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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Dharamsala, India : Humbled by the Tibetans in Exile


Tibetan Prayer Flags in Dharamsala


I've only been in Dharamsala for less than a day. Given that this was just a spontaneous and accidental trip, I really wasn't that familiar with the place. I had completely forgotten that its population is partially composed of Tibetans in exile, and is the home of the Dalai Lama. And after hearing their story and witnessing their warmth, strength, and peacefulness, it pains me. And I found myself crying. It pains me that they can't live in their own country. A simple no-need-to-elaborate- reason.

Dharamsala 03
"When we reached Dharamsala we were taken for an audience with His Holiness.
I cannot remember anything that happened there, I just cried."

Imagine yourself crossing the dangerous and unforgiving Himalayas range for weeks and months - not knowing if you'll survive either from cold, hunger, or being shot by militants - just to get out of the place you call home. Imagine yourself born in a foreign country, with your parents and grandparents living a different life from that of the country you were born in. You're confused and you don't know what and who you really are. Imagine yourself never seeing again the rest of your family, and not knowing what's happening to them in a place you once called home. I can't imagine myself going through all of these. But so many Tibetans have done it. Some survived and some didn't.

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Dharamsala 01

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But I think the difference between me and them is their resiliency. Tibetans, at least those who were born in Tibet, are constantly praying and hoping that someday their home country will be free. It touches me and humbles me that despite all that they've been through and are still going through, they remain peaceful. I believe it is because of their religion. And for Tibetans, their religion is their life. Whatever the reason is, it amazes me.

Dharamsala 06

Dharamsala 07

The Dalai Lama himself has never said anything bad about China. He is just full of love and compassion.

Dharamsala 08

Mind you, this is not a political write-up. And I'm glad that more and more Chinese people are supporting the Dalai Lama and Tibetans for their call for freedom.

Tibetan Prayer Wheels - Dharamsala

But I write this and I hope it reaches you and also touches you in a small way. I pray that they continue to be resilient and peaceful, and that someday they would be able to return to their own country and their homes, and live the way they are supposed to.