“You will leave everything you love most: this is the arrow that the bow of exile shoots first. You will know how salty another’s bread tastes and how hard it is to ascend and descend another’s stairs.” – Dante
I’m a Tibetan woman, born and brought up in exile. I have never been to Tibet. However, like most second-generation Tibetans who have grown up in exile, I have grown up listening to my grandparents’ and parents’ tales of life in Tibet — their memories of the people and the places they left behind. Today, in my head, I have formed my own image of Tibet — one that has been taken shape over years of listening to the elders’ accounts of the country that is rightfully ours.
And it is this image, this identity, that I hope to preserve and share through this blog.
As the modern world moves ahead at breakneck speed and as we struggle to keep pace with the innumerable changes and developments taking place globally, I sometimes fear that those memories that have been so carefully passed on to me will slowly be replaced by an overdose of irrelevant information given this need to adapt to the changes occurring in the rest of the world. It is this fear that has prompted me to seriously consider blogging about all things Tibetan — everything that defines my identity.
As is the case with most Tibetans, I struggle with this responsibility of preserving our identity in a foreign land. Still, I strongly believe that it is through documenting one’s experiences, even the seemingly insignificant ones, that we are able to appreciate the relevance of our ancient traditions in today’s world and the uniqueness of our culture in a diverse world.
I believe a Tibetan exile’s story should be shared with the people of the free world, so that they in turn may appreciate the freedoms and the rights they enjoy.