Tibetans mark 50 years of uprising against ‘Chinese rule’

Ten-year-old Ngawang Chokey doesn’t know where ‘Tibet’ is. Yet,on Parliament Street on Tuesday,she proudly waved the yellow-bordered Tibetan flag with a mythical snow lion on it.

Written by Neha Sinha | New Delhi | Published: March 11, 2009 11:38 pm

Ten-year-old Ngawang Chokey doesn’t know where ‘Tibet’ is. Yet,on Parliament Street on Tuesday,she proudly waved the yellow-bordered Tibetan flag with a mythical snow lion on it.

Young Ngawang was one of the hundreds of protestors who had gathered on Parliament Street,chanting,praying,and waving flags on the 50th anniversary of the Tibetan struggle against Chinese rule.

She may have not known where Tibet is but Ngawang does know one thing: “Tibetans don’t use guns. We fight with China for our country by praying and waving flags,” she said.

She has been taught that line — the USP of the Tibetan freedom struggle — at the tiny Tibetan Day School in Majnu Ka Tila that has been upholding the cause of a free Tibet since 1979.

For most children like Ngawang,Tibet is like a book full of pictures,not quite real. “I know there are yaks in Tibet and it is a beautiful country,” she said.

Kunga Thodon,Ngawang’s teacher,said reminding the younger generations is a way of keeping the idea of a free Tibet alive. “We are not violent. It is very important that the young should know this,” she said.

At the 150-student strong Tibetan Day School where she teaches,dreams of a free and happy Tibet are part of the curriculum. “We discuss the school curriculum in Dharamsala and teach the children that they must aspire to have a Tibet they can go to,” she said.

At the protest,young Tibetans let their T shirts do their talking. One reads,‘see you in Tibet’,while others say,‘middle way is the only way’.

At Majnu Ka Tila,80-year-old Bhima,who lives in the locality and makes a living by selling spices in Khari Baoli,waits for her turn to pray at the monastery. She knows Tibetans are marking 50 years of struggle again Chinese rule but Tibet itself is a distant memory. “I don’t remember the country clearly,” she said. “But I know that I might never go there again. My daughter and her children have never gone there. I don’t know if they can.”

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