Friday, July 29, 2011

Contamination of Drinking Water Caused by Mining: An Appeal Letter from Kumbum Monastery

High Peaks Pure Earth has translated an appeal letter from Amdo, Tibet, that was written on June 30, 2011 and published on a TibetCul blog on July 13, 2011. The original post is no longer accessible: 

Located in today's Qinghai Province in the PRC, as the appeal letter states, Kumbum Monastery is a sacred, historic and very important site for Tibetan Buddhism. The letter appeals for action to be taken by governmental authorities over the lack of clean drinking water in the area, brought on by intensive mining activities by several big enterprises, causing environmental destruction and illness. 

On July 17, 2011, the following video was uploaded on a Chinese video-hosting site, showing clearly the polluted state of the water: The video description contained the text of the appeal letter.

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Superficial Preparations for the “Great 60th Anniversary Celebrations” By Woeser

High Peaks Pure Earth is posting the translation of a blogpost originally written for the Tibetan service of Radio Free Asia by Woeser on July 7, 2011 and posted on her blog on July 14, 2011.

In this blogpost, Woeser writes about the extravagant preparations in Lhasa for the 60th Anniversary of the "Peaceful Liberation of Tibet", as the Chinese government likes to refer to it. The blogpost continues on the theme of "dressing Lhasa up" and covering it with "make-up", a theme Woeser first touched upon in the December 2010 blogpost, Can Lhasa's Image Be Formed by “Dressing Up”?

At the time of writing the below blogpost, it was unclear what the celebrations in Lhasa would look like or even when they would be held. In the end, the "celebrations" were held in Lhasa on July 19, 2011, with China's next top leader Xi Jinping presiding over events.

Woeser mentions the "Red Songs", readers may be interested in our earlier post about the "Laundry Song", including one version as performed by Xi Jinping's wife Peng Liyuan.

A worker with a card hung around his neck reading “Temporary Worker Permit,
60th Anniversary of the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet.”
The Potala Palace in 2011.
Temporary staging in front of the Potala Palace for “liberation” anniversary performances.

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Monday, July 25, 2011

"Seeing Damaged Buddhist Statues at White Stupa Temple in Beijing" By Woeser

High Peaks Pure Earth has translated a blogpost by Woeser written on June 15, 2011 for the Tibetan service of Radio Free Asia and posted on her blog on June 22, 2011.

Following on from Woeser's blogposts about her trip to Chengde and various observations, the following blogpost focuses on the White Stupa Temple in Beijing (Ch: 白塔寺 Baita Si, also known as Miaoying Temple), all places that have an historical connection with Tibetan Buddhism.

After reading this post, readers may be interested in this 2007 poem by Woeser titled "Remembering a Battered Buddha".
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Thursday, July 21, 2011

High Peaks Pure Earth Summer 2011 Reading List

High Peaks Pure Earth has updated the Winter 2010 reading list to create the Summer 2011 reading list!

With these reading lists, High Peaks Pure Earth suggests books for those interested in Tibet and particularly in Tibetan literature in translation. Click on the links below the photos to see the books on Amazon.

If you have read any of these books, leave a comment or short review... if you have any of your own recommendations, please let us know!
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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

"Re-Telling the Story of Chengde" By Woeser

High Peaks Pure Earth has translated a blogpost by Woeser written on June 6, 2011 for the Tibetan service of Radio Free Asia and posted on her blog on June 15, 2011.

This blogpost serves as a follow up to Woeser's previous post "Encountering 'Tibetan Lamas' in Chengde", posted on High Peaks Pure Earth on June 29, 2011.

"Little Potala Palace" developed for tourism

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Friday, July 15, 2011

"Please Stop the “Development” of Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar for Profit" By Woeser

High Peaks Pure Earth has translated an appeal letter by Tibetan writer, poet and blogger, Woeser, that was published on her blog on July 10, 2011The urgent appeal letter relates to planned developments for tourism at Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar in western Tibet.

Woeser's blogpost has already generated mainstream media interest and US based Tibetologist Elliot Sperling has also issued a similar appeal
In the appeal letter, Woeser mentions the Dalai Lama's meeting with Chinese scholars in the US. This is a reference to the Dalai Lama's current Kalachakra teachings in Washington DC where, on July 11, 2011, he addressed a conference on "Democratic China and the Future of Tibet".

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Monday, July 11, 2011

"Tibetan Writer Pema Rinchen Detained on July 5, Severely Beaten"

High Peaks Pure Earth has been following the news about the detention and mistreatment of young Tibetan writer Pema Rinchen that has been coming out via Woeser's blog and Twitter. The full translation of Woeser's blogpost of July 7, 2011 is below, a blogpost that was summarised by Beijing based American journalist Paul Mooney on his blog on July 8, 2011.

Young Tibetan writer Pema Rinchen

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

"No Matter Where I Am, You Appear Before Me": A Song And a Poem About An Absent Parent

High Peaks Pure Earth has translated a Tibetan song and a poem by a Tibetan blogger, each about missing an absent parent.

The first translation is of the song, "Longing", a very popular old song by perhaps the most famous singer in Tibet today, Yadong. Regular High Peaks Pure Earth readers may also remember "Mentally Return" that had Yadong team up with three of his students to sing about Tibetan unity. The song is directed to an absent Mother. Missing a parent is a familiar trope in Tibetan popular songs and writings and is often interpreted as a veiled reference to the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama, who turns 76 today, is seen as a parent figure by Tibetans. Common allusions to nature such as the sun, clouds and stars can also be interpreted in this way. For a more recent song that can be interpreted in this way, follow this link to an English subtitled video of a rap by Dekyi Tsering titled "Father".

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