Monday, February 17, 2014

Free Tibet

This Sunday, I had the interesting opportunity to visit the Tibetan Refugee Colony in North Delhi. Now, when one hears the word "refugee", a number of connotations spring to mind. I went into this thinking about the systems of power that cause oppressions like the statelessness of refugees and without a real, tangible image of what refugees actually are: human beings. Our tour guide answered our questions about the difficult political situation between Tibet and China and helped me to get a much better understanding of their relationship and the lives of the people living here.
Part of our trip included visiting the headquarters for the Delhi chapter of Students for a Free Tibet (SFT). There we were educated about the fact that the Indian government has given land to Tibetan people so that they can live and work within their communities. This has made organizing easier, as there are Tibetan schools, hospitals, and other such infrastructures within India. Our tour guide explained to us a number of issues that ultimately make it easier for the central Chinese government to exercise their imperialism over the Tibetan people and region. One thing that he mentioned was that, as he is studying at JNU (like me) he is technically not allowed to return to his home country. This struck a chord in me because, while I am not in a comparable situation bureaucratically or politically, I, too, have not seen my family for a long time and will most likely not see them for a while longer...but I suppose that is an issue I can address in another blog post. 

After all was said and done, we went to a nice Tibetan restaurant and had many delicious dishes, family style. Everything was yummy and satisfying and was a good end to our vacation within/away from Delhi.

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