How has this affected the community in Bylakuppe? As the existence of the Protected Area Permit attests (any person wanting to stay in Bylakuppe for more than a day trip is required to get what amounts to another visa specific to the place), the Tibetan community there is purposely protecting themselves from the negative effects of globalization. However, the Dalai Lama is nothing if not forward thinking, as much as he cherishes the rich traditions and religion of Tibet. His encouragement for all Tibetans to become fluent in English, the training of Tibetans in new technologies for text preservation, and the emphasis on updating government to a more democratic model all support this modernization.
The funny thing about kids, I think, is that, for the most part, they/we (I'm not stuck up enough to think I'm more than "one of those dumb kids!") don't care too much about preservation efforts. Depending on access of the youth to internet, I would not be surprised to find Tibetan kids with MP3 players rockin' and hip-hoppin' to everything kids in the states listen to, and thinking of Tibetan music as "stuff for old people and monks."
The thing is, though, that I am also not stuck up enough to assume that all kids all over the world have the same self-centered worldview that plagues and empowers my generation in the US. Perhaps, as is the case in Bali, there is no problem in maintaining musical heritage while still venturing into new, primarily Western territory. Or perhaps there is a stigma against Western forms of musical expression.
Though I doubt there are very many "rich kids," such as those described in this week's annotated source, I wonder to what degree the Bangalori attitude of the Third World being the "other" and the Western world being the "inside" has affected the Tibetan kids. Where do the Tibetan kids in Bylakuppe identify themselves? Do many live in a translocal paradigm that is perpetually and adamantly "the in-between," or is there a close identification with Tibetan tradition? How do kids define "Tibetan-ness?" Perhaps the question "what does it mean to you to be Tibetan" could be slipped into conversation here and there with people of all the strata found in Bylakuppe.
|I love these pictures!|