Tibet is commonly known as the “Roof of the world”, but this title doesn’t guarantee its freedom, power, and peace. More than two-thirds of the size of India, it stretches for about 2500 km to the east and west of Himalayas. At present, there over 6 million Tibetans throughout the world.
One of the first tasks announced by the newly-established People’s Republic of China, in 1949, was the liberation of Tibet, soon after invaded it. On May 23, 1951, a Tibetan delegation went to Beijing to negotiate with the Chinese government. This was forced to sign the 17-point Agreement which declared “the peaceful liberation” and annexation of Tibet to China.
Since 1959, over 150000 Tibetans have fled into exile. Hundreds of them died on the way as a result of Chinese attacks and harsh weather conditions. People are trying to escape from Tibet even now, from the oppressions and persecutions under China.
The 14th Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet, is living in exile too since 1959. We visited his temple in Dharamshala and the Tibet Museum next to it and we found out more about the situation of Tibet.
Tibetan Buddhism is considered as a reliable and unfailing tradition. Buddhist teaching has influenced the nature of the Tibetan people. “We have a culture of compassion, as its core. Our people are kind and gentle. These are among the most precious qualities in today’s world. Our culture with compassion and mercy, as its core, and gentleness and morality, as its essence, has the potential to benefit not only the Tibetans but also the whole world.”
“Time is indeed running out for our civilization. Tibet’s issue and the issue of its identity. A cultural renaissance must resume its momentum in Tibet and in exile to preserve our culture and identity before it’s too late.”
It was an afternoon about humbleness and remembering to value the freedom that we have. Traveling is learning at each step about the world and political situations, about yourself being open to embrace what you discover and bringing awareness to the others. I’m happy, lucky, and open to travel with purpose.