Monday, September 22, 2008

"Advice to the Youth of the Land of Snow" By Lobsang Jamyang (Student)

It is sad to see some Tibetan youth idle away their time in pleasure-seeking. Our ancestors have left us with the rich culture and history, but what will we leave for our descendants?

I. Understand Tibetan History

It is extremely important for us Tibetans to learn about our own history so that we can learn from history and better prepared to bring about development in Tibet. We need to understand ourselves, instead of imitating others blindly and losing ourselves. Only in this way can we make progress and bring about development.

II. Attach Great Importance to One’s National Language

A nationality without its own spoken and written languages will not develop much.

All Tibetans have the great responsibility to protect and promote the use of Tibetan language. I am sure all intelligent and thoughtful Tibetan youth will attach great important to the promotion of Tibetan language. It is always beneficial for one to know multiple languages, but it is a shame for not knowing one’s native language. I got to know a Tibetan student online, and she told me that she hated to learn Tibetan since it is useless to learn it. When I asked her why she said so, she frankly told me that she could not make a living with knowing Tibetan. I was sad to see a Tibetan youth in college was so narrow-minded about the concept of survival, and the reason for her to pursue higher education is just to find a job to make a living.

If one wants to keep the good traditional national culture and keep the national characteristics, one has to attach great importance to the national language since it decides the future of the nationality. Can we imagine how much effort and suffering our ancestors underwent to create the language we have today? Lot of them used their lives to change for the language and other cultural heritage left us. Do you think they did this just to make a living? Can it be that one needs to sacrifice one’s life to learn Tibetan? The answer is certainly no. Then, what is the reason for not learning?

In order to develop the national language, every Tibetan youth should try his best to learn Tibetan and to use it in as many occasions as possible. If one has the financial means, one should promote the development of the national culture. All of us have the common responsibility and obligation to promote the use of Tibetan language.
     
III One’s Heart is the Commander of One’s Deeds and Also the Starting Point for One’s Action

We need people who have their own nationality in mind, and will always think about the future of their nationality.

Have any of you thought about how to prevent us from doing things to delay the development of our nationality? Those youth who care about Tibet must have thought about these issues, but simply do not have strategies to prevent them from happening. It is enough if we care about these issues, and we should take actions next. As long as we all do our job, and guide those who lost their directions in life, we are contributing to the development of Tibet.

In 2004 when I went to college, I had to go to the Municipal Bureau of Civil Affairs to get financial aid to pay for the tuition. I found the strange phenomenon that all those students who came with their parents got the required seal easily even though they did not look like poor people, but those students from really poor families had to come on their own, and very few of them received the aid. I wanted to share my experience with you so that more people will safeguard their rights with law and more and more youth will not go astray in life.

All the youth in the Land of Snow, no matter where you go, please keep your good natural instincts and keep yourself away from those ignorant deeds. When you obtain power and wealth, you have to keep in mind that these are the result of the sweat and toil of common people.

Keeping one’s national identity is one’s most basic norm of action. Many young people forget about their highest ideals, their parents, their friends and their nationality, instead they indulge in pleasure-seeking. We cannot see any national characteristics in them. Everybody should keep one’s national characteristics, which is unique to one’s nationality and is the essence accumulated over the long process of the development of one’s nationality.

What is the thing we should be most proud of?     
Many countries in the world have advance technology, but few have historical cultural relics. For instance, though the United State is very advanced, it only has a few hundred years of history. We do have a very long history, but are we proud of it? (For example, the five Greater and Lesser Sciences, Tibetan medicine, unique culture, Tibetan dances, murals, Buddhist images...)   

There are many more things we should be proud of, but we have not looked for or pay attention to these things. As a Tibetan youth, one should promote our unique and outstanding culture so that other nationalities will better understand our culture.

Have we ever been proud of having such an outstanding culture? Those who have never felt so must be cold-blooded since it means that they have no feeling for the Land of Snow, which nurtured them. People without national sentiment will not make any contribution to one’s nationality, so we should try to be Tibetans with national sentiment and sense of Tibetan identity.

Understanding the Ugliness of Ourselves
People who live on the plateau do not know about the outside world until they leave the snow-mountains and the blue sky. When mankind has already landed on the moon and are exploring the universe, some of us Tibetans are still sitting on the back of donkeys and living a leisurely life. When I see that some Tibetans live such a leisurely life without pressure, motive or urgency, I can only release myself from suffering with tears.

Many Tibetan scholars and intellectuals have called on people to wake up from superstition and ignorance, and have guided them with correct view of life, correct thought and correct value system. But how many of us have really engaged in introspection? These writings profoundly reveal the deep-rooted bad traits, which mainly reflect in the thinking, customs, style and attitude. These traits are the key factors, which have hindered the development of the nationality. It is a pity nobody reads these books.   
 
It is Time for Us to Use Our Brain
It is easy for many Tibetans to be content with life, and they will live their life day by day without much planning for future. [Mainly because they do not have explicit goal of life and they have some wrong thought. He blames the ruling class for instilling superstitions into people’s head as Buddhist thought in history. Some believe one’s fate is predestined, and nobody can change the reality.] Consequently, there emerges a group of pleasure-seeking people who have no aim in their life and no motivation. They themselves think that's what Buddhism advocates. I read the book Buddhism and Thought, and I could not find such concept in it. The book emphasizes that one will have good retribution only if one does more good deeds.

When other nations are developing and becoming advanced in science, some of us have no ambition and live an idle life. We are happy to receive help from others, and we do not have any dignity. When we receive help, it seems that we do not feel ashamed at all. Do any of us ever think that others are so strong though we all live on the same earth? Have we ever felt ashamed for being weaker than others? Have we really united together to work for the cause of our nationality? No, we have not.

At present, mankind has created unprecedented civilization, but what have we Tibetans created? Many people claim that Tibetan culture is charming, rich and mysterious, but these are things left to us by our ancestors. Without these heritages, what other things do we have to show off?

In order to facilitate the development of Tibetan nationality, the Party and the government sent a large group of youth to study in inland China, but due to some bad influence, some useful youth became useless. I read the entire blogs on Tibetan blog forums, and many Tibetan college students write about what they are doing in college. 80% of them sound very similar: they all change from a youth with high aspiration to somebody without aim and direction in their life. The main reason is that they are influenced by their fellow students. Some students said: “My parents have already found a good job for me, and I am going to work there as soon as I graduate. No matter how hard others try to work, but they will not find good jobs like mine.” Many such things experienced by college students make them lose confidence in many things, and lose their sense of direction and aim in life. We have to provide a fair arena for professionals, in this way, many ambitious youth will strive to realize their dreams. This is the responsibility of the society to provide such an environment, and it is also the wish of the youth.   

With economic development, many alien cultures are introduced into Tibet, but it is not beneficial to the healthy development of our nationality if we accept everything without discrimination.

It is necessary to have advanced scientific technology and advanced culture for the development of the modern society, and one needs perfect spoken and written language to master these technologies. Though we Tibetan have the spoken and written languages, but how many of us really master it and know really how to use it?

Some Tibetan youth know very little written Tibetan, and they are not very good at other languages either. In fact, most of them are from cadre’s families. We cannot understand why they are like this though they have a very good family background. Though their parents are well educated, we cannot understand what kind of education these parents have received. As far as I know, a great number of youth with good family background are like that and they all indulge in pleasure-seeking.

In general, Tibetans lack ambition, and it is easy for them to be content with life. In addition, they are usually short-sighted and lack the belief of striving to stand on one’s own feet.
 

What Kind of Development Path Do We Choose?
We should focus on development, at the same time we should also attach great importance to environmental protection and the preservation of the cultural heritage.  

1. We should promote education. 
The basic education in many Tibetan areas is rather weak, as a result, many children from the countryside can not continue their study when they finish with elementary school or junior high school. They have to go back home, and they become a burden to their parents.

When many school drop-outs go home, they can not work in the field like their peers since they cannot stand such physical labour. Then they will leave their home, and make a living on their own. There are many such incidents, but people in the education circle ignore this problem. Many drop-outs in countryside leave school not because they do not want to study hard, but because they do not have the condition and opportunity to pursue further study. Therefore, society should pay more attention to these children and provide more opportunity for them.

2. We should promote multi-variant tourism
Tibet has rich natural scenery and unique national culture, we should promote multi-variant tourism. Meanwhile, we should co-ordinate some important festivals with golden seasons of tourism, and doing so will be beneficial to the development of tourism. We should have such new tourism projects such as outdoor sports, mountain climbing and farms.

3. Exploit the rich mineral resources.

4. Process barley and other agricultural products, and develop them into green products.


The Future Land of Snow We all Look Forward to Seeing
We all look forward to see the Land of Snow to be well developed with advanced scientific technologies, free from superstition. We wish to see schools, factories, scientific research institutes, recreational facilities and hospitals all over the holy land. We will not find bars and tea houses there, neither will we see people idle away their time.

The youth will engage in scientific research, and will be far away from drugs and pleasure-seeking. We also wish to see vegetable and fruit farms.

By then, people yearn for Tibet not just to admire the natural sceneries and cultural relics, but they admire more the economic productivity, the living condition and the quality of service.

Translated from Tibetan.
The original URL: http://www.tibet123.com/?2/action_viewspace_itemid_478.html is no longer valid.

1 comment:

phuntsok said...

geez ... i suppose only the author's enthusiasm could have propelled him to write such an article.... but very incoherent and contradictory! lets proofread and raise the standard up!
p.s> or maybe the translation was bad since it was originally written in Tibetan?