English Excerpt from “Prayers in the Wind” (祭语风中) by Tibetan Author Tsering Norbu

Excerpt from Prayers in the Wind A novel by Tibetan Author Tsering Norbu 节选:《祭语风中》(次仁罗布 著) Translated from the Chinese by Joshua Dyer Edited by Bruce Humes Zhyiö Rinpoche’s body sat upright on a wooden bed wrapped in his frayed and faded robe. Peering through the thick veil of incense smoke, I could almost will myself … Continue reading English Excerpt from “Prayers in the Wind” (祭语风中) by Tibetan Author Tsering Norbu

“Leaving Fear Behind” Tibetan Documentary Filmmaker Dhondup Wangchen (དོན་གྲུབ་དབང་ཆེན་) Escapes from China

In 藏族制片人逃亡美国,曾因拍摄西藏纪录片获刑, the New York Times online Chinese edition reports that Dhondup Wangchen (དོན་གྲུབ་དབང་ཆེན་), earlier imprisoned for shooting the Tibetan documentary Leaving Fear Behind, has fled China for San Francisco, where he has been reunited with his wife and child: 据支持者说,一位知名西藏电影制作人在经历了一次 “艰难且危险的逃亡”之后从中国来到美国。这位制片人曾因拍摄关于藏人在中国统治下生活的纪录片而被捕入狱,他于三年前获释,但之后仍一直处于警方监视之下。 顿珠旺青的表弟为推动让他获释而成立的组织“记录西藏”(Filming for Tibet)表示,现年43岁的顿珠旺青已于12月25日抵达旧金山与妻子和孩子团聚,他的家人已在2012年在美国获得政治庇护。 Click here for full Chinese text.

Filling a Void: Five Contemporary Tibetan Novelists Published in Tibetan 

In Mother-tongue Literature, I posed these questions about one Han scholar’s call for celebrating writing in China’s indigenous languages: Who is going to write in their native language — or read what is written for that matter — if they cannot receive a decent education in it? Those weighty questions remain unanswered, but happily, some … Continue reading Filling a Void: Five Contemporary Tibetan Novelists Published in Tibetan 

Light Reading for Tibetans: “1984” and “A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich”

Orwell’s 1984 — in Tibetan (གཅིག་དགུ་གྱ་བཞི།, at left) — is now available in the PRC, confirms French Tibetologist Françoise Robin in an e-mail today. I assume it has the official stamp of approval, because it is published by the state-run Gansu Nationalities Publishing House, according to a news item in Tibetan (here). It was translated by Dorje … Continue reading Light Reading for Tibetans: “1984” and “A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich”

Bilingual Han Cadres: Coming Soon to Tibet Autonomous Region?

In Han Cadres Required to Learn Tibetan Language, the Global Times reports that Xi Jinping and company are getting serious about implementing the “bilingual policy” (藏、汉双语方针) that was legislated in Tibet way back in 1987: Mastery of the Tibetan language will become a requirement for non-native cadres in China's Tibet Autonomous Region. All seven prefecture-level … Continue reading Bilingual Han Cadres: Coming Soon to Tibet Autonomous Region?

China & “King Gesar”: Challenges of Putting an Oral Epic to Paper

In a Q & A (艺人及其抢救) with Dr. Yang Enhong, Yao Hui of the Institute of Ethnic Literature (China Academy of Social Sciences) succeeds in extracting fascinating details about how Drakpa (གྲགས་པ།,扎巴), a master storyteller (说唱艺人) of the Tibetan oral epic King Gesar was discovered, and his performances preserved in audio recordings and in written form --- … Continue reading China & “King Gesar”: Challenges of Putting an Oral Epic to Paper

Champa the Driver: Tibetan Candide Does Beijing?

Over at Chinese-shortstories.com, Brigitte Duzan has just published a backgrounder on Beijing-based Hong Kong writer Chan Koonchung (陈冠中). She details his works from 1976 to the present day, but in the excerpt below she is talking about his new novel, The Unbelievable Dreamworld of Champa the Driver, starring a Tibetan chauffeur in Lhasa who dreams … Continue reading Champa the Driver: Tibetan Candide Does Beijing?

“Champa the Driver”: Tibetan Dreamer in an Alien Land

Original Chinese novel:  《裸命》 English title:  The Unbearable Dreamworld of Champa the Driver Author:   Chan Koonchung (陈冠中) Translator:  Nicky Harman Reviewer:  Bruce Humes  “Dreams are so good. Why do we have to make them a reality? ” What’s a young Tibetan stud to do for a living nowadays in a tourist hotspot like Lhasa? And what … Continue reading “Champa the Driver”: Tibetan Dreamer in an Alien Land

China’s Tibet™: Brand Management with Chinese Characteristics

A thought-provoking piece over at a web site entitled "Rukor" (Creating China's Tibet):  China’s home-grown orientalism, like the historic orientalism of Europe towards west Asia, ascribes fixed roles and identities to its exotic objects. The Tibetans are required to play their part in a Beijing based script. The scripted role for Tibetans is to be forever … Continue reading China’s Tibet™: Brand Management with Chinese Characteristics

China’s Richest Authors, the “Tibet Craze” and Silenced Immolations

He Ma (何马) author of the wildly best-selling The Tibet Code (藏地密码), ranks 28th among the Top 30 in the just-released (unofficial) list of China’s Richest Authors (2012 年中国作家富豪榜). Back in mid-2011, I wrote about He Ma’s 10-volume series for Paper Republic (The Tibetan Factor, Marketing Smarts and Toilet Humor): It has hit the shelves … Continue reading China’s Richest Authors, the “Tibet Craze” and Silenced Immolations