Monday, February 13, 2017

February 13th is Tibetan Independence Day

Tibet Mount Everest

Göran Höglund (Kartläsarn) Follow Tibet Mount:

On this day in 1913, well over a century ago, Tibet declared full independence from China. 

It was an independence that did not last all that long, obviously. Not even half a century passed, before Chinese troops marched into mostly defenseless Tibet, and took over.

Since then, the Chinese have engaged in a systematic destruction of all things that had anything to do with traditional Tibetan culture. The original Tibetans have found themselves a minority in many parts of their own land, and many Tibetan temples and monuments have been destroyed. 

An entire way of life has been destroyed, for that matter. China has gone to quite extraordinary lengths to modernize Tibet. And while those might not be all bad, the fact that the formerly very isolated land is now more connected than ever, that comes at a cost. It would appear that there is really no chance any longer of old, traditional Tibetan culture ever making a serious comeback in the land where it makes the most sense: in Tibet itself. 

Still, Tibet is a corner of the world that punches harder - much harder - than it's weight, in terms of influence on the world. Tibetan Buddhism has spread around the world, in part because of traditional lore of the old kingdom (which is what it was, more or less), but also specifically because China has gone to such extraordinary lengths to make people forget.

Obviously, these efforts have backfired. And on this day, I wanted to make sure to commemorate at least one blog entry towards Tibet, and to remember what it once used to be.

EVENTS FOR FEBRUARY 13, 2017 by Students for a Free Tibet:

Tibetan 'Independence Day' Marked by Richard Finney, February 12, 2013:

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