Xeni.net/trek: Miss Tibet founder, DRM-free Tibet music

Here's a roundup of some of the recent posts on xeni.net/trek, a reporter's notebook I'm keeping about stories followed on a recent trip to Tibet and to Tibetan refugee communities in Northern India.

* Interview with the founder of the Miss Tibet Pageant: Lobsang Wangyal is a tech-minded Tibetan cultural entrepreneur in Dharamshala, India. I met him there earlier this year, and shot the portrait above. One of his projects is the Miss Tibet Pageant, and I asked him to tell us about it. They're having a hard time coming up with funding to put on the event this year, and they've established a Paypal account (link here, top of page) so folks in the West who'd like to support it can help with cash.

Image: a portrait of Lobsang I shot earlier this year in India. Link to post.

* You can buy DRM-free Tibetan ringtones, cellphone wallpaper, and popular music at Nathan Freitas' new website, Cruxy.com. Among the Tibet-related stuff I found: electric banjo music from a Tibetan exile musician, which sounds like what might have happened if Jimi Hendrix gave up acid for yak butter tea, and moved to Lhasa. I don't know how you say "awesome," in Tibetan, but consider it said. Link to post.

* There's a $30K cash reward up for anyone who can make contact with the abducted Panchen Lama. Link to post.

* The Dalai Lama said this week at a press conference that his successor might be chosen by popular election. Link to post.

* If you've been following this series, you already know about the Tibetan Technology Center and their community wireless mesh network in Dharamshala, India. Here's news from a similar project working to wire rural indigenous communities in Laos and on Navajo Nation land in the USA. Link

Subscribe to the RSS feed for xeni.net/trek for updates, if you feel like it. I'm going to try and embed actual pieces of yak cheese in my next post, and lordy, you know you don't want to miss that.

Photo nerd notes: This image was shot with a Canon 5D, using a EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM lens, and managed with many gigs' worth of other images shot during the trip in Apple's Aperture.

Reader comment: Edward West says,

I was happy to see Xeni's link regarding the reward money offered for the safe return of the Panchen Lama. Following the links, it seems you can actually promise to donate to the monastery to increase the sum of the reward money. It would be great if BoingBoing readers could increase the size of the pot significantly. I'm pledging $500-- money well spent if it brings him home.