Himalayan Kingdoms

Commentary On A Shooting At Nangpa La, A Pass In The Himalayas

Life In An Economy That Has Displaced A Culture

October 24, 2006 in Himalayan Kingdoms | Comments (0)

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The death of a Tibetan nun shot down from a distance by Chinese riflemen on Nangpa Pass casts a long shadow from a very high place. It’s a specter of the Cultural Revolution at a time when China is showing more tolerance of religion.

Thousands of nuns live and practice in remote areas of the Tibetan Plateau. The Pundarika Foundation of Crestone, Colo., tells their story. Guided by a few aged survivors who came out of hiding, younger nuns are trying to preserve ancient lineages in a hostile world. They are threatened by loss of traditional support as their agrarian families are lured to the cities by promises of industrial jobs. The Chinese government seems to ignore them rather than persecute them. And this is hopeful. But the climber video of the Sept. 30 incident is not. (more…)