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Tibet and Its History Regarding Indigenous People

Essay by   •  March 13, 2018  •  Research Paper  •  1,571 Words (7 Pages)  •  901 Views

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The Tibetan people’s connection with the land they reside on is deeply connected in the roots of their faith and culture. They view their land as the embodiment for all life and must be respected. It is seen as a source of life and is prohibited from being abused such as mining. The relationship they have had with their land throughout the centuries is so influential that it forms the basis for traditional Tibetan life and practices.  

Tibet is blessed with tradition and Tibetans relationship with the land is a unique one. Nomads are a common sight in rural Tibet as it is one of the most popular ways of life and has not been hindered for centuries. This nomadic way of life shows the connection many Tibetans have with their land as they are constantly with the land and respect it as Buddhism promotes. The nomadic way of life of the Tibetans reflects their views on the land as they see it as a source for their life as their cattle feed on it and not seen as a resource.

Tibetan Buddhism plays an even larger role in the relationship of the people and their land. Tibetan Buddhism promotes the care and nurturing of the land were you reside as within the teachings it reveals that the land is the body of life and to require peace, peace must be with the land by letting it flourish, an example of this is that killing wild animals in Tibet is a sin and will lead to bad karma so Tibetans only eat domesticated animals in showing respect to the natural order. This leads to the Tibetan Buddhists having a high respect for it.   “Tibetans do not learn the value of the earth through science but through our religion and the way our ancestors protected our land over thousands of years – Tibetan watch  https://freetibet.org/about/history-religion-culture 

Tibetans relationship with their culture is deeply rooted within their communities. The Tibetan culture is extremely rich and boasts over thousands of years of development and practice. Their culture is so valued and important to them that it is ensures that their life is immersed in it in a large extent and that it is preserved for generations to come. Daily life in Tibet is steeped in tradition and cultural practices and living that have been around for thousands of years are still alive and barely unchanged.      

In Tibet religious practices and Buddhist principles are highly respected and is a part of daily life for most Tibetans. Within many rural and urban communities around Tibet monks and nuns play a key role, providing education, guidance and spiritual connections. They are often very active in protecting and promoting Tibet’s environment, language and culture. Almost all Tibetans are devoted to the Dalai Lama, who is considered to be a successor in a line of Tulkus, who are believed to be incarnations of Avalokitsvara or higher being. The Dalai Lama has always been a symbol of unification of the state of Tibet as he represents their values. The removal and exile of the Dalai Lama has therefore greatly impacted the Tibetan people as their highest religious symbol is lost, this is figuratively showing how the Chinese government is trying to disconnect the Tibetans with their culture and beliefs.[pic 1]

(Picture 1 paragraph 5: young Tibetan girl walks past prayer wheels in a Buddhist monastery where teachings are being conducted; against Chinese law)

Tibetan Buddhism plays a vital role in both Tibet’s connections with their language and culture as it is what shaped it and is the basis for their culture to a large extent. Nearly 20% of men in Tibet are monks, it shows the shear dedication and relationship the Tibetan people have with their religion and culture. Since Chinese colonisation these numbers have dropped drastically as it has been restricted by Chinese authorities and because many monasteries are now under the banner of China and former monks or practicing refuse to worship there.

The relationship the Tibetan people have with their culture is rooted deep. Chinese colonisation has tested this, the Tibetan people have proven that the bond they have with their culture is strong as they have built a resilience to Chinese authorities attempting to sabotage due to national interests, Tibetans stage peaceful protests, monks burn themselves alive to show their passion and ancient teachings are reinforced to be taught as they know their bond with their culture could be at risk.

The Tibetan language is completely separate from Chinese languages and even uses a different alphabet and script. Now the Tibetan language is facing extinction as Chinese has replaced it as the official language of business, education and government.

Primary and secondary education is taught in Mandarin, with Tibetan as a second language. exams to universities are in Chinese. As a result, some young Tibetans can no longer speak Tibetan. Many Tibetans try to preserve Tibetan culture, by running local language teaching. This puts them in a risk being arrested by Chinese authorities.

Many young people are finding new ways to resist China's rule and to preserve Tibetan culture. This includes the Lhakar or ‘White Wednesday" movement which is a practice where Tibetans promote their own culture, speak their own language, shop exclusively in Tibetan shops and wear Tibetan clothes

In 1950, the newly established Chinese Communist regime decided that Tibet must become a permanent part of the People's Republic of China and launched an invasion. The People's Republic of China claims that Tibet is an integral part of China as they believe that it has geographically always been part of China, but that is an excuse just so Tibet can be exploited for its natural resources and tourism it can bring. The Tibetan Government-in-Exile maintains that Tibet is an independent state under unlawful occupation.

China boasts of huge investment in Tibet but its economic development is primarily intended to cement its hold on Tibet and enhance its ability to exploit Tibet's natural resources. Economic development has improved conditions for some Tibetans but overwhelmingly it favours Chinese migrants, continuing to disadvantage Tibetans economically.

Tibetans are now oppressed in their own land and have been eradicated because of their culture, way of life and beliefs. This has led to many protesting about their rights and land. Protesters in Tibet repeatedly call for the protection of Tibetan identity, for freedom, for human rights and for the  return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet some monks have even led to burning themselves alive.  

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