The following blog post is published on the blog of a Tibetan living in China. The article suggests educational and cultural policies, including raising the status of the Tibetan language, that the Chinese government should adopt to meet the desires of Tibetans in China.
Especially interesting are the many pages of comments, mostly by Chinese educated Tibetans, often the children of cadres, who are sent for further schooling after elementary school to middle and high schools in Han areas in China, and then on to higher education. There are also some comments by ethnic Han people, all friendly and constructive. It would seem that most visitors to the website tibetcul.com (headquartered in Gansu Province), judging by the cyberpolice sticker at the bottom of the home page, are already quite favorably disposed to Tibetans. Translated by CDT.
These are the some hopes the Tibetan people have. We hope that the state support them.
1. We hope that a common Tibetan language will be designated. (86% of Tibetan want Lhasa dialect to be designated the common language.) Establishing a common Tibetan language will solve the problems people from different Tibetan areas have in communicating.
2. We hope that the state will recognize degrees granted by Tibetan monasteries. Tibetan monastery education has a long history and excellent record as an educational system. Many outstanding Tibetan scholars are graduates of the monastery schools. However since their degrees are not recognized by the state, they cannot get jobs in schools set up by the public (min ban xuexiao) or in state work units. The result is that institutions of higher education for Tibetans are short of teachers and talented people. The Dorampa degree should be equivalent to the bachelor’s degree, the Tsogrampa degree should be considered equivalent to the master’s degree and the Lhamrampa Degree equivalent to the PhD.
3. We hope that all the Tibetan areas will have the same educational system. (Except for Chinese language class, all other subjects should be taught in Tibetan.) Already in the Tibetan areas, experiments in implementing this type of education have been very successful. The language barrier has made it very difficult for students to understand the coursework. For example, if a teacher explains to students in Tibetan that one plus one equals two, all the students understand. However, if the teacher explains in Chinese that one plus one equals two, then the students don’t understand what the teacher is saying. Some people say that these young students are the world’s youngest interpreters.
4. We hope that Tibetan music, traditional arts and history all become part of the music, fine arts and history course from elementary school to university in the five provinces and autonomous regions of the Tibetan areas.
5. We hope that Tibetan elementary schools, middle schools and universities will be established in areas and cities in which there are concentrations of Tibetans. Many Tibetans move to the cities for the sake of employment. In the cities, all Tibetans run into the problem of getting education for their children. They all way their children to study the Tibetan language and Tibetan culture but there are no Tibetans schools in the areas. For example, cities like Xining in Qinghai Province, Chengdu in Sichuan Province, Lanzhou in Gansu Province, Kunming in Yunnan Province. We know that there is a school in Kangding, Sichuan named the Tibetan Elementary School, but there are only a very few classes in Tibetan there, nearly none really. We especially hope that the state will establish several Tibetan universities in the Tibetan areas.
6. We hope that government organs in the Tibetan areas will use the Tibetan language. In most of the government organs in the Tibetan areas, the language used is Chinese, not Tibetan. For example, meetings are held in Tibetan and most of the documents are in Chinese.
7. We hope that the state will establish more Tibetan language television channels in the Tibetan areas. At present, the two most popular television channels in the Tibetan areas are the Qinghai Tibetan language channel and the Tibet Tibetan language channel. In some Tibetan areas these channels cannot be received. Therefore we hope that the state will establish Tibetan language channels in Sichuan, Gansu and Yunnan. It is especially important to establish Tibetan language channels in the Tibetan autonomous prefectures and counties. The people very much like watching television channels with the characteristics of their Tibetan nationality.
8. We hope that schools in the Chinese interior that give Tibetans a Chinese education will have classes in Tibetan culture and history.
9. We hope that the state will train more Tibetan technical personnel.
10. We hope that in the Tibetan areas, all tests will be given in Tibetan. For example: for civil service and government funded institutions [shiye danwei] etc. Presently most people in most Tibetan areas take examinations in Chinese. Therefore there is a severe unemployment problem among students who study Tibetan.
We hope that the state will take our wishes seriously.
We offer our best wishes in advance for the success of the 2008 Beijing Olympics!!
Comments on the blog:
[2008-4-28 9:17:00 | By: 访客138Ldp(游客) ]
— When we hope to get the support and help of the state, we also need to ask everyone to think what they can give to the state. It can’t just be gimme gimme. I am a citizen of the state and so have responsibilities. Only if I give back to society and the state can I get more respect.
[ 2008-4-28 9:09:00 | By: leo(游客) ]
I support part of this. Some of the initial premises are good, but the result may not benefit the state, other minorities or the development of the Tibetan nationality. The proposal, in addition to considering the welfare of the Tibetan people, should also consider how this could benefit other nationalities and the expansion of interchange among the various nationalities such as trade. This would benefit the Tibetan nationality and the welfare of the Tibetan people.
[ 2008-4-28 8:24:00 | By: 访客u85Bsf(游客) ]
Although I am an ethnic Han, I still understand you very well. I support you! You are right!
[ 2008-4-28 4:12:00 | By: 访客01Uhy4(游客) ]
I understand the feelings of the Tibetan nationality. I am confident that with economic progress these problems can be resolved. Just as we in the ethnic Han areas are urgently discussing how we can move ahead while we are under encirclement by western culture, by developing our own culture and arts. It will gradually get better, this is really an economic question. Once the country is rich, culture can bloom.
[ 2008-4-28 1:51:00 | By: 访客Nsj7MY(游客) ]
[original in English] Hope the government can respect Tibetan culture and monastic Education System. Tibetan monastic Education System has very high reputation in the world and hope that the world can see its process in the modern society.
Tibetan students are facing very hard problem to get jobs because the rapid changes happened to the government exam policy, more and more Tibetan students lose their confidences and hopes from the result of failing the exams which should be taken in their own native language. Most of those students couldn’t write their names in Chinese. Hope all the exams for Tibetan students be in Tibetan and they also let them use their own language to apply for job interview or for other opportunities.
Hope we can change and process in our society!!!!
[ 2008-4-28 0:26:00 | By: 15(游客) ]
— Persevering is right.
But language isn’t everything, because the most important function of language is communication. Communication is why language exists.
I am an ethnic Han of the Hakka [Kejia] group. Elderly Hakka people used to say “We can sell grandpa’s field, but we can’t forget grandpa’s words. I think “grandpa’s words”
means an excellent tradition. I already don’t speak Hakka – I speak Cantonese, Bai, and Mandarin. However I did inherit the hardworking tradition of the Hakka, and did well for myself in Guangzhou.
I like Tibet because it is a sacred land in our hearts. I also like Tibetan compatriots because they are warm, friendly, good-natured people.
I want to say something to my brothers and sisters of the Tibetan nationality. China is also your China. You can’t just be content to making contributions to your own Tibetan area but should make contributions to the whole state. This land needs you. Everytime I hear the tune Tianlaiban, I think of the clear skies.
The Zhuang, the second largest ethnicity of China has already become sinicized. The feel they are just as good as the Han and have the same place in society, except for some special minority policies that favor them, they are indeed the same as the Han. I have some friends who support Tibet – they have become Tibetanized (they believe in the religion, married a Tibetan girl and their children write in Tibetan). We are all a family. If the Tibetans were a majority in China, then we’d all Tibetanize. It is just a matter of being able to communicate, nothing more.
The transmission of an excellent tradition should not be confined to one nationality alone. I believe that Tibetan people are excellent; I hope that you will do well, and win glory for our national and people and enter into the glorious pages of history books just like King Gesar.
—- I know that that before May 4 and the Cultural Revolution, that Han culture was very deep and broad. We have been studying Chinese for quite a while (just look how all these Tibetans use your nationality’s script to express the feelings of Tibetans). I don’t know if the Zhuang nationality of today feels the way you think they feel. I don’t know if they really have the same status as the Han nationality (this is referring to your original meaning), as a Tibetan, our national culture has been recognized and promoted throughout the world. As for ourselves, we are constantly aware of how our culture is well suited to our environment. That kind of adaptation has been going on for thousands of years. It has already become a kind of instinctive custom for us. You are friendly and broad-minded. Your desire for exchanges with the Tibetan people is certainly sincere.
So, please try using the Tibetan language for exchanges with us. At least in Tibet. Would that be alright? That is because what is in our hearts and on our lips is the same. Therefore our language cannot be thought of as just “a tool”.
Thank you for your good wishes.
Wishing you a long life and good luck.
[ 2008-4-27 23:08:00 | By: 02Vi04(游客) ]
Thank you. Everyone is thinking about this problem, and have for a long time. I support you 100%. You are saying just what we hope for; I hope that by all us Tibetans working together, that we can realize this dream before too long. I hope that our glorious culture will continue to brighten up the world. And thank you for giving voice to our heart-felt desires.
[ 2008-4-27 21:00:00 | By: 15(游客) ]
Actually, I don’t want the state to implement some policy favoring us. Especially with regards to students, a favorable policy makes us less hardworking.
I understand that if person A and person B speak the same native language, and A and B are tested in their native language, then if 60 is a passing grade for A but 50 is a passing grade for B, then B is benefiting from a favorable policy.
Another situation is that if A and B have different native languages. The two take the same test but the test is in the native language of A, so if a passing grade for A is 60 and for B 50, this is what modern society sees as a preliminary try at being fair, so this is not a “favorable policy”.
[ 2008-4-27 20:30:00 | By: 访客pULw50(游客) ]
I absolutely support this!
This is not an extravagant request for any minority.
I hope it can be realized.
I hope the government will take this seriously and implement these measures.
Wishing the 2008 Olympics success!
[ 2008-4-27 20:18:00 | By: 访客0gw3Am(游客) ]
[ 2008-4-27 20:15:00 | By: 访客K5FRi7(游客) ]
Support this forever
Very well said.
I hope the state will take this seriously.
[ 2008-4-27 19:59:00 | By: 访客sWNa61(游客) ]
[ 2008-4-27 19:53:00 | By: 访客K52Rjv(游客) ]
I agree with this approach.
This is really “doing what one should done”
As a Tibetan, I believe that our national culture should not be buried. The beautiful Tibetan language and Tibetan script should not be forgotten. We need to get started with education and build up a foundation. This is the hope of many Tibetans. I hope that the state can help Tibetan culture be attractive forever.
[ 2008-4-27 19:49:00 | By: 访客G30Ner(游客) ]
“Actually, I don’t want the state to implement some policy favoring us. Especially with regards to students, a favorable policy makes us less hardworking. ”
You aren’t certain just what a favorable policy is? Haha. Depressed, you are not hard working because you don’t have a sense of responsibility for the nationality and the state.
[ 2008-4-27 19:19:00 | By: 访客G4CNf6(游客) ]
Very good. I love you. The most important thing is to start from ourselves.
LONG LIVE THE TIBET~!!
[ 2008-4-27 18:49:00 | By: 访客0f72Yl(游客) ]
I also want Tibetans to speak a common language. No matter whether it is Lhasa dialect or Amdo dialect or Kangba dialect, just as long as we are all speaking the same language I will be very happy.
[ 2008-4-27 16:55:00 | By: 一个心愿(游 客) ]
Yes, most of this is what we feel deeply in our hearts. I hope the government will take this seriously. I just want to add one thing:
I hope that Tibetan government employees and Party members will be able to have the same rights to believe in religion and participate in Buddhist activities as ordinary Tibetans.
[ 2008-4-27 14:41:00 | By: 访客vAQd7G(游客) ]
A good suggestion. There are so many people in China, we need to hand down and develop the culture that the various nationalities have created over thousands of years. All these cultures are our treasures, and we must not lose them. Now China is rich, and should be considering these kinds of problems.
[ 2008-4-27 14:20:00 | By: 访客sWn0QD(游客) ]
I support this 100%. What you are saying is what we are all hoping for. I hope that with all Tibetans working together, we will realize this dream before long. I hope that our glorious culture will brighten the world. Thank you for saying what is in our hearts.
[ 2008-4-27 13:55:00 | By: 央卓雍措 ]
[ 2008-4-27 13:52:00 | By: 访客1JAm15(游客) ]
I support this all the way. Let’s go, everybody.
[ 2008-4-27 13:51:00 | By: 访客1JAm15(游客) ]
I am sure that is will most Tibetans feel in their hearts.
We absolutely will not sinicize!
Compatriots, let’s persevere.
[ 2008-4-27 13:49:00 | By: luoojiangbai(游客) ]
You have said what is in the hearts of all Tibetan people. Thank you! I support you very much.
[ 2008-4-27 13:46:00 | By: 雪狮(游 客) ]
You have taken what has been in my heart for so long and said it out loud!! Thank you!! Thank you for saying what is in the hearts of the several million sons and daughters of the snowy land.
[ 2008-4-27 13:01:00 | By: 访客I4DOg6(游客) ]
What you are saying is what is in the hearts of all the Tibetan people. I hope that it will be realized one day. This will need the support of the government. Thank you, your article is very good.
[ 2008-4-27 10:35:00 | By: money ]
A beautiful dream, but it can’t be accomplished. Because you are placing all your hopes on other people. Only if you take action yourself can you succeed. Tibetans or people who call themselves Tibetans need to be realistic.
[ 2008-4-26 20:43:00 | By: 游子(游 客) ]
You are very talented. This is my hope. I hope that some Tibetan leaders can play a role. Thank you. Wishing in advance the success of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
[ 2008-4-26 18:38:00 | By: 微笑者 ]
This is what everyone has been thinking about, and has been thinking about for a long time. But you are the first one to write it (I saw it).
I thank you very much.
I also hope that the Beijing Olympics will be successful.
Blessings [note: zhashi dele – transcription of Tibetan in Chinese characters]
[ 2008-4-26 17:53:00 | By: 访客0GVi0M(游客) ]
Finally we hear a moderate voice!!!
[ 2008-4-26 16:36:00 | By: 访客L5HSk8(游客) ]
You have said what is in the hearts of all Tibetans, I strongly support this.
[ 2008-4-26 16:32:00 | By: 访客8et2Xk(游客) ]
Support, support, I love you.
[ 2008-4-26 15:17:00 | By: 15(游客) ]
I especially support adding Tibetan to the exam for Tibetan government officials. It can start with testing in oral Tibetan. If Tibetan officials can use basic Tibetan in their exchanges with the people and in their service to the people, they will certainly greatly improve their administrative and management capacity. I also suggest that in important industries in the Tibetan areas should increase the numbers of Tibetans they employ. For example the travel industry, which requires its personnel to know the local attractions and culture, and has lower technical requirements than other industries, are particularly well suited for increased employment of Tibetans. Tourism is a pillar of the economy in the Tibetan areas. What makes it a pillar is it has the greatest potential to employ more local people. I hope the state can pay special attention to this (actually this meets the needs of the travel market. We have done surveys. Tourists prefer to be led by local guides.) This can be a very practical matter for making Tibet more harmonious.
Here I also want to wish our country success in holding the Olympics!
I thank the website for giving me this platform for expressing the wishes of ordinary Tibetan people. I have two hopes.
1) I hope that real government officials will see this blog and can hear our voices!
2) We are not politicians who make up big slogans; we are only people who use our imperfect Chinese to express our feelings. So please don’t put on your political eyeglasses when you come and read this.
[ 2008-4-26 14:35:00 | By: 访客s84Ar1(游客) ]
[ 2008-4-26 13:42:00 | By: 热巴人(游 客) ]
This still needs work. The Tibetan language is a [language] of one nationality of the PRC. The Tibetan as one of the large nationalities of China should see to it that Tibetan becomes an official language of the PRC. This is very important. This is important for the handing down of Tibetan culture. For the modernization of education, the modernization of the nationality, and the spread of literacy [in Tibetan], developing commerce and the economy of the Tibetan people, the position of the Tibetan nationality in China and in the world. This is also very important for the religious workers of Tibetan Buddhism who are being held down at the grassroots level.
[ 2008-4-26 13:30:00 | By: 访客tYPb6F(游客) ]
Yes, my friend has spoken very well. With just a few changes it should be sent on to the National People’s Congress and the National People’s Consultative Congress. I hope that our country’s leaders accept these wishes of the Tibetan people.
[ 2008-4-26 12:05:00 | By: 访客IMDp26(游客) ]
1. The hope a common language for Tibetan will be designated. —- The Han nationality has dialects too, and they don’t all speak Mandarin. However education in Tibetan schools should be mostly in Lhasa dialect.
2. We hope that state will recognize Tibetan monastery diplomas. – They should be recognized in the religious system. But like Party School diplomas, they should only be accepted in certain environments.
3. We hope that all the Tibetan areas will have the same educational system. (Except for Chinese language class, all other subjects should be taught in Tibetan.) If you want to communicate with the world, two or three languages should be taught.
4. We hope that Tibetan music, traditional arts and history all become part of the music, fine arts and history course from elementary school to university in the five provinces and autonomous regions of the Tibetan areas.
— This should be done if it is a Tibetan school, same as for Uighur and Mongol nationality schools.
5. We hope that Tibetan elementary schools, middle schools and universities will be established in areas and cities in which there are concentrations of Tibetans. –– This should be done, but it should depend upon efforts of the nationality people themselves because enrollments will not be stable and it will be hard to implement.
6. We hope that government organs in the Tibetan areas will use the Tibetan language. —- Both Tibetan and Mandarin should be used. In Singapore, English and Mandarin are the official languages.
7. We hope that the state will establish more Tibetan language television channels in the Tibetan areas. — I don’t know if each Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture has its own Tibetan language program. Each city and county will have to support it from its own finances.
8. We hope that schools in the Chinese interior that give Tibetans a Chinese education will have classes in Tibetan culture and history. —– Agree. Not only Mandarin language education but also education in the culture of the nationality.
9. We hope that the state will train more Tibetan technical personnel. —- That will depend more on Tibetan compatriots studying hard, and not just on a favorable policy.
10. We hope that in the Tibetan areas, all tests will be given in Tibetan. For example: for civil service and government funded institutions [shiye danwei] etc. —– It should be a bilingual test, as in Singapore, that will need skill to pass.
I am an ethnic Han, I hope that the 56 nationalities, the 56 flowers, can all live happily.
This is my response to the desires of the Tibetans:
This is not something some Han came up with in the office, but is the result of thinking these problems over Tibetan compatriots. This for our Tibetan compatriots is a very important problem and one that needs to be resolved quickly. Thank you for your views. You cannot compare China with Singapore. Switzerland has four official national languages and China has only one. This has particularly to do with the Tibetan areas and not other minority nationalities. I welcome your comments.
[ 2008-4-26 12:03:00 | By: 扎西(游 客) ]
The leaders of the Tibetan culture network should let more journalists in China and abroad know about this article. These are very good suggestions and very important ones. All people on the web should introduce this article to others or let friends who are journalists know about it.
[ 2008-4-26 11:53:00 | By: 访客2KBn1R(游客) ]
This represents that wishes of the Tibetan nationality. Thank you. I hope the state will take this seriously. Here is the response to “wishes of the Tibetans” . Thank you.
[ 2008-4-26 11:51:00 | By: norbu(游客) ]
This is just what is needed in our current situation. I strongly support and hope it can be implemented.