Monday, November 19, 2007

"Tibet Does Not Exist, Tibet Does Exist" by Woeser

Poster of Dreaming Lhasa posted on Woeser's blog

A few hours ago, along with three friends, I saw the film, Dreaming Lhasa. Directed by Tenzing Sonam and Ritu Sarin, it was released in 2005. Tenzing Sonam is the descendant of a member of the Tibetan Resistance Group known as “Four Rivers Six Ranges” (Chushi Gangdruk), who heroically went into exile in 1959. He was born in Darjeeling, and has been to Tibet. Ritu Sarin is his wife, and she is an Indian. The film vividly conveys the heart-felt suffering and pain experienced by exile Tibetans for the past 48 years, and it enables its audience to feel this suffering intimately. It’s because of what happened yesterday, that things are happening today and will happen tomorrow… I myself don’t know what will happen tomorrow. But Dhondup (one of the characters in the film), who spent four years in prison in Lhasa, gazed at the floating clouds over the sky of Dharamsala, and said: “No matter what Lhasa is like and no matter whether there are Chinese there or not, I am determined to go back to Lhasa.” When I heard this, tears streamed down my face.

Among the three friends who watched the movie with me, D is Tibetan. Like Tenzing Sonam, she was also born in a foreign land. During the film, she translated the few lines of English dialogue for me in a low voice. L and G are a loving Chinese couple, both of whom received their Ph.D. from Beijing University. I know them well, and I like to watch films with them. Maybe what L said at the end of the film was right; that we all had very complex responses. I fully understood his words, and it was only because I had the same feelings, that all sorts of emotions welled up in my heart. After all, given that from 1950 up to the present, the nation and the country, and individuals like you and me, have been involved in so many entanglements, undergone so many losses, and experienced so much pain, how would it be possible for us not to have complex emotions or find it difficult to express our feelings?

Later, after D and I returned to our apartments, we continued to chat about the movie via the net. Just like the Tibetans who had gathered in Dharamsala in the film, D comes from Britain, and I am from Lhasa. But our watching the film together had a more unique significance, because from a small corner of Beijing, we were trying to get to know American Tibetans in Dharamsala, Indian Tibetans and Lhasa Tibetans, all of whom are Tibetans in a state of exile. Though D hardly speaks much Chinese, she can already write many Chinese characters. I really admire her for learning Chinese in just a year. She told me that the translation of the title of the movie was not very accurate. She said, “In English, it means that Lhasa is a dream. It’s very important to understand this distinction.” When I asked her the reason for this, she typed the following Chinese characters and sent them to me: “Everybody has their version of Lhasa. In particular, although most Tibetans in exile have not been to Lhasa, they have always talked about Lhasa from when they were little. But how can they know what kind of a place Lhasa is? So, it is just like a dream…though this movie is about Tibet, Tibet does not appear in it even once. There is no Tibet!”

Tibet does not exist! But everybody knows that Tibet does exist. It is precisely because we feel that Tibet does not exist or that it does exist that we have become kindred spirits. We still have our dream.

I wanted to say a few words about the movie on my blog, so I googled it. First, I searched for “Dreaming Lhasa” on google, and I was able to find the poster. Karma, who grew up in America, looks beautiful and fashionable, but in her eyes there is also the pain and suffering associated with exile life. Dhondup, who has fled from Lhasa to Dharamsala to fulfil a promise, wears a poor quality suit throughout the movie, and in the poster, he is hidden in the snow mountains and peaks. And in the silver talisman (Gawu), to which many people will prostrate upon seeing it, His Holiness’s thin and lean face is carved in the hearts of those Tibetans who were not able to escape and had to live in Tibet.

Then, when I googled “Dreaming Lhasa” in Chinese, there were a few entries, most of which were advertisements for a trip called, “Dreaming Lhasa”, sponsored by travel agencies all over China.

19 November 2007
Translated from Chinese
View the original here
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Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Blog Post About Job Prospects for Tibetan Graduates

Blog Post by: Snow Lotus of High Mountain

I was very glad to receive a phone call from my good friend, but when our phone conversation ended, I had a heavy heart. My good friend has always been an optimistic girl, I have hardly heard her complaining about anything since I got to know her in the ninth grade (first year in senior high school).

But this time she sounds like a completely new person. I can tell from her tone that she was in low spirits, and it seems that she is under great pressure. “When I graduate, I can only be a teacher!” This is the first sentence she said to me during our conversation. I immediately asked, “Why will you, whose major is the management of railway transportation, be a teacher?” I was puzzled because I know that she has always wanted to work in the office of the transportation bureau so that she can use the knowledge about highways and railways she has studied for four years in college. “I can only choose two positions out of those which recruit candidates through civil service exam: middle and primary schools on the grass root level and cadres on township level. I have asked many people about the prospect of being a cadre on the township level, and I was told that after one became a cadre on a township level, one would be taken seriously and be respected for the first one or two years, but later one would be more or less the same as common people in the village, and female cadres would have to drink along with one’s superiors (leaders). I do not want to lead a life like that, therefore, I can only become a middle school teacher.”

I can tell from her tone that my good friend is helpless. For a little while, I did not know how to respond to her, and I did not know whether I should be sympathetic to her situation or to say a few words to comfort her. Then I asked again, “Won’t the Transportation Bureau recruit employees?” My friend replied, “ My mom has already asked about that, but she was told that the Transportation Bureau will not recruit on its own since it is a government office.” After she said that, I also exclaimed the current employment situation like she was doing, then I said some comforting and encouraging words to her. I told her that she should still prepare well for the exam since it seems to be the only choice for her. But, in fact, even if she passes the exam, she will not know where they would assign her to.

After I put down the phone, I felt pain and suffering I can not express, but I did not know to whom I should relate. I faintly felt flames of fury arose in my mind, but I did not who to blame or who to condemn. Though I found my dreaming job long time ago, I was in tears when I think of the real employment situation facing Tibetan college graduates including my friend, who are ambitious.

We, the college graduates, have the opportunity to receive good education, and many of us were even admitted into the famous Chinese universities where there are very few Tibetan students. Our parents have always been proud of us. In universities where there gather many gifted people, we put much more effort than other students to study one’s own major. At least we do not want to be ranked as students with lower or lowest scores in exams, and make Tibetans lose face.

In the end we are able to get a firm foothold in colleges after we have gone through a series of struggles. We realize the origin of the backwardness of our nationality, and understand that we need professionals in various fields to develop our hometown. We feel that we have the heavy load of developing our hometown on our shoulders, so we study even harder. I can never forget that my friend who major in transportation management looked wane and thin after she studied hard to pass over a dozen final exams at the end of the semester.

Nor can I forget that my friend who majored in journalism shot scenes in parks and streets with the expensive video camera she bought himself or interviewed visitors. But, in the end, both of them can only become teachers by passing civil service exam, and they have no opportunities to consider whether they can use their professional knowledge in their occupation. The ill fitting of one’s specialty with one’s occupation has always been the problem facing the Tibetan graduates, so now all people are insensitive to the issue. As long as one can find a job, one will not mind whether it allows one to use one’s professional knowledge or not.

Since the government has spent so much money to train Tibetan students who major in various fields, then why can’t it employ these Tibetan professionals or give them an opportunity to use their professional knowledge? Why does the government have so many Tibetan graduates work in jobs which have nothing to do with their professional training? Why does it allow the ambitious Tibetan youth to lose their ambitions at their jobs? Why does the government let so many Tibetan youth waste their talents at their jobs or let them to be in low spirits at their jobs?

It is reported that in Tibet there will be 8,600 college graduates seeking for employment: the number of this year’s college graduate is 8,000, and there are 600 graduates who were not assigned with any jobs. Among these graduates, except students who graduate not from teacher’s colleges or universities (including medical students), the rest are eligible to take civil service exam. 3,200 graduates will find jobs in government offices through the civil service exam, and more than half of them will do jobs which do not require them to use their professional knowledge. Still their fate is much better than the rest of them: the rest of them have to seek for employment on their own. Those who are successful will find jobs they like, but others who fail to find their dreaming jobs have to do whatever they can in order to make a living, no matter fro which university one graduated. In my opinion, rather than wasting the talent of professionals, it would be better if the government had not spent so much money to train the so-called successors who are knowledgeable and well educated to build up the new socialist Tibet.

8th May 2007

1. 4:25 pm, May 28, 2007, by Ran
Since the moment I knew that I am not a Han Chinese, my life had lost all the colors. I indistinctively saw the face of the devil and his actions, and this made me live in fear and was at loss what to do.

2. 7:21pm May 26, 2007, by Bai
Cheers for Pemala who posted the thread and other brothers and sisters who are going to take the exam tomorrow!! I am sure our hard-work will bring a better tomorrow for our homeland! May everybody successful!!!

3. 2:28pm May 26 , 2007, by Pemala
Tomorrow is the time to take the exam. Is it right that you wrote the article on that day? On that day we also talked to each other on the phone. We comforted each other, and encouraged each other to prepare for the exam well by reviewing what we had learned carefully. Besides this, what else can you do? I remember when we were in senior high school, we were dreaming that we would one day be admitted into this ideal university. After the entrance exam, all the black boys in our dorm were all admitted into a few best universities. On the campus we have all worked hard and had been planning an ideal future for ourselves. But what is the reality now? This makes me feel more and more lost and perplexed. I am trying to encourage myself, but I have not been able to find my confidence which had accompanied me so far. Here I would like to say a few words to my fellow junior students: do not think the best choice is to go back home and look for employment there. If you do not need to worry about your parents or you do not have to go back home for the sake of your parents, then you should believe in your own ability, and there are many opportunities for you to seize in Beijing and many other major cities. Now I really regret that I had lost many opportunities as I had determined to go home.

I did not have time to read all responses carefully, but I did scan them quickly. I noticed that someone commented that Tibetan students in Inland China are not doing well, etc. Here I would like to say that most of Tibetan students I know are all working hard. We have won glory for ourselves, Tibetan nationality and for our schools. We have always made great effort to study. We are not the most outstanding students on our universities, but we have done our best and to perform at our best. I think most of us will not regret about that. We should be proud of ourselves. Wish all of us be successful.

4. May 24, 2007, 10:58: I strongly agree with what Huihe Lilun posted above. If it is gold, it will shine eventually.

5. 12:54, May 20, 2007, by Huihe Lilun [Mixed theories]
Most of the so-called Tibetan elites are rather dispirited, and their attitude was to leave as soon as they receive their diplomas. They think they can find a good job when they go back to their hometown. But, to the contrary, as a Tibetan college graduate, the responsibility on your shoulder is enormous, and you can not avoid it. When GDP of Tibet is increasing continuously, it means that the hometown is developing. The hidden crisis is that professionals from Inland China had great impact on jobs for indigenous Tibetans. Now it is the era of market economy, so one has to rely on one’s abilities to do things. One can not live long if one solely relies on other’s charity. One need a variety of capabilities to survive, for instance, social resource is one of the most important factors. China’s economy at present has not hit a soft landing, to the contrary, it is refueled. It is estimated that China’s economy will rise even higher. Along with the completion of Qinghai-Tibet railway and other developing projects, Tibet will develop rapidly. At this new era what the homeland needs are professionals! Don’t waste time or money in universities or colleges. Study hard. If it is gold, it will always shine.

6. 12:40, May 20, 2007, By Huihe Lilun
When you are studying in colleges, can it be that you only read books without thinking? What the society needs are professionals, and Tibet needs more professionals. When the Chinese professionals come to Tibet, you should have realized the importance of this. You should.

7. 16:45, May 19, 2007, by Tong Tong [pain pain]
[I want to] add a quotation mark after the word “outstanding”, which refers to the degree of sinicization and technical skills. We are originally more outstanding than you. Well, you do not need to inhale oxygen [to live in Tibet] since you are all garbage who do not have a reliable source of income in Inland china; Those of you who are just put on market from the assimilation concentration camp and the sinicization production line were assigned to work in the countryside because they think you can take the stinky sweat smell to change the customs and transform the social traditions, isn’t it right? Ha, ha; Moved Aizi: Do you really think the few intellectuals in the ethnic group, which has rich natural resources, unique cultural resources, vast territory and only several million people, should compete with Chinese female farmers to wash dishes for the sake of getting less than 500 yuan? Well, you are brilliant, you are really brilliant. I am completely convinced by you! In the work unit where I make my living they have mostly recruited descendants of Chinese farmers. We should all organized together to protest against this. If we do not protest in the name of the living right of an ethnic group, we can do so in the name of the autonomy law. I am not sure about this. I think the Autonomy law should have a preference treatment for employment for the ethnic group.

8. 19:00, May 18, 2007, by Sodrolma
I am really very glad to read an article like this!!! I am going to graduate in 2008.
But my situation is different from most of the college graduates: I want to be a teacher! I am going to transmit whatever I have learned to the next generation without any mistake. In my opinion, the quality of a nationality depends on two people: mother and the teacher.
However, every time when I go home, I feel sad, and I can not explain why. What did I see? [I saw] hypocrisy, deceiving, humbleness, vanity, theft, robbery, formalization…
Let’s talk about “two-way choices”, what many people see are only these four words (Ch. shuangxiang xuanze). Isn’t it funny to assign a computer major graduate to a school which has no computer at all? Why do we who have graduated from prominent universities have to go to work in remote countryside? It is not that we are not willing to go there, well, we just feel wronged.

9. May 18, 2007, 16:33, by Rap in Tibet
Among the thieves there are so many ridiculous systems and policies which are beyond reason. I am wondering what the present ruling class of Tibet have eaten! They have come up with all these topsy-turvy ideas. They are really talking nonsense. What they propose does not conform to reality at all. They did so only to put on a show for CP Central Committee…

10. May 17, 2007, 19:23, by Teng de shi zhu jidan [The one who feel the pain is the boiled egg]
The poet Jingwa (“Frog in the Well”) wrote a poem, which I think he wrote for van Gogh. Here I would like to cite two lines to present to you all: the devil is harvesting your crop, but you are living like a dog in the city.

11. May 16, 2007, 13:58:00 | By: Minya Princess (ch. Muya Gongzhu)

This is not a question of washing dishes, neither is it an issue of attitude! This is a test of the preliminary social effect of the assimilation policy which has been put into effect consciously and with concrete steps for many years. And this is the inevitable result of the large scale immigration policy, and it is also the realistic consequence of ruling Tibet with autocracy and close-door policy. This means that under the pre-condition that you are so sinicized that you are more outstanding than the Han Chinese, then you will obtain the job which were originally promised to you amidst discrimination and at the cost of sacrificing one’s national dignity and sacrificing one’s national culture. This means that you can not enjoy the right of employment priority stipulated in the national regional autonomy law as your father’s generation did, and you even do not have the equal opportunity for employment. Those who assign opportunities are all Han Chinese or those who sell out the national interests, and you have fewer opportunities than those “garbage immigrants” who are inhaling oxygen. Meanwhile, due to the high-degree close-door rule, all the resources are controlled by bureaucrats. It is completely a bureaucratic economy and a corrupted economy. There is no fair market environment or market opportunity, and foreign capitals are basically forbidden to enter the market. This system strictly control the number of various groups, organizations and organizations of legal corporate person, so where will they find employment? The situation in Tibet can not be compared to that of Inland China. Even when the robbers are moving things from your home, you said to them, “ I’m hungry. Please give me some food, then I will help you to move,”, yet it is impossible for you to do so. When the authorities develop many national secret resources, they will not employ Tibetans. Due to purposes that cannot be divulged to the public, the authorities will even require to have tour guides coming from inland China. In this way, Tibetans are isolated from other ethnic groups and foreigners. Certainly, they are just “monkeys” who know how to talk, and when they do not know how to talk well, they certainly need to be aided! Washing dishes is an employment opportunity, and I am afraid if all go to wash dishes, they will not be enough dishes needed to be washed.

12. May 16, 2007, 0:29, by the Son of the Snowland (Ch. Xueyu Zhizi)
Life has always been fair, and it all depends on your attitude toward life. There is no one whose life has always been successful without any difficulties, so it is impossible to find suitable jobs for oneself (some individual cases should be regarded as exceptions). Under the circumstances, one should positively face the problem, and should not be discouraged. As the saying goes, “If it is gold, it will shine no matter where it is! One’s attitude will determine everything! Wish all brothers and sisters have good attitude!

13. May 13, 2007, 24:00, by Let Nature Takes its Course (Ch. shunqi ziran)

It is not bad at all when you can find employment in government offices. Just keep in mind this similar issue: how many college graduates in Inland China can not find employment? Sometimes they can not even support themselves. Some of them will go hungry for a few days, and have to sleep under overpasses in the suburbs.

14. May 13, 2007, 19:35, by L.
We are all members of a wasted generation…

15. May 13, 2007, 13:01, By Tseten Tatse (Ch. Zedan Zhazhi)
Fight against it….fight against it… fight against it ……fight against it….

16. May 13, 2007, 11:13, By fuk
I cited the following remarks from chupek’s response posted on May 12, 2007, 22:10:
“I am wondering whether everybody find out about this: in Tibet there is no channel for people to have dialogue with the government. It will be fine even one can communicate with e-mails. There lack good communication between the government and people.”

The force us absolutely to obey them, and completely keep quiet until we are rotten and die.

17. May 12, 2007, 22:10, by chupek

I am wondering whether everybody find out about this: in Tibet there is no channel for people to have dialogue with the government. It will be fine even one can communicate with e-mails. There lack good communication between the government and people.

18. May 12, 2007, 22:08, by Chupek
Ah, it is a pity… It is difficult for one to obtain a human life again… it is pleasant to hear when one talks about “sacrifice, sacrifice”, but after today, I will become a person of tomorrow, and I am one step closer to death. The only fault is that we don’t have our own country.

19. May 12, 20:32, by Yvonne
Though the conflicts in Tibetan society are becoming more and more serious day by day, yet we will not be able to change the situation for a period of time. Hope Tibetan youth will not be too pessimistic. As long as we make concerted efforts, I think the government will eventually have to change its policy.

20. May 12, 2007, 18:48, by the Perplexed Person (Ch. Mimangren)
Well, my family also want me to be a teacher, but I am not willing to resign myself to such a fate. With no other choices, I secretly registered for exams for civil servants at the township level without telling my family. I majored in railway and highway management and maintenance, and I do not believe in Tibetan all the relevant positions have been filled. Why the working units related to transportation do not recruit employees for those positions, and for whom, on the earth, these positions are reserved? I think the so-called quota are reserved for the children of “old comrades” who have been working in these units for a long time!!!
This is really dirty!! It is really wicked!

21. May 12, 2007, 18:03, by the one who suffer a hard lot (Ch. Mingku-a)

I cite the following from a response posted on May 10, 2007, 18:20:
“I strongly feel the same way. Though I love my own nationality, if there is future life, I will never be reborn as a Tibetan, especially a Tibetan who is controlled by others.”
Just like you, if there is future life, I will not be reborn as Tibetan either. I want to be a white man in America. What a hard life! With the [Han Chinese] immigrants flooding into Tibet for the sake of taking college entrance exams there, a great number of the children of those Han Chinese cadres, who have come to aid Tibet, took the opportunity to be admitted into good universities and to study for good majors away [from Tibetans].
Then, after one studied one’s major, then there is no working unit one can use what one has learned in college. Even if there is working unit which has vacancy for the major one studied in college, one will probably be excluded by children of high officials whose majors have nothing to do with the position. When one takes exams to be a civil servant, one will still be discriminated base on one’s ethnic identity… Aren’t there any people who come to rescue us from such a hard life.

22. May 12, 2007, 10:27 , by pour out one’s heart (Ch. Qingsu xinsheng)
Everybody has poured out their heart and expressed their thoughts about this issue. As a college student who is going to graduate this year, at this moment I feel like an ant on a hot pot, and am very gloomy. I have changed my exam registration between civil servant on township level and primary and middle school teacher for four times. The reason is that everyday I have the “preview of registration” website on so that it will show me the latest information, and I found the number of people who register for civil servant exam has increased dramatically. So far I have seen 1,670 people registered, and this number greatly exceeded the available positions. Of course, we do not know how many others have not registered yet. I am not worried about the number itself, well, what I worry is how many among these people are just going through this procedure as a formality. In the dark Tibetan society it is absolutely impossible to avoid such things to happen. Therefore, I decided to register for exams for teachers. But, please think about it, everybody: we have studied for eleven years in Inland China, and I think that I have won credit for myself by successfully graduating from a famous university, but now I have to be a middle school or primary school teacher. Well, if we do not talk about other issues, I just feel wronged, sad and am not willing to resign myself to such a fate.

I believe many students have similar opinion. But now we have to resign to our fate, and this is the fate of talented intellectuals trained by the Tibetan government… these ‘children” are pathetic… the Tibetan government is lamentable…

23. By: Down with those old men
down with Ragdi, the stinking chairman and those old men who occupy the positions but do not do any work

24. By: Build up a new Tibetan Society
Dear Colleagues,

I am also in the same situation…
I think we should all unite together to overthrown this society.
We have plenty of students who are knowledgeable and clever.
Facing such social inequality, we have to have a large group of heroes who will give the government some pressure. Otherwise, it will not only harm us, but also many future generations.
We should unite together to build up a better society. What do you all think?
I am disgusted by the actions of the Tibetan government.
We are all victims of a slumbering Tibetan society, so we should awake the Tibetan society.

25. By Tsedrol:
I am really sad to read all these blog entries! Though I am not going to graduate this year, I will still face the problem of finding employment! I have studied for such a long time, then why do I have so much difficulty in my life and career? Only if I know earlier, there is no need to read so many books. I am really depressed.

26. I am indeed lost, and really do not know what to do. It is not bad if one has a goal to achieve, but now I do not even have that. The biggest enemy in our life is negative feelings.
In the past, I am very confident about my future, but now when facing with the reality, I really had to say “the reality is cruel and dark .

It is not that I do not want to work hard, but before I have the chance to work har, they have already blocked my way. How can they do that.

I lost my word when I talk about the education system in Tibet. How can they only establish a few working units, then others have to take exams to become teachers or cadres on the township level. Then what is the use for us to learn so much in college.

Recently I have the negative feeling, and I really do not know when I will fall apart.

27. I strongly feel the same way. Though I love my own nationality, if there is future life, I will never be reborn as a Tibetan, especially a Tibetan who is controlled by others.

28. By: Birth--- a Great Mistake
I am one of the pathetic graduates described by the above article…
We are the generation under experiment.
What we use is not out mother tongue either!
And many people have potential racial discrimination! We dare to be angry, but dare not to express it!
I really fear that the great Tibetan culture will … in several years…
It is a pity we can not do anything about it!
The leaders probably do not have time to visit this blog.

29. By: Can’t find the direction
We who were born in 1980s have met with “reforms’ in all our life.
Once because I had a dream, so I have studied hard for many years.
But now my heart is already broken when I am leaving the campus and stepping into the society.
what you wrote in your blog is so good. It is indeed the true situation. I am going to graduate this year, too. I am very depressed. I really do not know how our fate will be in future.
I am helpless…

30. Morals of the time is such… we are facing with such situation.
We who were born in 1980s have met with “reforms’ in all our life.
Once because I had a dream, so I have studied hard for many years.
But now my heart is already broken when I am leaving the campus and stepping into the society.
I have no opinion of this society any more. Hope you all good luck!

31. It is really annoying…
If you really want to work in a working unit which fits with your specialty, I think you should send your CV to the unit, then when you take the civil service exam, you should fill in the name of the unit. If on the form the positions in the unit are not listed, then you should call the unit (you are not putting ads., at this time the information number 114 is very useful). You can ask the personnel department of the unit why the positions in their unit are not listed in the form. They might give you an answer. In short, you have to grab whatever opportunity there might be, even just a straw, since the straw might be able to “save your life”! ha!

It is said that the working units which need to recruit professionals will go to the Organization department to request to assign professionals to them. The CV you sent to them might work at this time since they will check the scores for the civil exam according to the CV.

32. I am going to graduate this year, too. I stopped being optimistic about finding employment long time ago. Well, what can I say? When all the college graduates were guaranteed with assigned jobs, they assigned the jobs by confounding right and wrong. It truly wasted the talents of many professionals. Therefore, I have thought about starting my own business. But after all not a lot of people will think the way I do: most people still hope to find a job to use their professional knowledge. Hehe, they just do not do so. Though they claim that they have developed Tibet and trained professionals, in fact, what do these professionals have? In the end, they all either become teachers or do jobs which have nothing to do with their professional skills and knowledge. Indeed I am still a little bit depressed when I think about it. Sometimes I even think they do so on purpose? Maybe to abuse our nationality. Well, I can never explain it clearly…but in general, I feel the government’s ability of administration and decision-making is rather weak… those old men who are over 50 should vacate the positions for us! I really hate old man like Radi who occupy the positions but not doing their job. They benefited when Tibet was under the merged rule of religion and politics, and so do they under the Chinese communist rule. Then, whose side were they on in the end? You are already old, so you should vacate the positions for us young people. I despise those old men.

33. Before they made decisions about reform, why don’t they think about the larger surrounding environment? Isn’t it better if they increase jobs and establish new working units while they carry out reforms? It will mess things up if the Tibetan government blindly follows other’s footsteps. The case of the blog owner’s friend shows it is purely a waste of talents of professionals or a waste of professional knowledge.
If they intend to force to earn our own living, is the opportunity ripe now.

34. I really do not know whether the condition in Tibet is ripe for choosing one’s employment without being assigned with jobs. In fact, Tibet lags behind the advanced Inland Chinese regions, so one can not compare Tibet with the inland Chinese regions. If the government continues to implement the current policy, I believe in a few years there will be unemployed youth all over the remote regions in Tibet, but children of high officials and rich businessmen will still have a meteoric rise and gain promotions.

35. It is not the fault of any of you! You will know the reason once you start to enter into the society.

It is better without being assigned with jobs, in this way, it will force many Tibetan youth to start their own business.

In this way, it is better than being employed by government offices. Those who are employed by government offices have to be cautious: they can not say this, or do that. They are so afraid of losing their jobs. When there are more young people not employed by government offices, then there will be more people who dare to express their opinions and take actions.

36. My situation is more or less similar to that of the protagonist in the article. What you described there are our thoughts as well. When so many college graduates are sent to do jobs which have nothing to do with their professional training, then who, on the earth, will stay in cities? I do not believe all the working units in the city have no vacancies…

37. I appreciate the opinions of 'Moved AIDS' and 'angelia_813'. In fact, as long as you are capable, there will be appropriate jobs for you no matter where you go. The key is to see whether you are willing to let go of name and wealth… It does not matter if people gossip about you… the most important thing is that one should not loose confidence I oneself….

38. The situation of my best friend in college is more or less the same like what you described. At that time she was assigned to a rather remote region, and now she can not be transferred to cities. Last time during our conversation she mentioned that in Tibet there is a policy for taking exams for graduate study, and the requirement for Tibetan candidates seems to be lowered than that for the Chinese candidates. You can suggest to your friend that she can try to take the exam. It will always be useful if one has a higher degree. In my opinion, now all people are thronged to take civil service exams… they think employment in government offices is “iron bowl”, but they gave up many opportunities to look for “golden bowl”. I think they are a little hotheaded.

39. Comrades! If you really do not want to work on grass-roots units, then you have to have the desire to start new business. Well, open a tea house, or co-operate with others. It is a rather good idea to do so

Then when your business grows to be comparatively large-scale, it will be more interesting to recruit a few college graduates to have some fun.

In fact, it is very important to start business.

40. If I cannot find appropriate jobs in Lhasa, I will go to wash dishes. It is what is called to start from the bottom. Why do we have to go through the single-planked bridge to [be employed by government offices]

41. Pasang T Dorje
I really did not expect you will write such a long piece of your impressions, and publish on our blog!

I carefully read your thought posted above! I feel I am having a headache now. Next year around this time I will also face the problem of finding employment. Ah! I am having a headache…

Well, the leaders in our hometown are probably enjoying their banquets, and they can not spare any time to pay attention to us… Ah, I am sad…

42. Are these the “latent rules” facing Tibetan college graduates?... I think no matter which job one takes, even when one takes the most ill-fit job, as long as one does not loose one’s initial dream, there is a possibility that anything can happen in future. It is really difficult for female college graduates to work at grass-roots units… they have to drink along with their superiors and chat with them… Especially those pretty ones… well, they will suffer more…

43. I just finished reading your post. I do not know what to say now. Since I found a satisfactory working unit, I have not paid much attention to the employment situation this year. But I believe what you wrote in your post represents the thought of many college graduates this year. Hope the leaders will also learn about it!!!! Well, only if they pass by this blog.

44. [it is nobody’s fault, it is ] the system and policy

Translated from Chinese
View the original here
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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

"Special Tibetan Play by Tibetans in Beijing"

I got so excited when my friend texted me and asked me to go and see a Tibetan drama in the China Ping Ju Grand Theatre. She told me the play would be performed by quite a few famous Tibetan players from Lhasa Drama Troupe such as Dorjie, Nyma, Rersel Labala and so on. My friend got five tickets for the special play through her personal relationships. Although I was not sure about the theme of the drama and the theatre was very far away from my college, I decided to go there without hesitation, for it was the first time for me to have the opportunity to see a Tibetan play by many of my favourite Tibetan actors in Beijing. I thought this kind of drama would occur only once in a thousand years in Beijing.

So I went there with four of my Tibetan friends. It took us about an hour and a half to get to the theatre. We had to take a very complicated and energy-consuming route, first by bus, then subway then taxi. When, we arrived at the showplace we were a little bit late. On arriving there, we were welcomed by friendly Tibetan ushers with white khatas and a programme of the play. We felt honoured and happy to receive this familiar way of welcoming. The play had already started and we quietly rushed into the theatre.

As soon as I had taken my seat, I was very happy to see so many familiar faces of Tibetan actors onstage. Weirdly, though, they were all speaking fluent Chinese. I never thought that some famous older actors like Nyma la and Rersel Labala could speak such perfect Chinese as from my childhood I had been seeing numerous classic performances of theirs only in Tibetan I wondered what the play was about and began to read the programme with the light from my mobile phone. Reading the introduction of the play, I was shocked and upset to find out that the play was named Traversing the Summit and is about the Qinghai -Lhasa railway. So without seeing the details of the play, I could already guess what kind of dialogues would come up and the theme of the play. As the play went on, it turned out that I had guessed right. The theme that the play was trying to convey was as usual a one-side story. From the play, the audience was supposed to know how much the Chinese railway workers had suffered during the construction of the Qinghai – Lhasa railway; how they had overcome so many unimaginable challenges; how and what the railway workers had done to protect the weak ecology of the Qinghai –Lhasa plateau. There was an episode that was dedicated to Tibetan antelopes. The railway workers stopped their work in order to give way to the immigrating antelopes. The workers began to dance (I am not sure what kind of dance it was but the dancer imitated the action of Tibetan antelopes) in the end all of the dancers were calling the “Zang lingyang”( Tibetan antelope). I guess this episode was intended to be very heart-warming showing the workers’ overwhelming love towards antelopes. However, the exaggerated confession of love made me very uncomfortable; the workers’ love toward Tibetan antelope was too strong and unclad to believe.

Another thing that made me uncomfortable was that most of the characters in the play are Chinese but all of them were played by Tibetan actors and actresses. All the Chinese was so perfect that they sounded exactly like native Chinese. It was weird as well as sad to find on the programme all the names of the players are typical Tibetan names, while on the stage the Tibetans look exactly like Chinese people speaking fluent Chinese including some Chinese dialects. I am sure a lot of Tibetan people consider this phenomenon as a significant improvement of Tibetan people’s education. But from my point of view, this phenomenon is more likely to be an obvious assimilation of Tibetan culture.

I’d rather wish all the actors and actresses were Chinese instead of Tibetans. At least then I would be happy to listen to standard mandarin. However, it is already a fact that most of the actors are Tibetans. So it is pointless for me to complain about this play. I am sure for most of the actors to speak Chinese was not their will. I just hope that the actors will pay attention to their mother tongue and give more performances in Tibetan for Tibetan people.

This article was written anonymously in English by a Tibetan student in Beijing in April 2007.

(天路/Tian Lu or Road to Heaven sung by Han Hong, a song in Chinese
about the railway to Tibet)
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Sunday, March 25, 2007

"Time Measurement and My Childhood" by Dolma

It is said, and also acknowledged by most Tibetans, that Tibetans usually don’t have a strong sense of time or rather punctuality. Therefore, it is very common or normal for Tibetans to be late by half an hour or more for an appointment. This kind of bad habit among Tibetans bothers me constantly and often makes me think further upon it. Thinking about it, I realize that this concept is rooted in the way Tibetans have measured time in history. In the meantime, those happy days of my childhood come back to me.

Today in almost every Tibetan family, except in some very remote areas, there are clocks to measure time. However, in the past, Tibetans roughly told the time from lots of things from nature instead of such a kind of apparatus. Obviously, through these ways they can roughly tell the time. These primitive ways of measuring time made it impossible to tell the exact time in terms of minutes and seconds. In Tibet, the most commonly used way is the cock cooing in the morning, the rising and falling of some special stars such as the phosphor and Gama Besang and the position of the sun in the daytime.

Being born and brought up in the countryside, I was fortunate to experience and observe such kinds of special cultural phenomenon. As I remember, in the morning we depended upon the cock coo to measure the time. When the adults decided to go for morning-work together, they would fix the time at “the first cock coo”, “the second cock coo”, or “the third cock coo” but never came up with the exact time as few families had a clock.. At that time, I couldn’t help worrying that whether the cocks in every family could coo at the same time and asked my mother about it. “Sure, the cocks had the instinct to tell the exact time and would coo almost at the same time”, she responded.

Apart from the cock coo, in the morning we measured time by phosphor, Tor Rerng Gerchin in Tibetan, which appears in the east of the sky at dawn. I clearly remember that when I was in primary school every morning my mother would wake me up and ask me to go for checking if the Tor Rerng Gerchin had showed up in the east sky. I loved that part of job as this was a very good opportunity for me to gain mother’s favor towards me. I loved to hear mother telling others, “Chung La is a good child and is not idle at all . She will get up immediately as soon as I wake her up in the morning.” Then, if Tor Rerng Gerchin was there, I should wake up my elder sister, Tashi Bedan, who was always the first one in my family to get up. She would then do a series of housework such as fetch water from the river, clear the ashes from the homemade earthen hearth, boil water, brew tea and then make butter tea and so on. Sometimes I had to get up twice or even three times for the star hadn’t shown up in the sky. But I did my job without any complaint.

In the daytime, we told the time from the position of the sun in the sky. Merely a child, I went to gaze at our flocks and herds in the grassland with adults like my mother and grandfather. Sometimes I went willingly and sometimes I had to due to the lack of labor in the family. Grandfather, as the most acknowledgeable man in my eyes at that time, told me when we should leave for grazing, when we should make our dinner when we should give water to the cows and sheep or when we should collect them and go home by estimating the different positions of the sun during the day. Fortunately, due to the non-polluted atmosphere of Tibet, cloudy weather is rare in Tibet or even if it’s cloudy we can still see the sun.

Gama Pasang was another star to play the role of time measurement. This star often falls when other stars begin to sparkle in the sky one by one around the dusk time. My playmates and I would play games regardless of the approaching blackness. So usually the mothers would come to ask the children to go home, saying “we have to go home now, it’s been a long time since Gama Pasang fell...”

How time flies! And I am no longer the happy little girl who was gazing at the grassland with her grandfather who passed away two years ago. Nowadays, although there are many clocks of different designs in my family. I miss the old time measurement; I miss the Tor Rerng Gerchin and Gama Basang whose existence I almost forgot about after leaving my home village over a decade ago; I miss those days which were careless and close to nature; I miss those days with my grandfather in the vast grassland or farmer fields. How I wish I could go back to those happy times.

This article was written in English by a Tibetan student in Beijing in March 2007.
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