide) County seat. (more…)

Third small town sketch “Nora” Drolma

By Laozangmin (Old Tibetan) See the original article in Chinese

DromaDrolma, in charge of a beauty parlor, is in a thirty-square-meter building facing the street. From her eyes above the bridge of her nose and clear, white skin, she doesn’t look like a local (the local weather is fiercely hot, dry, and sunny), only upon speaking does one believe what she says in answer to my question: “I’m a genuine local Tibetan, I’ve been here since I was little”. She stamps both feet in emphasis. Only by hearing Drolma open her mouth and speak Tibetan, did I consider her more and more like a compatriot. She said she was close to J villagers. Drolma said she was 18, 19 when she got married, “divorced in 2007”. Her Chinese is very fluent, and doesn’t bring in a trace of the local Chinese accent. (more…)

A school with many “cannots”

By Karze ba (See the original article in Tibetan)

In 1995 the then vice director of the education department, Ling-la, came to our school. He pointed at the eight auspicious symbols painted above the door. “These are religious designs”, he said, scolding the principal and other teachers. “They belong on monastery walls and have no place in a Socialist school.” Because of that, he got into an argument with one of our Tibetan language teachers. Without getting to explain his case, the leader even gave him a good slap out of frustration. (more…)

How life is for “The urbanised nomads ”

By Tri Sempa (See the original article in Tibetan)

© jim mcgill photography

© jim mcgill photography

On April 14th 2007 I travelled to the Golok prefecture of our province. It was my first time.  The land of which it was said “The earth is Golok and the sky is Golok” is far away, and so elevated that even though we were in early summer there were occasional flurries of snow, and rude gusts of cold wind. There was no lustre of greenery on the grassland, it seemed pale, and one could see that the maiden of summer had yet to reach the pastures of Golok. This was only in the natural course of things, and there was no-one and nothing to blame or resent, nor any possibility of doing so, yet so miserable was the situation of the region that my mind could not reconcile, nor find consolation. (more…)
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