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When the Dalai Lama fled Chinese rule of Tibet in 1959, he found refuge just across the western border in India. Waves of refugees followed their spiritual leader out of the once-isolated kingdom when India provided them with land. Today, nearly 50 years after that first exodus, more than 100,000 people of Tibetan heritage live in the area. The Dalai Lama and leaders of the Tibetan government-in-exile now call the northern village of Dharamsala their home.
Even though two full generations of Tibetans have grown up outside their native land, the Tibetan community is still very close-knit, and many still harbor dreams of returning to a country free of Chinese domination -- something unlikely to happen any time soon.
But with the help of some technology experts from the West, the Tibetan community in India hopes to get the word out about their cause via the viral grapevine that is the Internet. It's an enormous challenge. Electricity, phones and Internet access are expensive and hard to come by. Phone lines can go down for days at a time, leaving the region cut off from the world. But there's an effort under way to change that, and to teach young Tibetan refugees about computers and the Web.
Previously: Hacking the Himalayas, Part 1.
Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email: firstname.lastname@example.org.