September 17, 2006


I was reading a book - The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2002 (ed. Dave Eggers, review) - first in a new series started by the Best American series) - and just read a short article by someone called Meenakshi Ganguly called Generation Exile about Tibet and Tibetians in exile in Dharamsala.

Anyways, reason I am writing about it is that I did not know about Tibetians who settled in the south of India. Though with Tibetan influences, Dharamsala it seems has become a commercialized town, like any other in India... I think many thanks also to Western sympathizers and hippies. Anyways, here is the relevant excerpt from the actually typing it out from the just a short one!

With the town's resources taxed to the limit, Dharamsala is becoming a kind of exclusive political resort. The refugee reception center still allows children to settle in Dharamsala, since they are the best hope for a Tibetan future. But the only adult refugees who are allowed to remain are religious officials. Others can visit, but they can't stay. Tourism has brought prosperity - and, perhaps, complacency, - to Dharamsala. Afterall, the city is the Tibetan Babylon, filled with bars, Internet cafes, and curio stalls. ......

....Perhaps you have to go still farther south to find the real Tibet. Many of the earliest Tibetan refugees settled in the south of India, where they live in scattered villages seldom visited by Western spiritual pilgrims. The settlers here still speak Tibetan and wear traditional garb. They have recreated monasteries that were destroyed by the Chinese. The illustrious Sera Monastic University, once the main school for Tibetan monks in Lhasa, has opened again in Bylakuppe, a village in the Indian state of Karnataka. Nearly five thousand monbks are enrolled today, many of them young
boys fresh out of Tibet.

More later..

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