Friday, November 25, 2011

Girl in Translation

My curiosity was piqued by my wife's interest for the debute novel "Girl in Translation" by Jean Kwok. More information available at author's blogsite Choekyi finished reading it in a couple of days: something I couldn't believe and been testing her throughout my own reading on the character plot, event and story. She has amazingly recalled all with great clarity and my doubt of her complete reading of the novel was put to rest. My dear wife hardly recommend me to read any book, but this recommendation was outstanding.
As she was flipping through some magazine, and then suddenly, her eye fell upon this novel. She immediately handed over the title and asked to bring it for her reading.  I dropped at the NVCC library, and without  much effort, located this book and borrowed for Choekyi's reading.   Choekyi was indeed absorbed in this book and turned its last page in a couple of day. I took it from her and began thus my reading of the novel.   It is so gripping and down to earth , simple and yet so true. The novel turned out to be a "semi-autobiography". As an immigrant myself, I told Choekyi and this novel inspired me to write a novel about my own life. She retorted as usual " You are abnormal". She was not at all interested on what I said, but I went on " I can relate myself so much and in so many ways to the character in the novel. There wasnt anything extraordinary stuff in the novel. As a matter of fact, my own life has been more eventful, more adventurous and more colourful to than  the protagonist Kimberly. My life story may contain much more interesting, intriguing and more suspense than what I have read in the novel.  This debute novel  is well written, and the each characters are well defined. if I had the knack or flair for writing a novel, then I dont have to work hard to create plot for my novel. If I go on and tell my own story honestly and truthfully, then the plot is already in placed in the story.
In terms of substance, my own is a story of chasing American dream by overcoming all life's odd and obstacle.  I even suggested her that the title of my book will be " The Tale of Four Brothers".
Tibet faced its tragedy, and its people are scattered all over the world.  Many of them have interesting tales to tell, rug to riches type or about culture assimilation, loneliness, hope, separation, death, regret, anger, helplessness. hard-work, perseverance, struggle, jealousy, adjustment, adaptation, guilt, redemption and honour so on. 

Besides, a novel written in English can be an every effective way to promote Tibetan people's cause. A great tool to reach across boundary and culture barrier and ethnicity. I long to see a exiled Tibetan novel. It is high time that the world should see one from a Tibetan writer.

Girl in Translation is a mesmerizing novel. It was in the Newyork Times Best Selling List and why the novel has become such a hit is simply, it is intriguing, humane, and reflects reality in America. Tt is a story of loves, dream and poverty, perseverance, wit and wisdom. I recommend it to young people who have reached at  crossroad of their life and not knowing which direction to move. 

The novel teaches you the virtue of handwork, the god of small things, and the beauty of brain, and the potential of people.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

spectator,sympathizer or supporter.

I am horrified to watch this grotesque vidoe of self immolation in Tibet To me I am seeing for the first a human being is burning himself alive. His hands are trembling and his body were twisting with spsam, he has not breathed his last yet.  A closer look one can discern how the flames were shooting from his mouth. That is we heard he has swollen kerosne.There has to been something that is larger than his life,  that drives him to such extreme action. It can not be just a mere patriotic feeling and restment against the Chinese government. The invididual has put himself on harm's way with full knowledge of its consequence.  What you can call it? desperation, courage, bravery, selfless act, violent or sheer madness. Personally, this type of self immolation is unfathomnable to me.   Maybe the Tibetan people's spirit are as real as the flame of the self immolation.  This ultimate sacrifice has tobe the the true symbols of Tibetan spirit. The flame of freedom has been ignited, and it will not be put out by the herrendous gust that blew from the east.

This tragic news from Tibet has petrified me, I racked my brain as what is calling on us. And I penned this piece on this blog as what exiles can do given our situation. As I watch and ponder over the situation and circumstance that led to this immense sacrifice, I started to get numb. The monk, Tsewang Norbu has set himself ablaze, and he is consumed and engulfed by the flames beyond recognition. However, based on the video pictures, he did not do it in isolation. The self immolation took place in a sparsely crowded market area. the clip that we see shot at the moment of incident. Tsewang Norbu has fallen down and lying back, and he is still alive and fighting for life.
The onlookers, who have gathered to watch him dying are mostly Tibetans. This I could make out from their vague conversations and chattering.

What I can not understand is why those people who are nearby appears to be so indifferent. It is completly in contrast to the another self immolation in Amdo Ngaba, where the crowd are shouting, screaming and calling for the Dalai lama frantically. Which is indicative of the dire situation and the crowd's understanding of why the self immolation is occuring.  Whereas the people that have sorrounded the bornfire that Tsewang Norbu made has  no such sense of urgency or remorse. If i am not mistaken, I had an impression of those people were watching him dying are  acting so unsamaritan. Noone is coming forward to assist the burning victem. The usual report of hundreds and thousands of Tibetans showing solidarity and sympathy for the victems, seemed to be so unreal based on this clip. Those spectators are so relaxed, they are chatting leisurely, and caring so little for the cause that the this man burnt himself. When the Vitanam monk himself to death. The people around him were worshipping and prostrating infront of him. Any Tibetans can not remain as a spectator when such a scene of self immolation unfolding infront of your eyes.
Recently, in China, people's apathy made international headlines when a child struck by a car were left unattended by dozen of people who passed by, not even calling for police.  I hope the Tibetan, whose is known to have a culture of compassion and equanimity, act kindly and selflessly.  This clip is indeed very graphic and disturbing and more disappointing is the way those onlookers are reacting to the scene. When I asked someone, what she would do on this case, she said " I would not try to put out the fire, because it is too late, and however, I will show my solidarity and support by raising his slogans against the Chinese government".  I dont know what I will do when I am a witness to such unbearble scene.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Human Rights Appeal

In a direct appeal to China’s President Hu Jintao, two major human rights organizations have called on the Chinese government to end the “repressive” policies in Tibetan areas that are being blamed for 11 self-immolation protest deaths so far this year. Read more at...

New interview

Sunday, November 6, 2011

daring self immolatioon

Palden Choezom’s body was cremated at the same spot in Nyitso monastery, where early Tsewang Norbu’s body was cremated around 5 am on November 6,2011.
A high level Chinese official from Gandze prefecture accompanied with few others have come to Nyitso monastery and ordered the body be cremated. For the official complained it is drawing attention from the crowd. But Tibetan protested against such decree saying that to keep the body for three days is a Tibetan custom that have not violated the Chinese law, which led to postponement of cremation until 6th. Nov. The Chinese officials order that the cremation should be done before dawn on 6th of Nov, to which the monks have not accepted.  Around 1000 monks and nuns have gathered in Tawu Nyitso monastery, and they were enraged and showing apparent sign of desperation, they are not willing to follow the Chinese official order. The outer courtyard of Nyitso monastery is filled with lay people. Representatives from other major monasteries in kham such as from Dangon, Kandze, Sethar, and Lithang monasteries etc have arrived to show their solidarity and support for the late nun. Unprecedented numbers of people have converged in Tawu to show their support and consolation for the deceased.
Former political prisoner Lobsang Jingpa said Nyitso monastery is surrounded by Chinese police and armed force were parading in street in a show of force and intimidation.  Armed police forces were taking position at old cinema hall adjacent to the monastery but they are not coming out.

The nun self immolated on Nov 3rd. since then the body was brought to Nyitso monastery and kept there, while the monks held prayers said a former political prisoner Tawu Jingpa who contacted with local resident in Tawu county.
The nun has a picture of the Dalai Lama and Karmapa under her hat, which was not burned.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Tibetan spirit

Women with their babies in strollers, elder people walking on a stick, young and trendy girls in high heel, restless and youthful looking guys in their sneakers, they come with one purpose : to amplify the voice of those Tibetan heros inside Tibet. Tibetan people from all walk of life descended on D.C to join the Global Day of Action jointly organized by five regional Tibetan Youth Congress. The officials of Chinese embassy who are hiding inside their compound must have felt the tremor triggered by the raucous free Tibetan protesters. It was a powerful show of people's force. By today's gathering of Tibetan people clearly indicated that the Tibetan struggle is growing bigger and stronger, and louder. Capital Areas Regional Tibetan Youth Congress, which have played an indispensable role of  co-hosting the mass protest have done a brilliant preparation.

As I approach the Chinese embassy, I could hear the echo of loud protest far away. Getting closer to the vicinity of the Chinese embassy, I saw a sea of snow lions flag hoisting high and fluttering in the air, as if challenging the lone Chinese flag across the street. There are familiar faces, and there are new faces, as I walk into the centre of the crowd. Three highly charged speeches were delivered. by the leaders of the organization. Tsewang Ringzen, the president of Tibetan Youth Congress delivered a high spirited and uplifting speeches.  He commended those brave men and women in Tibet for their ultimate scar fices. He urged Tibetans that freedom comes with price , and that Tibetan should be ready to pay the price.  His speech was highly inspirational and very moving. Then followed by a speech by the president Regional Tibetan Youth Congress, Newyork echoing the same message of independence for Tibet. The speakers are extremely passionately and upbeat. It was a somber atmosphere, at the same time lots of excitement on the air. A crowd of such scale are rare to see in Washington D.C.

Enacting self-immolations:

TYC has artfully enacted the self-immolations in an open area, on a big white clothes. As the spectators watching the drama unfolding with heroic act of selflessness. It brought tears from many eyes in the crowd.
The crowd become very emotional, it was a moment of awe and depressing yet the glorify of those who sacrificed for Tibetan cause were duly honored. Sanga, memeber of TYC Newyork, conveyed a direct message to the Tibetan in Tibet in my interview " Dear brothers and sisters, our ears are tuned to and our eyes are wide open, we are with you in spirit and in deed". Seeing the grand parade  that stretches for miles away with the thundering slogans for Tibetan cause is indeed a great spectacle. The demonstrators were focused, and committed to scream out of their lung. It is what they  can do at least for the moment , they do it with passion, sincerity and genuine feeling for the nation. 

The parade from the Chinese embassy to Dunpon Circile come to a halt with pizza lunch served to all participants. From there the crowd resumed its protest and marched to White house. Another round of speeches were delivered, one particularly speech by RTYC Manisota was very inspiring.  The protest was a huge  success both for its turn out of protesters and for the message that it has conveyed to all people on the way. The protest has inspired the content for a documentary film. It all come down to one thing.  "United we win and divided we fall". As President Tsewang Rigzin said, it appears the protest would end and we go back to our respective places, but the struggle for Tibetan independence would go on ceaselessly..


Katri speaking to India TV

I never knew our Katri speaks fluent Hindi.

Second nuns self immolated

selfless act of self immolation,

Mr Jingpa from Dharamsala, who had contacts with the locals in Tawa county in Tibet spoke to RFA.

“As of now a joint prayers session were organized at the Tawu Nyitso monastery with participants from few other nunneries including Dakar nunnery. After the nun’s self immolation, thousands of local Tibetan gathered at Tawu market areas and shouted slogans such as long live the Dalai Lama, before proceeding to Nyitso monastery. The monastery has now been besieged by local Tibetans. The police and military forces have also been stationed around the monastery and nunnery. The officials of the monastery and nunnery have been summoned to the police station. The reasons for why they are called to police station are unclear”.

“a Tibetan nun from the Darkar Choeling in Tawu has set herself alight around 12:30 pm, on November 03.

She has swollen and doused herself with kerosene before setting herself alight. She was shouting “long live his Holiness the dalai Lama, Free Tibet, Dalai Lama return to Tibet.

In about minute she fell to the ground, but then she rose up and shouted again with hands clasp. Her entire body was engulfed with fire, and flames shooting out of her mouth, her slogans become inaudible. It took her about few minutes before she fell to the ground again and succumbed to the burns. The self immolation took place at the same place, where Tsewang Norbu (a monk from Nyitso monastery has self immolated). Soon after the nun self immolated and dead, local police swooped at the scene and attempted to take possession of the dead body, but then the Tibetan masses at the scene shouted against the police and brought the corpse to Tawu Nyitso monastery and kept in the prayer hall.

Paden Choezom hails from Dongchen village in Tawu, she is 35 years old, her father’s name is Chongney, and mother’s name is Yama Choedon.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011