As Tibetans celebrate the Dalai Lama's 78th birthday, a video snapshot of Tibet Lobby Day
As the world marks the Dalai Lama's 78th birthday, the Tibetan community marks a grim milestone: 120 Tibetans, mostly youth, have burned themselves alive to protest China's repressive rule. Xeni Jardin traveled to Washington, DC to document a group of Tibetan-American activists asking lawmakers to open up immigration doors for political refugees, and hold China accountable.
Tibetans around the world this week celebrate the 78th birthday of the 14th Dalai Lama, their exiled spiritual leader. From July 4th through 6th, many will gather in the Bay Area for a series of events marking his birthday and recognizing the ongoing human rights crisis in Tibet. China has been condemned for harsh treatment of ethnic Tibetans there, and the forced relocation and displacement of millions.
Earlier this year, I accompanied a group of Tibetan-Americans from California who walked the halls of Congress and Senate buildings in Washington, DC, asking US lawmakers to pay attention to Tibet and demand that China respect human rights. Their efforts were part of Tibet Lobby Day, an annual gathering in the US capital on March 18 and 19, just after the 100th Tibetan had burned themselves alive in desperate protest. As I write this, the death toll has risen: at least 119 have now set themselves on fire. Tibet on Fire is tracking the data here.
Venerable Thepo Rinpoche was one of the Tibetan citizen-lobbyists I followed down the halls of Hart Senate Office Building and the Rayburn House Office Building. I snapped photos and short video clips on my phone, and observed their experience. One of the amazing things about American democracy is that anyone, including a Tibetan monk, can just show up and petition their representatives for justice. One of the other amazing things? Sometimes, those lawmakers really do listen and act. Seeing this openness in person is an amazing thing.
Thepo-la fled Tibet as a child monk shortly after a young Dalai Lama did; he wrote about his experience in an earlier feature for Boing Boing.
Above, a video snapshot from that lobbying day in DC, as I watched the Rinpoche and his compatriots knock on the doors of Democrats and Republicans, echoing what he wrote in that Boing Boing essay: "The people of Tibet need help now."
I shot this video on my iPhone as we walked down the halls of those government buildings on Capitol Hill. From time to time, as we walked, Thepo-la and his fellow activists sang quietly in unison.
What was the song, I asked?
AT LHASA NORBU LING
DON'T SAY THERE IS NO JEWEL
YIZHIN NORBU (Buddha, His Holiness)
IF THIS IS NOT A JEWEL, WHAT IS THIS?
A quick YouTube shows this song, "Norbuling la (Sungta Lemo)" is a popular anthem. There are auto-tuned remixes, extended dance versions, karaoke clap-a-longs, and nostalgic slideshows.
But I like the versions you can watch in this Boing Boing video snapshot the best.
Last year my friends and I formed a club for (as Cory puts it) “people who aren’t good at magic tricks.” (Actually, Cory, John Edgar Park, and I are the only ones in the group who aren’t good at magic tricks. The others are pretty accomplished magicians and passed the audition to become members of […]
The queen of the world’s first mega-sized “prosperity gospel” empire has died.
See sample pages from this book at Wink. Beautiful Birds by Jean Roussen (author) and Emmanuel Walker (illustrator) Flying Eye Books 2015, 56 pages, 8.9 x 12.2 x 0.4 inches $17 Buy a copy on Amazon In Beautiful Birds, author Jean Roussen and illustrator Emmanuel Walker fly through the alphabet with dozens of feathered friends. […]
Vaping continues to become increasingly popular, meaning there is a growing selection of premium vaping products on the market. Here’s one that should get your attention: the AtmosRX Combo Vaporizer Bundle. This top-notch bundle includes the Rx Dry Herb Vaporizer, plus a bundle of accessories and flavors. Grab it now: it’s currently 73% off in the Boing Boing Store.The Atmos […]
We’d all love a 75-inch TV screen on which to view our favorite shows. But not all of us can drop the cash needed to get one of those broadcasting beauties (or even have the space needed to house them).Thankfully, there’s an alternative. With the SainSonic Mini LED Portable Projector (only $59.99 in the Boing Boing Store), you can project a picture […]
If you want to add some real firepower to your programming repertoire, learn Java–one of the most adaptable, widely-used programming platforms around. You can easily do that with this Ultimate Java bundle, now just $69 in the Boing Boing Store.Across 14 lectures and 117 hours of content, the educators at online academy eduCBA will walk you through […]