Photographer's Note

The Tibetan people form one of the 56 ethnic groups officially recognized by the People's Republic of China. Their homeland includes not only the province of Tibet but considerable parts of Qinghai, Gansu and Sichuan (where this picture was taken).

Tibetan culture is deeply religious, with religion pervading every aspect of daily life. Tibetan buddhism incorporates a collection of native traditions (BŲn) and is also refered to as Tantric or Lamaist buddhism. The exotic spirituality of Tibetan culture has attracted many admirers in the west. The Tibetan language belongs to the Tibeto-Burman branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family and has its own script.

The Tibetan dilemma rose to prominence after recent riots were crushed by the Chinese authorities. It seems the more China takes up its place as the world's leading power, the more the west adopts the Tibetans as their favourite minority.

"There simply seems to be no middle ground on the dilemma of China and Tibet: one must either believe that the opportunistic Han (Chinese) are ruining Shangri-La, or that they wrestled literally millions of slaves from feudal serfdom. The truth, as always, lies somewhere in between." (wise words from...Lonely Planet!)

My fear is that the poor Tibetans have become a pawn in an international power struggle and will once again become the victims. But there is hope too.


Writing this note my thoughts are with the victims of the Sichuan earthquake, the epicenter is not far from where I took this picture. I hope my band of brothers are OK!

smarcell, Dpbours, saylan-cb, faubry, carolskie007, dvlazar, johnfreeman, ilvao has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Benny Verbercht (BennyV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3045 W: 35 N: 6707] (34748)
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