Hi guest, Register | Login | Contact Us
Welcome to Phayul.com - Our News Your Views
Mon 18, Jun 2018 07:32 AM (IST)
Search:     powered by Google
Watch CONIFA World Football Cup 2018
Photo News
Statements &
Press Releases

Book Reviews
Movie Reviews
News Discussions
News Archives
Download photos from Tibet
 Latest Stories
Swedish court sentences Tibetan man to 22 months in jail for espionage
Organizations, WeChat groups object to MP Yarphel's inclusion in Tibetan parliamentary delegation to Canada
Tibetan President, parliamentary delegation attend ‘Thank you Canada’ event
Dalai Lama welcomes Kim - Trump meeting
Dalai Lama’s cancer reports baseless, Tibetan leader’s inner circle speaks out
Dr. Dorjee elected Chairman of US Commission on International Religious Freedom
China to build three more airports in TAR’s border region
Mother of exiled former political prisoner threatened, interrogated
Ninth North American Kagyu Monlam concludes: Video
Victory Team wins maiden ‘Thank you India’ football tournament in emphatic final game
 Latest Photo News
His Holiness the Dalai Lama talking to media persons on his arrival at Vilnius, Lithuania. June 12, 2018, Photo: Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL
His Holiness the Dalai Lama attending the 100,000 prayer offering to Guru Padmasambhava at the Main Tibetan Temple in Dharamsala, HP, India on May 24, 2018. OHHDL Photo
Players and staff of the Tibetan national football team listen to His Holiness the Dalai Lama during a special audience. The team will participate in the CONIFA world cup in London, May 18, 2018 Photo:OHHDL
more photos »
SONTSA:Tibetan Youth Power
Tibetan Review[Thursday, August 05, 2004 02:30]
Semshook series

By Tenzin Tsundue*

Tibetan Review August 2004

The old amala rephrased her question "I mean are you Amdo, or Khampa or Toepa?" Lobsang gave the same defiant answer again. In a brash tone he said "Tibet".
One amala mumbled condescendingly - "obviously the boy doesn't know his parentage, his native land."

This incident happened at a restaurant in McLeod Ganj, where my friend Lobsang, a school drop-out works there as waiter. He was trying to be polite to this gang of old amalas while serving them tea, when he was asked:
"What is your native land?"

Most Tibetan youngsters would perhaps give the same answer as Lobsang did. Some are oblivious to their parental roots. Many know, but do not like to identify themselves with any of the clans. Tibetan youngsters don't want to carry the extra baggage of their regional and sectarian identities, which, more than anything else, has become a divisive tool to many of the petty politicians in the community.

Tibetan youngsters are choosing to steer clear from such typecasting. This is the new generation emerging with its own sense of identity. They have seen such categorization resulting in communal fundamentalism.

The challenge is to know ones own parental and cultural roots, and yet not fall into the trap of clanish groupism, which has stifled Tibetan parliamentarian politics. This is the fine balance I believe our youngsters must maintain to take the community forward into positive development. Through this we will achieve that wonderful democratic vision that exiles are struggling for.

Right from the beginning of our exile life, His Holiness the Dalai Lama placed great importance on the healthy growth of the Tibetan children. Tibet's youth who are receiving both traditional and modern education will greatly influence future Tibet. Today, there are over one hundred Tibetan schools in exile.

The children of exile are the hope for free Tibet. His Holiness has a special word for this 'Sontsa'. Sontsa is not the unborn seed, it's not the assumed potential; it is the sapling, it is already fertile and growing, and yet it is young. There is promise of a bright future in Sontsa.

As a kid growing up in school, the Elders gave us the most wonderful dream - a dream called "Free Tibet", a country of our own, the country our elders lost to the Chinese and we have to quickly grow up and reclaim.
There was so much patriotism in our education, whether it was about the national flag, our leader His Holiness, or study of Tibetan history and politics.

Today we are grown up and ready to fight for that dream, but the rules have changed. There is no longer that freedom to fight for. The goal post has moved, and we are left with no role to play. Now we can't even do a protest rally; elders charge us of disloyalty with the Exile Government's request to keep calm.

There is no glory in battling for a compromise, nor does the compromise look hopeful. Anyway, even if it was granted, would the youngsters keep silent and be satisfied with that autonomy?

Quite often I get to work with Tibetan college students in cities all over India. Tibetan students in these cities have been forming student associations through which they collectively campaign for Tibet.
These are being run from the funds they begged from Tibetan camps during their summer and winter vacations. These associations double up as welfare organizations taking care of students in times of emergencies like sickness or accidents.

Last year I was in Mangalore, the seaside-city in south India. About 300 Tibetan youngsters study there.
During the four-day Tibet festival, a curious Indian student asked one Tibetan youth, both about the same
age: "How does Tibet look like?"

The Tibetan student stopped in the middle of his speech and began thinking. He was perhaps recollecting images of Tibet he had seen in films and photographs.
Most Tibetans born and brought up in exile have never seen Tibet, even the hundreds who escaped at a young age haven't seen much of their homeland other than the village they fled.

Their Tibet is created by their imagination, their education, stories they heard from elders and tourists and what they inherited in their blood. There is no citizenship to claim; the Dalai Lama is their passport. They are born refugee.

Yes, like the younger generation of any community we too have our own share of problems with language, traditional customs, and yes, we have loads of attitude. And yet deep down there we are Tibetan.
Every mention of Tibet and the Dalai Lama in a newspaper, TV, radio pulls the strings in us. It's something very personal. Tibetans

strayed to foreign countries with or without papers tell me of this heartstring. It's just magical. This, I believe, is Tibetanness, and I know this is there in all Tibetans.

At the end of the day, we also want a home to return to, a small place to call our own, somewhere where we belong. It's too difficult imagining there will be a free Tibet and postponing our dream called "Home," and yet the struggle must go on.

Often I am asked how should the Tibetans channelize their emotional power into real works to free Tibet.
Today, with the youngsters receiving a world class education, equipped with global language and technology skills, we can put up a strong fight.
Today's youngsters are not bound by customary loyalties. They are patriotic, but educated and informed.

If only we can do away with the inhibition where - in the name of faith - we place the whole job of freeing Tibet on the shoulders of one man: His Holiness the Dalai lama. We are the kind to share responsibility while simultaneously receiving guidance from the Buddha.

We do have a younger group who have excelled in their field of social service, leadership, art and literature, and have set examples. Norsang runs the most popular Tibetan website, phayul.com single-handedly, Lobsang Tsering runs Kunphen; his drugs de-addiction centre in Dharamsala has helped more than 120 patients, Rapsel has been campaigning for vegetarianism; traveling Tibetan camps across India, Techung and Tsering Gyurme in music, Tenzin Dorjee in photography, Karma Sichoe in thangka painting, Lhadon Tethong in youth leadership, she's also the president of world-wide Students for a Free Tibet, and not so young Dolma Gyari and Karma Yeshi in the Tibetan parliament.

I salute these and many others who work silently with commitment and years of dedicated work for Tibet. This article pays tribute to that power of youth, to this new generation of Tibetans in exile which is now slowly coming of age, and making 'Sontsa' - the dream of His Holiness - come true, a promise of new Tibet.

*Tenzin Tsundue is a writer and activist for free Tibet. He can be contacted at tentsundue@hotmail.com
Print Send Bookmark and Share
 Related Stories
Celebrating Exile-II: Our religion and the struggle
Celebrating Exile-I : Education and Outlook
Our Bond with India
Diplomacy and Deterrence
Tibetan Swaraj
Mangtso: Our Democratic Vision
GYAMI: Our Chinese Imagination
TRUTH: The Strength of Our Struggle
Semshook : Lathi Charge and Dal-Roti
  Readers' Comments »
rabga (tenzinrabga@yahoo.com)
Wanted to contact Tenzin Tsundue lak (Tenzin Rabga)
Congratulations.!!! (One Tip One Hand)
we youth must do something for the cause of free tibet. (yangchen lhamo)
Tsundue youth model (jigme)
tsethar are you mad!! (tintin)
Tsundue - don't mislead the youth - the soul and heart of exile community (tsethar)
Tsundue - don't mislead the youth - the soul and herar of exile community (tsethar)
communal riots (Peace lover)
The transcript of my conversation with H.H (Tonpa)
New Generation of Tibetan freedom Fighter (Wangchuk)
how to serve tibet. (yangchen lhamo)
Mad Wangchuk (He HE)
Methods? (Sangpo)
to Sangpo (My Last Word)
back for one more time, a final one (Sangpo)
Dear Reader please check statement from Bho Rangzen (Wangchuk)
Some people just won't get it!! (Bhod Rangzen)
I too dearly love pragmatism (Sangpo)
To Sangpo: Tibetan Independence (Wangchuk)
Thumps up for Bod Rangzen! (Sangpo)
To Wangduk (James Wallen)
A question to Bho Rangzen (Wangchuk)
Illogical Aruments Again (Bhod Rangzen)
were you born here, wangchuk? (tenzin)
Religion VS secular (Wangchuk)
complacency (guest)
Reality hurts (Ari Wala)
illogical logic (BHod Rangzen)
Youth Congress - Root Reform (Wangchuk)
Go back (Threbto)
Phuleeeezzzzz..!!! (Yokozuna)
Dugdak's crab mentality (NJ)
Dukdag, you are just annoying (xyz)
more antidotes less anecdotes (dugdak)
You misunderstood me, Maria (critic)
Sontsa (Rinchen)
Indeed and saddly enough . . . (RuiEV)
Tibetan Sterotype or Chinese? (dugdak)
Tibetan stereotype (Revolution)
right on target (tenzin)
hey researcher (xyz)
read tsundue well (Maria M.T.)
It will take a century (Yaksha)
It is important to resolve the past (Bhod Rangzen)
May Long Live the Tibetan Spirit (RuiEV)
that sun is not anybody, rather just... (Tenzin)
Our destiny is still far, but the sun is... (Tenzin)
The reality is always the same (TSERING)
a very touching article, but what about writing analytical essays. (critic)
SONTSA (Tsewang Gyaltsen)
my hero (yangchen)
Tibetan Youth Power (Ngawang Tsering)
Your Comments

Refugees: A poem by a Gaddi
The Formulation, Backlash and the Continuing Commotion of Tibetan Women’s Day
Tourism in Tibet: China's Money Making Machine
Open Letter from Shenpenn Khymsar
Importance of Secular Ethics in Educational Curriculum
My observations as an intern at the European Parliament
A First in a Refugee Settlement
President Trump, meet the Dalai Lama
“I Too Can Speak About Education”: By Alak Dorshi
Photo Galleries
Phayul.com does not endorse the advertisements placed on the site. It does not have any control over the google ads. Please send the URL of the ads if found objectionable to editor@phayul.com
Copyright © 2004-2018 Phayul.com   feedback | advertise | contact us
Powered by Lateng Online