|Phayul[Friday, March 04, 2005 20:13]
|‘Beyond a cry for Tibet, this book is a remarkable testimony to human compassion and for hope in the future.’ – Senator Bob Brown
‘Chope’s life story is compelling reading. His childhood on the Tibetan plains, his family’s flight to freedom in Nepal and India and his struggle to acquire an education as a stateless refugee puts this unforgettable autobiography in a class of its own.’ Writes Angus & Robertson, Australia’s largest bookseller, in their review of Chope Paljor Tsering’s autobiography The Nature of All Things which was recently published in Australia.
This most readable life-story tells with simplicity and humility Chope’s life as the son of a Tibetan drogpa (nomad) on the northern Chang-Thang plains. It vividly captures the joy and excitement of the great horseracing festivals and the buzz and colour of the traditional wedding festivities as well as the simple everyday life of the drogpas. This simple yet contented life is brutally interrupted by the invasion of Chope’s homeland Tibet by China’s red army and Chope and his family are forced to flee into exile. In his book, Chope recounts a particular day during this escape:
It was while we were camped close to the Nepalese border that my father received a letter proclaiming the setting up of a temporary Tibetan government at Lhuntse in southern Tibet. This was accompanied by news of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s safe arrival in India. My father placed that letter on his head and wept for a few minutes, then said with complete conviction, ‘The sun of happiness will shine over Tibet again.’
Overcoming the heart-wrenching period after his family’s arrival in exile when he suffered tremendous personal losses including the death of both of his parents and facing enormous obstacles in his struggle for an education, Chope never wavers from his determination to once again see the sun of happiness rise over Tibet. To this he dedicates his life as he travels the world as an advocate of the Tibetan people’s struggle as an international diplomat for His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Having served as the official Representative of His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama since 1987 in many parts of the world including Nepal, Eastern Europe, Australia and Oceania, and currently in Japan and East Asia, Chope Paljor Tsering is amongst the most senior and experienced Tibetan diplomats. Based on these experiences and his insightful outlook, in The Nature of All Things, Chope looks towards the future of Tibet and the Tibetan people with reasoned optimism and confidence.
As The Nature of All Things is dedicated to all Tibetan children, it is fitting that Chope’s life story is so immensely relevant to the young Tibetans of today. Reading through how much Chope had to struggle to receive any modern education at all allows young Tibetans to realise how fortunate they are to have any opportunities for an education and to achieve something for themselves, their country and their people.
The Nature of All Things also entreats young Tibetans to discover as Chope himself did in his youth, the real depth and wisdom of the Tibetan Buddhist culture to which as he writes in his life story, ‘the geniuses of the Tibetan world have dedicated every ounce of their energy and every minute of their lives.’
Ultimately, The Nature of All Things is more than just a life story. It is a first hand record of Tibet’s modern day history which generations of Tibetans can treasure as a part of the growing collection of Tibetan records of what has been lost forever; the Tibetan way of life before the Chinese invasion, and records intrinsically reminding the Tibetans of today and the future of the right of the Tibetans to their homeland Tibet no matter how long it may take.
In short, The Nature of All Things reads like a novel, yet is honestly and simply told. It is a must-read for young Tibetans across the world. It is a landmark Tibetan autobiography which is truly inspiring and a joy to read.
The Nature of All Things is best summed up by the words of the Australian Senator Bob Brown who wrote, ‘Beyond a cry for Tibet, this book is a remarkable testimony to human compassion and for hope in the future.’
- By Ngawang S. Bradley, NSW, Australia
The Nature of All Things by Chope Paljor Tsering is available at all major book stores in Australia as well as online at their websites if outside of Australia. It may soon be available in book shops in other parts of the world including the USA, UK and India.