WHY MOMOS MATTER

 

I guess most of us need cheering up this week. The only comfort food I know that might just begin to do that is a plate of steaming momos. Even writing about it makes me feel a little more positive and hopeful than I did a moment ago. I am also writing this post to celebrate […]

HILLARY AND TIBET

 

I am going to vote for Hillary tomorrow; if for no other reason than to keep Orange Mussolini’s fat little fingers away from the nuclear button. Then there’s Tibet. As far as any American election actually changing anything for Tibet, I am as cynical everyone else in the Hotel Tibet bar, but if Hillary Clinton’s track record […]

UNTANGLING A MESS OF PETRIFIED NOODLES II

 

    REFLECTIONS ON GYALO THONDUP & MODERN TIBETAN HISTORY Power Struggle in Exile – The Opening Guns The above image by pioneering color photographer, Ernst Hass, compellingly captures the early Tibetan refugee experience: dislocation, disease, trauma, desperate poverty and so much more. It also underlines the native toughness of these women and men, and their […]

UNTANGLING A MESS OF PETRIFIED NOODLES

 

REFLECTIONS ON GYALO THONDUP & MODERN TIBETAN HISTORY     Politicians and celebrities around the world employ ghostwriters for their memoirs and screeds. So the autobiography of a prominent Tibetan political figure being ghosted (or co-written) should come as no surprise to anyone. What was unexpected about Mr. Gyalo Thondup’s archly titled The Noodlemaker of […]

THE CLARITY OF COMMITTMENT (Part 1)

 

Quite a few months have passed since the Sikyong elections and the strange events that followed. Nonetheless, being reminded of that depressing experience by a fuzzy Facebook video of the emetic countenance of Speaker Penpa Tsering staring at his rival Dr. Lobsang Sangay being sworn in for yet another five years of purposeless posturing, is still enough to plunge […]

MERLE HAGGARD R.I.P

 

Does anyone remember the mythic “Last Chance” breakfast place in McLeod Ganj, on Bhagsu Road? In the 70’s Raju the crackerjack guitarist from Sikkim and I would jam there on Saturday mornings, with Elli, Dave and other musician friends. Besides my ususal Dylan, I would sometimes sing Merle Haggard’s flippant anthem to conservative America “Okie […]

MARCH 10 NATIONAL UPRISING MEMORIAL WEBSITE

 

  Among the great war monuments in America, the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in DC, designed by Maya Lin, is perhaps the most elegant and simple. The stark black wall with the etched names of over 58,307 American servicemen killed and missing, always moves me when I see it. It also makes me reflect that no […]

THE MAN WHO SAID NO TO CHAIRMAN MAO

 

  ON THE 50th DEATH ANNIVERSARY OF THE GREAT LUKHANGWA I came across this anecdote in an article by the Dalai Lama. After the signing of the Seventeen-Point “Agreement”, when the Tibetan delegation led by Ngabo called on Mao Tse-tung, he greeted them effusively: “Now that Tibet has returned to the motherland, Peking is your city, […]

REMEMBERING A STEEL-TRUE RANGZEN WARRIOR

 

I first met him when I was researching my play YUNRU, about the Khampa chieftain Yunru Pon Sonam Wangyal, who died defending the great monastery of Lithang (Lithang Gonchen). Someone told me that I would probably get some help from this Lithangwa who was running the Chushi-Gangdruk office at the Kailash Hotel in McLeod Ganj. […]

THE REAL THREAT TO THE DALAI LAMA

 

That Tibetans are devoted to the Dalai Lama is pretty much a given. Most of them express this devotion enthusiastically (but quite innocently) by celebrating his birthday, his Nobel Peace Prize day and also by holding elaborate “Long Life” (tenshug) ritual ceremonies in his honor. On the “yin” side of things those seeking official advancement […]

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