Friday, May 8, 2015


Tibet is changing rapidly. People for "free Tibet" may be unrealistic. The Chinese presence is EVERYWHERE. They have been pouring money into this remote and harsh land. All signs are now written in Tibetan (small lettering) and Chinese(LARGER letters.) Education has been greatly improved with entering children taking Chinese AND English. Infrastructure is booming with new roads, bridges, tunnels, making it much faster to get around. No more yak wagons! The condos springing up are certainly going to be filled with Chinese laborers from the Higher plateaus. Lhasa has 1.6 million people, and is becoming very modern with the help of the Chinese. With all the new improved schools,there is no longer a need for so many monks,who were the traditional teachers for rural families. Yes, there are a few important well known Buddhist Monasteries, but the Chinese know the Westerners want to come to Tibet to see these, so they "allow" this to a small extent. We still have to show our passports at the Monasteries to get in, and they regulate how many people can see them each day. There is a huge police presence in anything related to the Tibetan religeous past. Groups of people are continually kept from forming or massing, for any type of demonstraion is illegal. There are no picutures of the Dali Lama allowed anywhere. They Chinese seem very afraind of the political power of the Dali Lama, even tho he says he has none. Privately, they call him a joke, but I felt they are still afraid of his influence. They seem to be waiting......but building and changing things in many obvious and not so obvious ways. I basically felt I was in China, with a side trip to the old style Tibet. The young have defiantly assimilated to the modern China, but the old still hang on to the is a waiting game, and China will be the winner. 

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