Blog

Diversity, The Future of Tibet

I was born in Amdo Rebkong, Tibet. I choose the phrase “I was born…” on purpose in contrast to “I’m from Tibet’ or “I’m from Qinghai province” because the former provides a specific location and meaning of my historical background for the readers. Saying “I’m from Qinghai province” emphasizes the Chinese political demarcation that can … Continue reading Diversity, The Future of Tibet

Identity, A Relative Language

Identity is an historically entangled thread, difficult to unravel when thinking through its complexity. Most people assume that they have their own identities, be they religious, cultural, or political. Simply put, the identity of a person is constructed from the characteristics that distinguish them from others.  But is it, truly? Is identity something separate, distinctive and independent? Can I have … Continue reading Identity, A Relative Language

Catching Up!

It has been almost a year since my last blog post. Some of my readers have asked about my silence. I have been busy with school. Truth be told, pursuing a Ph.D. requires tremendous determination, courage, and even resilience. Coping with the privileged academic life is challenging. People outside of academia might ask why. I … Continue reading Catching Up!

Translation is a Cultural Conversation

བུ་མོ་ཆུང་འདྲིས་བྱམས་པ། ། bu mo chung ‘dris byams pa སྤྱང་ཀིའི་རིགས་རྒྱུད་མིན་ནམ། ། spyang ki’i rigs rgyud min nam ཤ་འདྲེས་པགས་འདྲེས་བྱུང་ཡང༌། ། sha ‘dres lpags ‘dres byung yang རི་ལ་ཤོར་གྲབས་མཛད་གིས། ། ri la shor grabs mdzad gis A short while ago, I traveled from Queens, the great hub of immigrants, taking the ancient, smelly, and artistic subway to Union Square … Continue reading Translation is a Cultural Conversation

Ama

On this journey full of obstacles There is a warmth of happiness She is called benevolent Ama The one who worships deities and nagas Exhausted by the snow and wind She is Ama of the world In her tears, there is an old wound Deep in her heart, the agony is buried Ama, Ama In … Continue reading Ama

Exile

By Nyen I, with all my might, Endeavored to calm My body, both inside and out And stayed with closed eyes Deliberately, I took myself to the homeland My homeland is lung zi’i gad dmar

Respect: A Playful Word

Allow me to be a Tibetan wordsmith for a while. If I have a good command of Tibetan language, the credit must go to my father. He was my first Tibetan teacher who helped hone my linguistic skills from a tender age. My Tibetan language skills thus surpassed my peers and even students in higher … Continue reading Respect: A Playful Word

Politics is Everything

For Tibetans in exile, the way we approach Tibet is complex and varied. Tibet where some of us lived and still carry its memories. Tibet that is intertwined with both delightful and agonizing feelings for us to imagine persistently from a distance. Tibet that we celebrate as a nation through political symbols and social rituals … Continue reading Politics is Everything

Memory Doesn’t Lie

My aunt Tsemo Khar is the second eldest of eight siblings on my father’s side. We call her Acha Tsemo Khar. Although the smallest of the siblings, she is always full of life. She had to be the breadwinner of her family, looking after her six children, while her yogi husband was away on retreat … Continue reading Memory Doesn’t Lie

Does sex kill language?

I grew up in a culture where it is taboo to discuss sex or an array of sex-related subjects in front of one’s parents, siblings, and relatives. People blush if someone accidentally utters anything about sex and intimate relationships. However, I have observed that the exile Tibetan community is quite advanced and open-minded about these … Continue reading Does sex kill language?

NAMKHA, BIRD-CHASER

Namkha Jhida was my friend, my childhood friend. Every time I went home for my summer holidays, I would go bird-chasing with him. It has now been more than ten years since I last saw him, but these childhood memories are still fresh in my mind. His real name is Namkha Tsering, and family and friends … Continue reading NAMKHA, BIRD-CHASER