The magic of Tibet and second class people

The magic of Tibet and second class people
The magic of Tibet and second class people
As a travel writer I have seen all kinds of regions and places. But there are always some jewels that are set deep in my memory. Tibet is one of those magic places that have touched my heart intensively. At the same time I found myself in an emotional chaos.

From the first moment he made clear what he thought of the Tibetan people: 2nd class category.
 

My enchanted mood that hit me from the beginning was severely disturbed by my guide – a straight Chinese from Beijing. Unfortunately the tour operaturs do not allow Tibetan guides. From the first moment he made clear what he thought of the Tibetan people: 2nd class category. Interacting with Tibetans he always provided the full package of arrogance, condemnation, rigidity and coldhardness. Maybe he wanted to impress me with his bossy behaviour?
The tour from Tibet capital Lhasa to the cities of Gyantse and Shigatse revealed unbelievably beautiful landscapes, wide open spaces, lush green river valleys, fertile farm land, mountains... I felt like a living part in a beautiful impressionist painting. Peaceful and cheerful. What a sad contrast, when a group of Chinese military came goose-stepping around every corner. Like a bizar bunch of roboters on remote control.
After a while I managed to convince my guide to let me stroll around by myself.
In a monastry I was witnessing a ritual Tibetan monks debate in the traditional Tibetan style embellished with hand clapping and emphatic gestures.There are two parties to the debate: a defender and a questioner, each with clear roles and strict rules of behaviour.
It was hurtful to imagine what the Chinese did to the monastries and the monks. The Tibetan people are so peaceful, friendly and mellow. The steady humiliation by the Chinese „bosses“ is hard to accept. Imagining a Free Tibet is such a wonderful dream – I am afraid far away from coming true.

Brigitte von Imhof
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