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"For a happier, more stable and civilized future, each of us must develop a sincere, warm-hearted feeling of brotherhood and sisterhood."

I Am Tibetan

February 7, 2010

High Peaks Pure Earth
February 4, 2010

High Peaks Pure Earth has noticed an upsurge in
online activity by Tibetan netizens about being Tibetan and Tibetan identity.

This video "I Am Tibetan" was first posted on a
Chinese video-hosting website on December 19,
2009 and has been circulating widely. It came
later to be posted on YouTube by a Tibetan called
Jigdo and is now being disseminated by Tibetans
all over the world through social networking
sites such as Facebook. To those who don't know
Tibetan, the video seemingly looks like a random
talking heads video. Once you understand what the
people are saying, it is one of the most powerful
and creative videos we have seen from Tibet. The
camera focuses on random Tibetans, each statement
begins with “I am Tibetan” and the next speaker
goes on to describe the reason. The video has
already inspired Tibetans in Dharamsala to replicate the concept.

High Peaks Pure Earth has translated the YouTube
video and added English subtitles:
I Am Tibetan (with English subtitles)

The dramatic music in the background creates a
strong sense of mood and urgency. The emphatic
statement "I am Tibetan" is a powerful assertion
of how the people identify themselves. In the
statements there is no sense at all of being -- a
minority." As readers know, over the last two
decades the Chinese government has been carrying
out patriotic education campaigns, the objective
being for Tibetans to identity themselves as a
subject of China and identify himself or herself as a Chinese national.

In an earlier blogpost High Peaks Pure Earth
posted pictures of a banner hanging outside
school gates in Lhasa, one of which proclaimed,
“I am child of China, I like to speak Mandarin."

This second video "Let’s (all) Speak in Pure Tibetan"
has also been on a Chinese video-sharing website
for sometime now. The video narrates a verse that
is spoken in Lhasa dialect and urges everyone to
speak pure Tibetan.  In the translation, it is
evident to what the video is saying and we shall
leave the analysis to our readers.

There is a strong assertion of  Tibetan-ness
emerging in Tibetan and Chinese language
cyberspace. It is is as though the Tibetan nation
is being recreated in cyberspace it is here that
the Tibetans are finding a voice.  This poem is a good example of this:

Let’s (all) Speak in Pure Tibetan

I’ve a means of survival passed on by my Ancestors.
I’ve a path to the future hewn by my Ancestors,
I’ve a Testament entrusted by my Ancestors,
I’ve a hope to fulfil as expected by my people,
(My) language is Tibetan. It’s my abiding tool.

The Tibetan alphabet is the heart and soul of my existence.
Let’s all speak this Tibetan language (of ours)
for the continued survival of our nation(ality).
Let’s (all) speak in pure Tibetan.
Even though you may know a variety of languages,
when we Tibetans talk amongst ourselves, let’s (all) speak in Tibetan.

When we converse in Tibetan, let’s speak in pure Tibetan.
Even though our native-tongue is self-reliant and rich as the precious jewels,
It’s widely infected with the scourge of hybrids from different tongues.
O my beloved brethren from  the three provinces of Tibet of the Land of Snows!
The rise and fall of our nation ultimately hinges on this root issue.
(My) language is Tibetan. It’s my abiding tool.
(My) language is Tibetan. It’s my abiding tool.

The Tibetan alphabet is the heart and soul of my existence.
For the sake of continued survival, let’s all
speak this Tibetan language of ours.
Let’s (all) speak in pure Tibetan.
If  you are a (proud) descendant of the Land of
Snowy Ranges who love and care about your nation,
Then, let’s not use any hybrid language when
conversing in our day to day life, O people of the Land of Snows!

On Tibetan blogs, High Peaks Pure Earth has
followed this poem "I Am Tibetan" that spread to
numerous blogs throughout 2008 and 2009. The same
poem can be found here, here and here, just these
examples show that the poem was being posted as
early as March 27, 2008 and as recently as August 16, 2009.

Here is the English translation exactly as the
blogger's are pasting it, including all typos (!)

my derma is bronze-colored
but I am Tibetan
I like deep red color
my frame have engrave ancestors's instruction
my blood shed the sounds of horse's hoof
my eyes fill of fragrance highland barley wine
my body blooming glamorous Gesar flower

I am Tibetan
The name matches the reality of Tibetan
The liberal And courageous of Tibetan

Don't ask me what is your surname
I'm not Mr Li, not Mister Wang
If you insist ask me
I will tell you my surname is King Gesar

I am strong nation blessed by Tibtan Gods
my lift (left) arm is goshawk
my right arm is yak
my life is under the Buddha niche of lamp brilliant forever

Finally, Tibetan identity is also being proudly
displayed in the form of profile pictures on
Tibetan social networking sites, here are a
selection that High Peaks Pure Earth has seen:
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