Tibet was once a nation steeped in a rich religious culture that sought to spread Buddhism and happiness for all souls on earth. Today’s Tibetan Buddhist culture is merely a shadow of what it once was. Following the Chinese Communist invasion in 1950, Tibet went from what was once known as the “roof of the world” to being a region controlled by China. The Chinese government considers Tibet as a region they have held sovereignty over for centuries. However, the Dalai Lama refutes this claim and states that Tibet was independent of China and was colonized over time. Under China’s oppressive red thumb, the Tibetan people suffered starvation, exploitation, and the destruction of their culture. The Chinese government tried to secularize Tibet and forcefully push the state toward modernization at the cost of the Tibetan people. They raised crop yields as a result of the exploitation of their land, destroyed Tibetan monasteries and nunneries, killed many monks and nuns, and forced what survivors were left either into exile or to return back to their home villages. China states that they acknowledge the repression caused by the Chinese government and that they’re working toward helping Tibet to revive their Buddhist culture. However, today’s Tibetan monasteries have been reduced to mere tourist attractions for the Chinese government to make money off of unsuspecting tourists. Most Tibetan monks are forced to travel elsewhere to fully functioning monasteries in order to have the freedom to practice their religion. Despite Tibet’s cries for independence from Communist China, the international community has responded by not denying claims that Tibet is an autonomous region of China. As we go through the hardships that Tibetan culture had to ...
Since the communist takeover in 1951, China has directed tremendous amounts of policy towards improving Tibet’s economy, and assimilating the region into the Chinese Han culture. China has attempted to move Tibet from a primitive self-sufficient society, to a modern, agricultural, and industrial Chinese society. Before the communists entered the region, Tibet was a deeply religious society of mainly nomads where animal husbandry and agriculture formed the basis of the economy. The Buddhist faith was the foundation of society, which preached the concept of not concerning one’s self with material wealth. A constant search for inner peace, and spiritual fulfillment were the aspirations of most Tibetans in society, and all Tibetans acknowledged the Dalai Lama as the Religious and Political leader.
Kurlantzick, Joshua. "The End of Tibet."ProQuest. Rolling Stone LLC, 8 Feb 2007. Web. 25 Oct 2013.
When studying Buddhism in modern society, one cannot deny the importance of the Dalai Lama. For centuries, the incarnations of the Dalai Lama ruled over the people of Tibet both spiritually and politically. However it wasn’t until the last century that the popularity of the Dalai Lama made its way to western society. This essay will focus on the 14th and most recent Dalai Lama of Tibet.
Many Tibetans are arrested and put through such treatment with little to no evidence supporting them as criminals. In a sudden “clampdown” that started in February of 1992, groups of ten Chinese raided Tibetan homes in Lhasa arresting more than 200 people. Those arrested were said to be in possession of “subversive materials, such as photographs, and tapes or books containing speeches or teachings of the Dalai Lama” (Kumar, 77).
If China had not reannexed Tibet, that peace park would never have existed. Its entire raison d'etre is predicated on Chinese oppression and western interest. Without oppression the Tibetan traditions lose their most alluring aspect. Tibetan Buddhism is no longer dangerous or sexy. Without western interest, their potential converts and donation pool shrinks to a trickle crippling their ability to sustain the tradition.
Rinpoche, Samdhong. Uncompromising Truth for a Compromised World: Tibetan Buddhism in Today’s World; forward by 14th Dalai Lama. (Tibet: World Wisdom, 2006), 264.
The Dalai Lama's actions have also resulted in internal pressure in China. Numerous protests by Tibetan nationalists have taken form around the actions of the Dalai Lama. As recently as 2008 conflict in China has resulted on pressure to the government by Tibetans. On March 10, 2008, around five hundred monks of the Drepung monastery, attempted to march into the center of Lhasa in honor of the 49th anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan revolt. They were stopped by the Chinese police, with some arrested and beaten. Meanwhile, another monks from another monastery, the Sera, were arrested in Lhasa for carrying the Tibetan Flag. Six hundred monks from Sera arrived the next day to demand the release of the ot...
In America, we often complain about things that we find hugely important, like our human rights, politics, and freedom of expression. What if America was a country in which 3,500,000 (and counting) people had been tortured and killed, simply for our race, sex or religion, like North Korea? What if there was no freedom of expression, like Tibet? The Tibetan and North Korean people both have been are still being persecuted. The two genocides are similar in that religion is a so-called “factor.” They differ in that Tibet has a wealth of natural resources and this seems to be the underlying reason for its persecution. The groups of people affected are another difference between the countries.
For the first week and a half, I stayed with a local family in the town of Mcleod Ganj, home of thousands of Tibetan Refugees. During this time I worked at the LHA institution teaching young women English. The first day was a tidal wave of new experiences. The small crowded streets that led to the local library were filled with busy markets, people selling handmade beads for only 5 cents, and stray dogs living in abandoned crates and boxes. Trash filled the streets, tainting the air with a putrid and foul smelling odor. There were beggars on the side of