Friday, May 8, 2015


As we started our descent from the top of Potala Palace, I had the chance to walk and talk with our Tibetan on one for over a half hour. He was very candid and answered all my questions about the Chinese involvement. After the long and thoughtful conversation with this very devout Tibetan Buddhist, I came to some conclusions. China's presence is here to stay. Things are changing rapidly and it is not all bad. As mentioned before, the educational opportunities are substantial. But to show what happens, the students have to learn Chinese if they want to learn English.  No Chinese, then no English.  The are not really able to practice Tibetan language at school. So, along with promising jobs and infrastructure that Tibet could never supply for themselves, it is easy to see how things have really changed. Before the occupation, Tibet was a nomadic garbage dump, with no sanitation, garbage basically just left to scavengers, and people didn't live very long.  40's.  Not good. Our guide felt some of the new  things outweighed the downside at the moment. I don't think he was being politically correct, either. Of course, the Tibetans want their cake and eat it too, and really, I do not know why this is so wrong at the moment. They want ALL those things, but want to be able to practice their religion as in the old days, with the Tibetan leadership being the Dali Lama, and not the Chinese Government. China is systematically squeezing out their culture in many too many ways to list here.  it will take awhile, but it will happen and is happening already. For now, they DO practice their religions , but behind closed doors or very carefully watched. I could not get a straight answer from either side, but I would guess there are more Chinese in Tibet now, than Tibetans, especially with the huge army presence. With the young having less and less to do with the old ways, it is just a matter of time.....

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