"Exiles keeping Tibetan identity alive" by Eleanor Thomas
BBC Radio 4, Dharamsala
I wanted to take a step back and look at the forest as a whole, instead of focusing too much on the trees. Eleanor Thomas took a part in making A Tibetan Odyssey: Fifty Years in Exile for BBC, which I will have to check out sometime. It's audience is those who are new to the Tibetan issues, and aims towards creating a sympathetic viewer. This article is rife with great quotes from Tibetans in exile, including:
"I want to see Tibet as an independent country and all the Tibetans can welcome His Holiness inside the Potala [Dalai Lama's palace in Lhasa] with a great joy. Most of the time that is what I dream about."
"I've been trying for a long time to get a picture of the old home but I think it is unrecognisable now. As an exile I suppose in a way I have never felt I have a home anywhere."
"I remember annual picnics, festivals and visits to the monasteries, horse-riding; it was very close to nature."
So much of what I have found in long, long-winded journal articles (not that I fault their long-windedness - have you seen my blogs posts lately?) are simply hoity-toity restatements of these issues. The journalist, as any good journalist would, has selected her quotes based on a point she is trying to get across to her audience, but it seems that in this case she has picked quotes that also characterize some of the wider problems. These include the importance of the Dalai Lama as a spiritual and political leader, the lost nature of the exilic condition, and an idealization of home.
Kinda crazy how folks with PhDs say the same things folks who haven't ever been on university grounds do, but they take 30 pages to say it. Kinda crazy how I do the same thing...