This is a personal blog entry written by Brong Phrug. It was translated and submitted by Lobsang on January 31, 2008.
Your beauty and my beauty
This morning I went to a bookstore to buy some books. The room was pretty empty, and there was no sign of any customers. The female bookseller was sitting near a stove and knitting. While I was walking around in the Tibetan book section looking for new books, a woman who seemed to be her friend was whispering something in the bookseller’s ear in Chinese. As I listened to them carefully, I could hear that they were talking about my long hair. To them, my hair did not look good. However, it is needless to say that because of different cultures and environments, everyone has a different sense of beauty.
My long hair was not beautiful to them. It was just my preference at the time, and it will not leave any bad marks on the books of my nationality’s history. When they talked about my hair in Chinese, I was disgusted and repulsed by them, and they will never understand why. There are so many people who are shortsighted and shameless like these two women.
A while ago, during the New Year, I went to my hometown. Some old people who think they know everything said that my long hair and clothing were not nice. If I had asked them what their measure of beauty was, they would have said it was gold, silver, metals, turquoise, corals and precious stones and animal furs, such as otters and wild cats that were beautiful. This was their sense of beauty.
Not long ago, because of messages from the other side of the Himalayas, Tibetans began changing their primitive ways of thinking about beauty, and this is good news. However, there appears to be a revival of the old traditions again. The root problem is that we are not awakening.
What I want to say to you, ladies and gentleman, is that instead of turning your nose up at my long hair, try thinking about your misconceptions of beauty and develop a new sense of it. Is it not important?