A casual train conversation that turned into a full fledged political discussions on Tibet... I promised to blog about it so here goes...
- Tibetans travel through the passes of Himalayas to reach India via Nepal illegally in search of a better future/education.
- They have a 'Government-in exile' in Dharmashala, Himachal Pradesh headed by the Dalai Lama
- The Government-in exile has various departments much like our own. For example the education department allots Tibetan students to study at various educational institutions across the country. Chennai has 120!
- Apart from Himachal Pradesh Tibetans live in a few large Refugee camps around the country in places like New Delhi, Karnataka etc
- Children make the treacherous trip via the mountains to reach India to study. They don't see their parents for years together. They have a school in Mussorie where they study and move on to colleges. They can return to the school even during their college holidays!
- Though all Graduates dream of returning to return to Tibet, many choose to work for the Government in Exile in India.
- When the Dalai Lama dies he'll leave a clue as to where his next incarnation would be and the Tibetans will have to go an identify the child.
- Next in hierarchy to the Dalai Lama is the Panchen Lama, the real Panchen Lama was a 5 year old kid when he and his family 'disappeared'!
- Now there's a Chinese government 'installed' Panchen Lama who is doing the rounds in Tibet. He gives 'religious sermons' which at least one person from every family has to attend.
- Considering the Dalai Lama is the only potent force for the Tibetans, wonder what the Chinese will do to the child who gets identified as the next Dalai Lama
- They're happy to have self rule within the Chinese framework
- They're happy with India's neutral stance. But an aggressive posturing from India is like their main hope!
- The Yummy part: There's just one Tibetan run Tibetan restaurant in Chennai, Mount Kailash, near Loyola. Recco: The mo-mo :D
I'm sure at least half of this is news to most people!