The Virtual Sweet Tea House: An Overview of the Tibetan Cyberspace

Dechen Pemba

As a place to meet, share and exchange, the Tibetan blogosphere has created opportunities for Tibetan netizens that would be unimaginable in the offline world. Keeping in mind the state of internet censorship in the People’s Republic of China today, these new spaces can be seen as new outlets but also as new areas involving personal risk. Tibetan cyberspace has opened up a new opportunity for expression, which has also brought new risks to this community.

There are several blog-hosting sites, both Tibetan and Chinese, that are favoured by Tibetans in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) today. One of the of the most popular Chinese language sites is called Tibetan Culture Net or simply TibetCul. TibetCul was started by two brothers, Wangchuk Tseten and Tsewang Norbu, and their head office is in Lanzhou, capital of Gansu Province. According to Alexa, the web Information Company, TibetCul receives over 400,000 hits every month. TibetCul is primarily a news and blog-hosting site but there are many different sections on the site related to Tibetan music, literature, films and travel. There is a BBS forum (bulletin board) and there is even a section dedicated to “overseas Tibetans”.

For all Tibet related news, blogs and cultural activities, TibetCul is an invaluable resource and source of information. Many posts translated into English by High Peaks Pure Earth come from TibetCul, such as the translation of the popular Tibetan hip-hop song “New Generation” by Green Dragon that was first featured on the group’s TibetCul blog in February 2010 in which a gang of Amdo rappers boldly proclaimed:

“The new generation has a resource called youth
The new generation has a pride called confidence
The new generation has an appearance called playfulness
The new generation has a temptation called freedom”

In a similar surge of pride in Tibetan identity that featured on Tibetan blogs post-2008, TibetCul blogs featured many poems and prose articles with the title “I Am Tibetan” and new posts are being written even today.

Heated discussions and debate take place on TibetCul every day about all matters of concern to Tibetans. One major example would be the online vilification of well-known Tibetan singer Lobsang Dondrup following photos posted on blogs of him and his wife both wearing fur at their wedding ceremony in early 2009. The photos were quickly re-posted across many blogs, incurring the wrath of angry Tibetan netizens and comments criticising the couple flooded the internet forums both in Tibetan and Chinese. This must all be seen in context, in 2006, after the Dalai Lama’s injunction against the wearing of animal fur, a wave of fur burning protests took place in Amdo and Kham. Hence the netizens anger and loathing for the couple. Shortly after, Lobsang Dondrup posted an apology online through his friend’s TibetCul blog.

The above observations on TibetCul demonstrate the nature of cyberspace in the ability to bring people together in discussion and debate and also the ability for the online content to transcend national borders, “New Generation” has gone on to become a popular song amongst Tibetans all over the world and the “I Am Tibetan” poetry and spirit has sparked Tibetan exile groups to hold events to amplify voices from Tibet.

In a paper from 2004, Tibetan scholar Tashi Rabgey referred to the Lhasa tradition of the Sweet Tea House: “Throughout the 1980s, sweet tea houses had served as important gathering places for Tibetans to exchange news, air opinions and discuss ideas.” However, “with the tightening of political controls in the early 1990s […] this unusual space of lively, open debate was brought to an end through constant surveillance.” The new virtual Sweet Tea House contains Tibetans who are literate in many languages but mainly in Tibetan, Chinese and English and Tibetans from Central Tibet, Kham, Amdo, India, USA and beyond, all in contact and dialogue.

Whilst the potential for contact and dialogue in the Tibetan cyberspace is great, control of the internet and the politicisation of the blog content poses difficulties and risks. Monitoring Tibetan blogs reveals that throughout the year, at times deemed “sensitive” by the Chinese government, Tibetan blog-hosting sites will suddenly with no explanation or prior warning either be taken offline or be offline “for maintenance”. This happens typically for Tibetan blogs around the time of March 10, the anniversary of the Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule in 1959. See this link for an example of TibetCul suddenly disappearing offline and this link for Tibetan-language blogs being taken offline.

Similarly, individual bloggers are in danger of being targeted by the state for blog content deemed to be dubious. The most famous example is the Tibetan poet, writer and blogger, Woeser, who was writing two blogs, one on TibetCul and another on a Chinese blog hosting site but both of which were suddenly shut down on 28 July 2006. Woeser then had no choice but to start a new blog on a server hosted outside the PRC but has since faced a new set of problems such as server cyber-attacks by Chinese nationalists, both to her blogs and her Skype accounts.

Tibetan language blog-hosting sites have been even more vulnerable than TibetCul and two previously very popular sites have been inaccessible since 2009, and The latter was particularly a great loss as prominent singer and blogger Jamyang Kyi’s blog had previously been hosted by Tibetabc but she seems to have stopped blogging altogether since the site was closed down.

Two recent examples of individuals using blogs and the internet for purposes of social justice have been Dolkar Tso and Shogdung. Dolkar Tso, the wife of environmentalist Karma Samdrup, was blogging almost daily in June and July 2010, documenting the events of her husband’s trial and expressing her personal feelings about the injustice of his sentencing to 15 years in prison. Amazingly, Dolkar Tso persistently kept blogging on Chinese blog-hosting site Sohu and, at the last count, is on her fifth blog as the others kept being shut down rapidly.

Tagyal, a writer and intellectual who used the pen name Shogdung meaning “Morning Conch”, openly spoke out in April 2010 following the devastating earthquake that hit Yushu. He, along with several other intellectuals, published an open letter on Tibetan language blog-hosting site in which they expressed condolences and at the same time were critical of the Chinese government in their handling of the earthquake relief efforts. Following this open letter, Shogdung was arrested and is still facing trial. Following Shogdung’s arrest, the site Sangdhor was taken offline for several months and has only recently come back online.

The last two examples of Dolkar Tso and Shogdung illustrate the importance of Tibetan blogs as sources of information and as ways to highlight injustice but evidently this comes at a great price for the individuals involved. The virtual Sweet Tea House is ultimately as vulnerable as the Lhasa tea houses of the 1990s were and is likely to remain so as long as Tibetan blogs remain behind the Great Firewall.


Dechen Pemba is a UK born Tibetan, based in London.  She is the editor of the website High Peaks Pure Earth, which provides insightful commentary on Tibet related news and issues and translations from writings in Tibetan and Chinese posted blogs.

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The Dalai Lama’s Birthday Song from Tibet

For His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s 75th birthday, Tibetans from Golog, Amdo (Qinghai Province) sang these two songs. One of the singer explained in an interview with Radio Free Asia that this is a tribute to His Holiness the Dalai Lama on his 75th Birthday.  She further stated that she does not fear arrest over this and even if detained she would not have any regret.

Here’s the lyric of the song:


གཞས་པ། ཀུན་དགའ་སྒྲོལ་མ།



གཞས་པ། གཙང་མཆོད་རྟེན།




A Song in Celebration of The Birthday of His Holiness

Melody and Singer: Kunga Dolma

Buddha Dharma originates from India,
Profound practice developed in the Snowland of Tibet,
Disciples spread all over the world,
A song for the Buddha dharma to flourish.

Our great spiritual teacher was born in Amdo,
Your great works were accomplished from the land of India,
Your fame and greatness have spread across the world,
A song for your long life.

I, the singer, come from the Snowland of Tibet,
Singing a Melodious song to the gathering,
Good wishes spread across the land of Snow,
A song for the reunion of Tibetans inside and outside Tibet.

Good wishes spread across the land of Snow,
Singing a song for the reunion of Tibetans inside and outside Tibet.

We All Celebrate Your Birthday.

Singer: Tsang Choeten

Our dear father is the Boddhisattva of Compassion,
We are descendants of the one that is compassionate and kind,
We are a race who strive for Religious faith and Good deeds,
We are all red faced Tibetans,
We all celebrate your birthday.

Our dear mother is the Rock Ogress, [i]
We are descendants of the one that is brave and courageous,
We are a race who have wisdom and perseverance,
We are all red faced Tibetans,
We all celebrate your birthday.

Our father’s land is the rich snowland of Tibet,
We are descendants of those who love the white snowlion [ii],
We are a race who protect the roof of the world,
We are all red faced Tibetans,
We all celebrate your birthday.

Our savior is Yeshi Norbu [iii],
We are descendants of those who endeavor for Peace,
We are a race who believe in karma,
We are all red faced Tibetans,
We all celebrate your birthday.

Our father’s home is the Red Palace [iv],
The first rightful owner of this land,
We are a race who has a rich and abundant culture,
We are all red faced Tibetans,
We all celebrate your birthday.

[i] Ancient Tibetan Legend says that the Tibetan people arose from the union of a monkey and a rock ogress. The monkey is identified with Avalokitesvara, Buddha of compassion and the Rock Ogress, as an incarnation of Tara.

[ii] The snowlion is a mythological animal of Tibet, fearless and full of goodness, known as the protector of Buddhism. It is used as a national emblem on Tibetan coins, postage, banknotes and the national flag of Tibet. The body of the snowlion is white while its flowing mane, tail and curls on the legs are green.

[iii] Tibetans normally refer to the Dalai Lama as ‘Yeshi Norbu’ – the Wish-fulfilling Jewel.

[iv] The Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet is also known as the Red Palace. It is the main residence of the Dalai Lama in Tibet.

[Translation: International Campaign for Tibet]

Kunga “Aspiration of the Land of Snow’s Children”

Kunga Phuntsog ཀུན་དགའ་ཕུན་ཚོགས།

Kunga Phuntsog is one of the most famous young singers in Tibet. His song, ‘Sadness’ (nyi da kar sum) is probably the most well known Tibetan song of modern times, propelling Tibetan music to another level. Born in eastern Tibet in 1981, Kunga attended music school and learned musical art from legendary Tibetan singer Yadong, with whom he performs the highly popular modern song “Mentally Return”, along with two other singers. Kunga’s songs are widely appreciated by Tibetans both for their melody and for their meaningful lyrics.

The song featured above was on the list of songs that were banned in Tibet. See the article: Crackdown on Tibetan Ringtones (RFA).

[Profile] | [English] | [Download]





[Profile] | [Tibetan]

“Aspiration of the Land of Snow’s Children”

I, Child of the Snow Mountain, was born at the foot of the Snow Mountain.
I was told not to forget the kindness of the snow mountains.
Oh people of the Snow Mountains, to what do you aspire?
Bear a sense of devotion deep in your hearts.
Our fatherland is the Land of Snow.
Do not forget to love your identity.

I, child of the Snow Mountain, went to the Land of Gold.
I conversed with a Buddhist monk
He asked: Oh people of the Snow Mountains, to what do you aspire?
The pursuit of knowledge is your devotion to the Snow Land.
Oh, devoted people of the Land of Snow,
The pursuit of knowledge is your aspiration.

I, child of the Snow Mountain, went to the Big City.
I asked an elderly person a question
He asked: Oh youth of the Land of Snow, to what do you aspire?
Your countrymen’s solidarity is your aspiration.
The Land of Snow is our fatherland,
Solidarity is a common aspiration of its people.

[Translation: Based on Khenrap Yeshi & Thupgon’s translation]


DOWNLOAD Kunga’s profile and the lyrics to this song.

– Copy and paste the embed code below to your website. The size can be adjusted. Or get it directly from youtube:

Jamyang Kyi

Writer and singer Jamyang Kyi, a vocal advocate of Tibetan women’s rights, was detained from 1 April to 20 May 2008, during which time she was tortured. After her release she wrote an account of her detention entitled “A Succession of Torture” and “They”, on her Tibetan blog. (The blog has been shut down).  Her writings since May 2008 include moving letters to her friend Norzin Wangmo, who is currently serving a 5-year prison sentence.

– Visit Jamyang Kyi’s Music Page.

– Part of “A Succession of Torture” has been translated by International Campaign for Tibet and is available in the report, “LIKE GOLD THAT FEARS NO FIRE: NEW WRITING FROM TIBET“.

“They” by Jamyang Kyi

They constantly tried to use various methods to make me betray others. During that time, one scene from “The Lives of Others” occurred to me from time to time. The woman in the film, after endlessly suffering unimaginable degrees of intimidation and atrocity, loses herself and turns her back on her beloved man. When the man stares at her with a sense of disbelief, unable to bear her feelings, she runs onto the road in front of an oncoming vehicle. There, she ends her blooming beauty and precious life. Though it has been over two years since I saw the film, I cannot forget the depth of frustration in the man’s stare and the aggrieved look on the woman’s face. Today, these images from the film appear even more real in my mind.

My heart cracked like a dried out riverbank with feelings of sadness, hopelessness, frustration and anger. And I longed for the moisture of light rain. One evening when I was tied to that chair again, I heard the sound of religious songs of a melancholic nature. I realized that this was the first time I was hearing the sound of a living being. This was soothing medicine for my bleeding heart. Since then, I began paying attention to this prayer-tune and awaiting it with hope each day. At that mosque, the devout practitioner prayed 4 to 5 times every day. Normally that prayer-tune could have been perceived as being unpleasant but during those days, it became the best medicine to revive my spirit. For that, I’m deeply grateful to the Mosque and practitioner. If ever a day comes for me to get out, I swore to myself that I would pay a visit to the mosque. Even today, that wish hasn’t disappeared from my heart.

In a magazine there is an oil painting of a landscape that I have looked at countless times. In the painting there is a lone cottage of European style that stands by the lake. That was the only home in the wide hilly grassland. It affforded me a sense of tranquility and peace. Imagining that house to be my own family home, I began to visualize my two daughters playing chase in the grassy meadow near the house; my husband cutting grass beside the lake and I myself, busily cooking dinner awaiting the return of the cattle. That, too, became a means to console and revive my shattered spirit.

One day, as soon as the protests first began, my husband said with a sigh, “Those who have died are already gone. But those who have been arrested are certain to be cast into the eighteen realms of hell and bound to suffer immeasurably.” On the other hand, empathizing with those who had died and their bereaved and loved ones, I was deeply touched and moved to endless tears of sympathy. And at the time, I could not fully comprehend the implications of the incident in which three Tibetans had leapt to their death from a house top.

Each interrogation session aroused a different kind of fear in me. One day in the middle of an interrogation, I thought instead of enduring this, it would be better to be killed by a single bullet. My family and relatives would grieve but as for me, I would have to suffer the pain only once. One day when I was in the washroom, out of nowhere, I found myself thinking about the means or methods of taking my own life. Those days I remembered the small knife that was confiscated at Zhihu Hotel. They hadn’t seen another small knife that was in my handbag during the search. When the chief interrogator asked why I kept a small knife, I replied that it was for eating fruit. But on the other hand there is a small story about this small knife.

Ever since the Chinese-Tibetan conflict had flared up, and as result of the government’s deliberate propaganda, the Chinese would stare at Tibetans with hatred, whether it be in a bus, the market place or on any public road. Once, when I was walking down the road with my daughter who was wearing the traditional chuba that my friend Walza Norzin Wangmo had bought her as a gift, a Chinese kid of about six or seven years old came yelling in front of my daughter and stood blocking her way. This kind of Chinese attitude wasn’t an isolated incident that we experienced but rather the common experience of other Tibetans too. So, for self-defence I had bought another small knife. Later, on reflection, I felt relief that I hadn’t had the chance to get hold of those two knives. Otherwise, during an interrogation session, under unbearable torture, I frantically searched my pouch and then stared at the blue veins of my left wrist. Were I to get hold of the knife then, I would surely have cut the veins of my wrist.

During those days, Wang Lixong’s essay on the stages of suicide came to mind from time to time. And it was a completely different feeling from when I had first read it. I realized for the first time how difficult and harsh it is to betray and deceive someone. I felt that I could understand him now that I could understand it myself.

During those days when I was thrown in front of the six gates of hell, the person I thought of most was my kind and dear mother. Although it has been nearly three years since she passed away, she is very much alive in my heart. What is comforting is the realization that my dear mother has already left me. Otherwise, if she were alive and to witness my incarceration in prison, I know she would go insane.

At the height of unbearable torture, usually I invoked the name of my mother and Goddess Tara for protection. One afternoon when I was tied to a stool, everyone left for lunch except for one female secret police officer. For many days, I had suppressed my tears of suffering silently. But at that moment of weakness, I could not bear it any longer and cried out “Mother, Mother”. The longing for my mother grew more intense and the suffering worsened, and I sobbed. As I was sobbing with pain, all my limbs went numb. At that time the fat man came and said, “You’re crying intentionally because you know I’m here.” Pressing his finger to my forehead, he warned, “If you continue to wail, I will stop this interrogation.”

Shouting in a loud voice, “Are you this stubborn because you think we are making a false accusations?” he left the room. Although it was not something that I was doing, being aware of his presence there, I still couldn’t stop crying. At the time, the nerves in both my hands turned stiff and I could unclench my fist when I tried to force them open. A long time passed sobbing, with my entire body drenched in sweat…

[Translation: High Peaks Pure Earth]

Songs from Drapchi Prison

Drapchi 14 nuns[L-R Gyaltsen Drolkar, Phuntsog Nyidrol, Ngawang Sangdrol and Namdrol Lhamo in London. Photo Free Tibet]

[Songs] | [Downloads]

The Drapchi 14  གྲྭ་བཞི་ ༡༤

The so-called “Drapchi 14” were a group of nuns who recorded a series of freedom songs whilst detained together in Drapchi prison in June 1993. These young nuns, all of whom had been imprisoned for taking part in peaceful demonstrations calling for Tibetan independence, secretly recorded songs on a tape recorder smuggled into their prison cell. A cassette tape was smuggled out of the prison and copies circulated around the world. The nuns’ prison sentences were extended by between five and nine years for making these recordings.

Ngawang Sangdrol, the youngest of them told Free Tibet: “We recorded the songs because we wanted our families to know that we were still alive, and we wanted Tibetan people to know about our situation and our love for our country. We hoped it would reach our families, but we didn’t know for sure. I had no idea until I arrived in America that people all over the world heard those songs while we were still in prison. Now, it makes me feel so sad to listen to the recording, because I remember our friends in prison who died.”

Vigorous international campaigns led to the early release of a number of this group of nuns although one, 28-year-old Ngawang Lochoe, died in Drapchi prison on 5 February 2001, just one year prior to completion of her 10-year prison sentence. In 2006 the release of Phuntsog Nyidrol, after 15 years in prison, brought to an end the detention of the “singing nuns”; of the surviving 13 nuns, seven are now in exile (Palden Choedron escaped Tibet very recently and arrived in India on 1 September 2010) and the remaining six are still in Tibet. The exiled former prisoners have traveled the world, speaking about their experiences and encouraging individuals and political leaders alike to act in support of the people of Tibet.

A CD of the music recorded by the Drapchi 14 “Seeing Nothing But the Sky” is available from Free Tibet,

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གངས་ལྗོངས། (Land of Snow)

གངས་ལྗོངས་ཡ། གངས་ལྗོངས། ངའི་སྐྱིད་པའི་རྒྱལ་ཁབ།
ངའི་རྩ་བ་བླ་མ་དང་ང་ཚོ། རྒྱ་དམར་གྱིས་ཁ་བྲལ་བཏང་སོང་།
ཕྱོགས་བཅུར་བཞུགས་པའི་སངས་རྒྱས་རྣམས་ཀྱི་ བོད་མིའི་ཆེད་དུ།

གངས་ལྗོངས་ཡ། གངས་ལྗོངས། ངའི་སྐྱིད་པའི་རྒྱལ་ཁབ།
ངའི་རྩ་བའི་བླ་མ། ཁོང་ཡིད་བཞིན་ནོར་བུ།

“Land of Snow”

Land of snows, land of snows
My beloved country.
Religious and political freedom are the source of our happiness.
The Red Chinese have separated us from our root guru.
The Buddhas who dwell in the ten directions
Please witness the suffering of the Tibetan people.
We have to bear cruelty and violence
Which has filled our land with tears and blood.
The Buddhas who dwell in the ten directions
Please protect our mournful words of truth
Tenzin Gyatso, the heart and soul of our country
Is my root Lama, the wish-fulfilling jewel.
When all Tibetans, in Tibet and in exile, unite
The sun will emerge from behind the clouds.

[Translation: Tibet Information Network]

སྐྱོ་བའི་གཞས། (Songs of Sadness)

སྐྱོ་བའི་གཞས་གཅིག་བཏང་ཡོད། གྲྭ་བཞི་ནང་ནས་བཏང་ཡོད།
དགའ་སྐྱིད་གངས་རི་འདྲ་བའི། གཞས་ཅིག་འདམས་ནས་བཏང་ཡོད།
སྔ་མོའི་ཆོས་ལྡན་ཞིང་ཁམས་འདི། ད་ཆ་དམར་པོའི་བཙོན་ལ་འགྱུར།
བོད་མི་བཙོན་ལ་བཅུག་ཀྱང་། སྙིང་སྟོབས་ནམ་ཡང་མ་ཞུམ།
ཨ་ཙི། དེ་རིང་སྐྱོ་བ་ལ། ཀླ་ཀློས་ཉེས་རྡུང་ཆག་རྡུང་བཏང་།
ང་ཚོ་རང་དབང་མེད་པའི། ཀླ་ཀློའི་འོག་ཏུ་བཟོད་སྒོམ།
ང་ཚོས་བཙན་རྒྱལ་ངོ་རྒོལ་གྱིས། གྲྭ་བཞི་བཙོན་ནས་ཡར་ལངས་བྱུང་།
ཐམས་ཅད་མཁྱེན་པའི་བཀའ་དྲིན་གྱིས། ཞི་བདེ་བདེ་ལ་འཁོད་སོང་།

“Song of Sadness”

We’ve sung a song of sadness
We’ve sung it from Drapchi prison
Like the happy and joyful snow mountains
We’ve sung this song for the sake of freedom
Previously, a spiritual realm of dharma
Now, is changed to a barbaric prison ground.
Even at the cost of our lives, we Tibetans,
Will never lose our courage.
O, what a sad fate we Tibetans have!
To be tortured mercilessly by barbarians
We don’t have freedom
Under the yoke of these barbarians

[Translation: Free Tibet]


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DOWNLOAD the Lyrics
DOWNLOAD the Song: [གངས་ལྗོངས། Land of Snow]
DOWNLOAD the Song: [སྐྱོ་བའི་གཞས། Song of Sadness]

Tsering Woeser

Tsering Woeser portrait

Tsering Woeser ཚེ་རིང་འོད་ཟེར།

Woeser is a Beijing-based Tibetan poet and writer who is under watch by the authorities because of the critical content of her Chinese-language blog Many translations of Woeser’s writing can be read on the blog High Peaks Pure Earth and collections of her poetry, along with more biographical details, are available on the website Ragged Banner. The following poem was written after a short visit to Lhasa (where Woeser was born), weeks after the 2008 uprisings began.












[Taken from:]

“The Fear in Lhasa”

A hurried farewell to Lhasa,
Now a city of fear.

A hurried farewell to Lhasa,
Where the fear is greater than all the fear after ’59, ’69, and ’89 put together.

A hurried farewell to Lhasa,
Where the fear is in your breathing, in the beating of your heart,
In the silence when you want to speak but don’t,
In the catch in your throat.

A hurried farewell to Lhasa,
Where constant fear has been wrought by legions with their guns,
By countless police with their guns,
By plainclothesmen beyond counting,
And still more by the colossal machinery of the State that stands behind them night and day;
But you mustn’t point a camera at them or you’ll get a gun pointed at you,
maybe hauled off into some corner and no one will know.

A hurried farewell to Lhasa,
Where the fear starts at the Potala and strengthens as you go east, through the Tibetans’ quarter.
Dreadful footsteps reverberate all round, but in daylight you won’t glimpse even their shadow;
They are like demons invisible by day, but the horror is worse, it could drive you mad.
A few times I have passed them and the cold weapons in their hands.

A hurried farewell to Lhasa,
Where the fear is now minutely scanned by the cameras that stud avenues and alleys and offices,
and every monastery and temple hall;
All those cameras,
Taking it all in,
Swiveling from the outer world to peer inside your mind.
“Zap zap jé! º They’re watching us” — among Tibetans this has become a byword, furtively whispered.

A hurried farewell to Lhasa:
The fear in Lhasa breaks my heart. Got to write it down.

August 23, 2008
On the road out of Lhasa

Zap zap jé (Tibetan): “I beg you, be careful.” These days, a very common expression among Tibetans.

[I was in Lhasa from August 17 to August 23, my shortest stay ever, and I had no choice about leaving . . . these words were to remember it by.

And there’s something I want to say: You have the guns? I have a pen.]

[Translation: Ragged Banner Press at]

Kunga Tseyang

Kunga Tseyang portrait

Kunga Tseyang (Gangnyi “Sun of Snowland”) ཀུན་དགའ་ཚངས་དབྱངས། ༼གངས་ཉི།༽

Kunga Tseyang is a popular writer, blogger and photographer who is passionate about the environment. He was taken by police from Labrang monastery in Gansu province on 17 March 2009 and was sentenced to five years in December 2009.  Kunga Tseyang, who is a monk, is thought to have been detained as a result of his essays on a website named “Jottings” or “Rough Notes” (Tib: Zin-dris).




བྱ་ལས་གང་ཞིག་བརྩོན་ན་ཡང་དྲིལ་བསྒྲག་ནི་བྱ་ལས་དེའི་ནུས་པ་རྒྱ་ཆེར་གཏོང་བྱེད་ཀྱི་ལག་ཆ་གལ་ཆེན་ཞིག་རེད་མོད། དྲིལ་བསྒྲག་བྱེད་སྟངས་དེ་ནམ་ཡང་བདེན་དོན་གྱི་ར་བ་ལས་བརྒལ་ཕྱིན་ནམ་ཞིག་ཁྱོད་ཀྱི་དྲིལ་བསྒྲག་དེ་ནི་ར་བཟི་བའི་ལབ་རྡོལ་བཞིན་ནུས་མེད་ཅིག་ཏུ་ཆགས་འགྲོ་བའང་ཆོས་ཉིད་ཅིག་རེད།

ད་ལོའི་ཞི་རྒོལ་འོས་ལངས་ཀི་སྐབས་སུ་རྩ་འཛུགས་ཡོད་པའི་ཁོངས་མི་སུ་ཞིག་ནང་འཛུལ་བྱས་ཏེ་མི་དམངས་ལོག་ལམ་དུ་ཁྲིད་ཅིང་ཀྲུང་དབྱང་བརྙན་འཕྲིན་ཁང་དང་། ལྷ་ས་བརྙན་འཕྲིན་ཁང་སོགས་ཀྱིས་གནས་ལུགས་རྒྱབ་གཏོད་དང་དྲང་བདེན་རྡོག་རྫིས་ཀྱིས “ཁ་བྲལ་བོད་པ” ཞེས་བོད་མི་སྤྱི་ལ་སྡུག་དམོད་བྱས་པ་ཐལ་དྲགས་པ་འདིས། ནམ་ཡང་སོས་དཀའ་བའི་རྨ་ཁ་ཟབ་མོ་ཞིག་ཕྱོགས་གཉིས (བོད་རིགས་དང་རྒྱ་རིགས་གཉིས།།) ཀར་བཟོས་ཡོད་པས་ན་ད་ནི་རྒྱ་རིགས་སྤུན་ཟླ་བོད་ལ་མི་དགའ་བ་ཞིག་དང་། བོད་རིགས་སྤུན་ཟླ་རྒྱ་ལ་སྡང་བའི་བསམ་ཕྱོགས་ཤིག་ཀྱང་རང་ཤུགས་ཀྱིས་ཐོན་པར་བྱས་སོང་། ཁོ་བོས་ནི་ནམ་ཡང་དེ་ནི་མི་རིགས་ཁ་བྲལ་དུ་འགྲོ་བའི་བྱེད་ལས་ཤིག་ཏུ་ངོས་མི་འཛིན་ཐབ་མེད་དུ་འདོད་ཀྱིན་ཡོད།

ཕྱོགས་གཅིག་གིས (བོད་རིགས་སྤུན་ཟླ།) ད་ནི་དངོས་གནས་འདུག་ག་མ་བཅུག་ནི་རེད། ང་ཚོས་མ་བྱས་པ་ཞིག་བྱས་སོང་ཞེས་གླེང་འདི་འདྲ་འགེལ་བ་དང་། ང་ཚོས་ཆུང་ངུ་དེ་ཆེན་པོར་བསྒྱུར་ནས་འཛམ་བུ་གླིང་ལ་ཁྱབ་བསྒྲགས་འདི་ལྟར་བྱས་སོང་། མཐའ་ན་ཏང་གི་བྱ་བ་ལས་ནས་མི་ལོ་ཉི་ཤུ་དང་སུམ་ཅུ་སོང་ཟིན་པའི་བོད་རིགས་དཔོན་པོ་དག་ལའང་སྐབས་དེར་རྒྱ་ཡུལ་ནས་མགྲོན་ཁང་གྲལ་དག་ཅིག་ཀྱང་ཕྱིན་མེད་ལ། ཞིང་ཆེན་དང་ཁུལ་སོགས་བོད་རིགས་སློབ་བུ་རེ་གཉིས་ལས་མེད་པའི་སློབ་གྲྭ་དག་རྫུན་ལས་ལ་གོམ་པའི་བརྙན་འཕྲིན་ཁང་དང་། ཚགས་པར་དེ་དག་གི་རྗེས་འབྲང་སྟེ་བོད་མིར་ལྟ་ཕྱོགས་མི་ལེགས་པ་བཟུང་ནས་སྐྱོན་བརྗོད་དང་མཚངས་འབྲུ་སོགས་བྱས་པ་ཐལ་དྲགས་པས། སྔོན་ཆད་ཁ་ཞེ་གཏིང་གསུམ་ནས་རྒྱ་རིགས་སྤུན་ཟླ་དང་། ཏང་དང་སྲིད་གཞུང་ལ་དགའ་བའི་བོད་རིགས་སློབ་བུ་དང་ལས་བྱེད་པ་དག་ལ་ད་ལོར་བརྡབ་གསིག་ཆེན་པོ་ཞིག་ཐེབས་ཤིང་། ད་དུང་ཤ་མཁོན་ཞེས་པ་ཞིག་ཀྱང་རང་ཤུགས་ཀྱིས་སེམས་ལ་བཞག་པ་ལྟ་བུ་ཞིག་བཟོས་སོང་། འདི་ཡང་ཁྱོད་ཚོས (འདི་ནི་ནོར་འཁྲུལ་གྱིས་བྱ་ལས་དེ་འདྲ་བརྩོན་མཁན་དག་ལ་བཤད་པ་ཡིན།) བྱ་ལས་གང་ཞིག་གནད་ལ་མ་ཁེལ་བའི་ནག་ཉེས་ལས་ཅི་ཞིག་ཡིན་ཨང་།

སྐབས་དེ་དག་དུ། ང་ཚོ་ཡར་མར་ལ་འགྲོ་བའི་ལམ་བུ་དེ་ཡང་ཆེས་གུ་དོག་པོ་ཞིག་ཏུ་བསྒྱུར་ཏེ་ང་ཚོའི་འགྲོ་འདུག་སྤྱོད་གསུམ་ལ་བཀག་སྡོམ་རབ་དང་རིམ་པ་བྱས་ཤིང་། དམག་མིའི་མེ་མདའི་མཆུ་ཁར་སྐྲག་སྔངས་འཇིག་གསུམ་གྱིས་དེད་པ། ད་དུང་ང་ཚོའི་སེམས་ཀྱི་དྲོད་དང་། རེ་བའི་རྒྱབ་རི་ལྟ་བའི་ཡིད་བཞིན་ནོར་བུའི་པར་རིས་ཙམ་རིག་ན་ཡང་དེ་མ་ཐག་མཐོང་ས་རིག་ས་ནས་རྡོག་རྫིས་གཏོང་བ་དང་། གཡས་གཤེག་གཡོན་གཤེག་བྱེད་པ། ཆད་པ་ནན་མོ་གཅོད་པ། དུས་བཀག་བྱས་པ། མཐོང་ཆུང་དང་བརྙེས་བཅོས་སོགས་ཀྱི་དམོད་ཚིག་ཅི་དགར་འདོན་པ་སོགས་ནི་མི་རིགས་ཁ་བྲལ་དུ་གཏོང་བའི་བྱེད་ལས་ཉག་གཅིག་རེད་ཅེས་བརྗོད་རྒྱུ་ཡིན་ལ། ང་ཚོའི་སེམས་ཀྱི་དུང་བ་གཅོད་མ་ཐུབ་ཀྱི་བར་ཏུ་ཁྱོད་ཚོས་འབྲས་བུ་མེད་པའི་བྱ་ལས་གང་འདྲ་བརྩོན་ན་ཡང་། དེས་ནི་ང་ཚོ་ཆིག་སྒྲིལ་དང་བརྩེ་ཞེན་གྱི་ནུས་པ་ཆེ་ནས་ཆེ་རུ་འགྲོ་བ་ལས་གཞན་ གང་ལ་ཤུགས་རྐྱེན་ཐེབ་ནུས་མ་ཡིན།

སྤྱིར་དམག་མི་སུ་དང་གང་ཡིན་ན་ཡང་རྒྱལ་ཁབ་བདེ་འཇག་དང་། མི་དམངས་མཐུན་སྒྲིལ། སྤྱི་ཚོགས་ཡར་རྒྱས་སོགས་ལ་ལེགས་རྗེས་འབུལ་མཁན་གྱི་དཔའ་བོའི་སྡེ་ཁག་ཅིག་ཡིན་པར་ཁོ་བོས་སྔ་མོ་ནས་ཡིད་ཆེས་བཅང་ཡོད་ན་ཡང་། ད་ལོ་ནི་དེ་ལས་ལྡོག་སྟེ་མི་རིགས་ཀྱི་ཞེན་ཕྱོགས་ཆེ་བ། ཚེ་སྲོག་སྣང་མེད་དུ་གཏོང་བ། རྐུ་འཕྲོག་བཅོམ་གསུམ་ལ་མཁས་པ། བཙན་དབང་རང་ལུགས་ལ་བྱང་བ། ཁྲེལ་མེད་ལུགས་མེད་ལ་མོས་པའི་དཔུང་སྡེ་རྔམས་མཐུག་པ་ཞིག (འདི་ནི་ད་ལོར་རྔ་བ་ས་ཁུལ་དང་། ཀན་ལྷོ་ས་ཁུལ་སོགས་གཙོར་བྱས་ནས་བཤད་པ་ཡིན།) གི་རང་གཟུགས་ཕྱིར་བསྟན་པ་འདིས། རང་སེམས་ཀྱི་ཡིད་ཆེས་གཙང་མ་དེ་ཡང་གཙང་བཤག་བྱས་སོང་། དེ་ཡང་དམག་མི་ཁ་ཅིག་དང་། ས་གནས་སྲིད་གཞུང་འགའ་ཞིག་གིས་བྱས་པའི་ནག་ཉེས་ཡིན་ན་ཁྱོད་ཚོ་ནི་མི་རིགས་ཁ་བྲལ་དུ་གཏོང་མཁན་གྱི་གཏེ་བོ་ཉག་གཅིག་རེད་ཅེས་བརྗོད་རྒྱུ་ཡིན།

ད་དུང་སྤྱི་བདེ་ལས་ཁུངས་དང་། དམག་མིའི་ལས་ཁུངས། ཏང་གི་ལས་ཁུངས་སོགས་ནས་མི་བདེན་བདེན་རྫུན་གྱི་ཡར་ཞུའི་ཡིག་ཚོགས་མང་བོ་ཀྲུང་དབྱང་གི་མདུན་དུ་སྤུངས་ནས་དམངས་སྒོར་ཁྲི་འབུམ་མང་བོའི་ཁེ་བཟང་དང་རྒྱལ་ཁ་ལེན་ཞོར་ཁྲེལ་མེད་ལུགས་མེད་དང་། ཕྱི་བཞོག་གཉའ་གནོན་གྱི་ལས་རིགས་སྣ་ཚོགས་ཚོམ་མེད་དུ་ལས་ཀྱིན་ཡོད་པ་འདི་ཚོ་ཡང་། མི་རིགས་ཁ་བྲལ་གཏོང་མཁན་གྱི་གཏེ་བོ་ཉག་གཅིག་ཅི་ལ་མིན་སོང་། ད་དུང་ས་གནས་སྲིད་གཞུང་ག་གེ་མོས་གོང་རིམ་སྲིད་གཞུང་ལ་ངོ་དགའ་བྱ་ཆེད་དང་། རང་གི་གོ་གནས་གོང་འཕེལ་གྱི་ཕྱིར་ཏུ་ཚབ་ཆེ་བས་ལས་ཀ་སྣ་ཚོགས་སྤེལ་བས་རང་ཉིད་སྐྱོན་ལ་འཐོག་པའི་ལོ་རྒྱུས་ཀྱང་བྱུང་ཡོད་པ་རེད།

རྒྱལ་ཁབ་བདེ་འཇགས་དང་བརྟན་བརླིང་ལ་གནོད་པའི་ལས་རིགས་ཚབ་ཆེ་བ་འདི་འདྲ་ཚོམས་མེད་དུ་ལས་ཀྱིན་ཡོད་ན། ཀྲུང་དབྱང་གིས་ཀྱང་མིག་གཡས་ཞར་བའི་ལོང་བ་དང་རྣ་གཡས་འོན་པའི་ལྐུག་པ་ལྟ་བུ་བྱས་ཏེ་སྡོད་དོན་ཅི་ལ་ཡོད། བླ་མ་ནོར་ན་ཡང་ཆོག དཔོན་པོ་ནོར་ན་ཡང་རུང་། སྲིད་གཞུང་ནོར་ན་ཡང་ཆོག་སྟེ་ནོར་འཁྲུལ་ཡོད་པའི་མི་དེ་རིགས་མི་དམངས་ཀྱི་མདུན་དུ་ཡར་ལངས་ཏེ་དག་སེལ་ཞུ་རན་ལ་བསླེབ་ཟིན། དེ་ལྟར་བྱས་ན་མི་རིགས་མཐུན་སྒྲིལ་ཡར་རྒྱས་དང་། འཆམ་མཐུན་སྤྱི་ཚོགས་འཛུག་བསྐྲུན་ལ་ནུས་པ་བླ་ལྷག་གིས་འདོན་པར་ང་ཚོས་ཡིད་ཆེས་བཅང་ཆོག་ཆོག་ཡིན།

ཕྱོགས་གཅིག་གིས (རྒྱ་རིགས་སྤུན་ཟླ་དང་བོད་རིགས་སྤུན་ཟླ་གཉིས་ལ་གོ་ཆོག།) ཨ་ཙི། མི་རིགས་འདི་ནི་ཅི་འདྲའི་འཇིགས་སུང་རུང་བ་ཞིག མི་རིགས་འདི་ང་ཚོར་འདི་འདྲའི་སྡང་དོན་གང་གིས་ལན་ནམ། ཁོ་ཚོས་དམིགས་བཀར་གྱིས་ང་ཚོའི་སྤུན་ཟླ་དག་ལ་ཤ་མཁོན་དང་རྡུང་རྡེག་འདི་འདྲ་གཏོང་དོན་གང་ཡིན་ནམ། རྫུན་ལས་གཡོ་ལས་སོགས་བྱེད་ལས་སྣ་ཚོགས་ཀྱིས་བསྐྱེད་པའི་བསམ་བྱ་སྣ་ཚོགས་པ་ཞིག་གིས། ཐ་ན་གླ་བྱེད་རླངས་འཁོར་བསྐོར་མཁན་དག་ལའང་བོད་རིགས་ཟེར་དུས་སེམས་ལ་གཟེར་ཤད་རྒྱག་པ་ཞིག་དང་། བོད་མི་ཟེར་དུས་མིག་ལ་འཛེར་འོངས་པའི་གདོན་རྫས་ལྟ་བུ་ཞིག་གི་བག་ཆགས་བཞག་ཡོད་པ་རེད།

སྤྱིར་བཤད་ན་རྒྱ་རིགས་དང་བོད་རིགས་གཉིས་ནི་དུས་ཡུན་རིང་བོའི་ལོ་རྒྱུས་ཁྲོད་གཅིག་གིས་གཅིག་ལ་རོགས་རམ་བྱེད་མྱོང་བ་དང་། ཕན་ཚུན་ལ་མཛའ་བརྩེ་དང་བརྩི་བཀུར་བྱས་མྱོང་བའི་སྤུན་ཟླ་ལེགས་པོ་ཞིག་ཡིན་ངེས་ན་ཡང་ད་ལོ་ནི་དེ་ལས་ལྡོག་སྟེ་སུ་ཞིག་གི་སེམས་པར་དགྲ་བོ་ལྟ་བུའི་འདུ་ཤེས་རྫོབ་པོ་ཞིག་བཞག་སོང་ལ། འདུ་ཤེས་དེ་ནི་མི་རིགས་མཐུན་སྒྲིལ་ཇེ་དམ་དུ་གཏོང་བྱེད་ཅིག་ཏུ་འགྱུར་ཡོད་དམ། མི་རིགས་མཐུན་སྒྲིལ་ལ་གཏོར་བརླག་ཡོང་བྱེད་ཅིག་ཏུ་གྱུར་ཡོད། དེ་ནི་སྲིད་གཞུང་དང་དཔོན་པོ་ཚོས་འདང་རྒྱག་དགོས་ས་ཞིག་དང་། འདང་རྒྱག་རིན་ཡོད་པ། འདང་བརྒྱབ་ནས་དོན་མཐུན་གྱི་ལས་ཀ་ཡང་དག་ཅིག་ལས་རྒྱུ་ནི་རྒྱལ་ཁབ་སྲ་བརྟན་དུ་གཏོང་བའི་རྨང་རྡོའི་ལས་གཞི་ལྟ་བུ་ལགས་ན་ཕྱི་བཤོལ་དུ་ཤོར་རུང་བ་ཞིག་གཏན་ནས་མ་ཡིན།

[Profile] | [Tibetan]

“Who are the real separatists?”

Information dissemination is the most important tool in carrying out any kind of action or campaign. However, if one’s ways of spreading information crosses the standard norms then that campaign is bound to become a meaningless stammer of a drunken man.

This year the peaceful Tibetan protesters were infiltrated and were misled to a wrong path. The China Television, Lhasa TV and others, while ignoring the truth, have excessively branded all Tibetans as separatists. This has caused an incurable communal injury between the Chinese brothers and sisters, and Tibetans leading to Chinese disliking the Tibetans and Tibetans holding animosity towards the Chinese. I, as a person, am forced to accept the fact that this was the biggest factor caused split among the nationalities.

Tibetans are driven to a desperate position because of them being accused of doing things, which they never did, and small incidents were exaggerated and paraded before the world. Even Tibetans who worked for the party for over two to three decades were accused and the Chinese news media, the experts that they are in fabricating lies, went to schools and universities where there are only a handful of Tibetan students to accuse them and to witch hunt them. Such excessive misinformation and wrongful acts have caused a huge chasm and disturbance in the minds of Tibetan officials and students who have absolute love for Chinese brothers and sisters and liking for the Communist Party of China. This has left a feeling of ‘racial hatred’ in their minds. This is the negative consequence of their incompetent reporting.

Under these circumstances our freedom of movements are restricted by roadblocks, checkpoints and ever-present military personals with guns pointed at us. I must strongly assert that confiscating the photographs of our beloved leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama, by burning them, and stamping them under the soldiers’ boots are the real causes of splitting the people. Detention of Tibetans for possessing His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s photographs, disparaging them for putting His Holiness’ pictures on their altars are the real causes of split amongst the nationalities. Unless you [the Chinese Government] are able to break our love and respect in our hearts, all your fruitless campaigns and activities will only strengthen our unity and love for one Tibetan brother to another.

I have always believed that soldiers are heroes protecting national security, building harmony amongst people and helping economic developments. However, this year all these proved wrong because of their biased actions, killing of innocent people, their plundering and ransacking of properties and shops, their expertise in suppressing dissents and their lawless marauding style. I state this based on facts and the actual events as it happened in Ngapa regions of Amdo and Kanlho regions [in Eastern Tibet.] If these things happened because of a few military officers and officials in local administration, then I can strongly say that you are the real agents splitting the nationalities.

Moreover, people at the local Public Security Bureaus, military and regional Communist Party cadres piled a large amount of fabricated, negative information and petitions in front of the Central Government in order to obtain huge sums of money to fund their so-called victories against protests and to continue their suppressive actions. How are these actions not meant to split the nationalities? A series of large-scale policy mistakes were made because the local level cadres were busy trying to please their bosses in the higher levels.

Why is the Communist Party of China silent like a man with one eye closed and ears gone deaf in face of such unlimited actions carried out to harm the unity of the nation and stability of the country? Lamas may make mistakes, leaders may make mistakes and the government too can make mistakes. But the time has come for those people responsible for causing harms and disunity be paraded before the public and be made answerable for their mistakes. If this can be done, we will still have some faith in improving our relationship with other nationalities and to build a harmonious society.

An image is built in the minds of both the Chinese people and Tibetan brothers and sisters of the other side as someone who is to be scared of and to have hatred towards each other. We ask: Why must they beat and torture our brothers and sisters this way? And by lying and fabricating wrong views, we have come to a state where even a Tibetan truck driver is scorned. The general impression being created is that of Tibetans as people who are not even worth to look at.

When we talk in more general terms, Tibetan and Chinese people have a long tradition of helping each other and have deep mutual respect and admiration. However, the portrayal of Tibetans in Chinese official media this year has left an image of Tibetans as enemies. Has this become a factor that would improve harmony or has it become a cause for its destruction? This is an issue that the leaders must think about; this is an issue that is worth thinking about because the harmony of the nation will be build on this foundation by taking positives actions on it. This is something that is never too late to pursue.

(Translated from Tibetan by Bhuchung D. Sonam)

Gade Tsering

Gade Tsering portrait
Photo: ©

Gade Tsering དགའ་བདེ་ཚེ་རིང་།

Gade Tsering is a prolific poet from Amdo, who writes in Tibetan and Chinese. He is very popular amongst Tibetan netizens and has previously also received official recognition for his work, including “National Top 10 Minority Poet” and “2006 Northwest Outstanding Poet”. Gade Tsering”s Chinese language blog ( is one of the most read, not only among Tibetan readers, but it is also popular among Chinese readers.


我是藏人 (I am Tibetan)

















































[Top] | [Chinese]

“I am Tibetan”

Because I’m Tibetan, every time I salute Mother Nature in awe:
The snow-covered mountains, the grasslands, the azure sky and the lakes,
I cannot help but throw my bloated body into her bosom. Because I know
She never rejects those who she loves.

Did you know?

“It was here my fellows had been imprisoned;
It was here the Defender of Faith of Chushi Gangdruk had been defeated.

It is here the smoke of the burning branches of mulberry trees swirl,
And the sound of spiral shell horns can be heard,
The roofs are flanked with coloured Sutra banners;
It is here, the chest of the plateau, my home,



In the early morning I offer a bowl of purified water to Buddha,
I will no longer ask for more: the existence of Tibet,
Which has completed my life and repelled my fear of loss.

It is here I have encountered you
As well as all living things.
It is here I have experienced the feeling of love,
As well as the feeling of being loved.

Because I am a Tibetan,
I always firmly believe in history,
Always firmly believe
In the existence of sacred spirit.


I hear different languages of different groups. In my mother tongue, crying;
Those from blacksmiths, farmers, hunters,
From prostitutes, businessmen, vendors

I already disdain the scenes I’m seeing;
Although sometimes I still sing the Song of Emancipated Serfs,
I can recognize a guy with the sissy tone in his dialect must be a Shandong guy,
I can recognize a chick in the ugly photographer’s vest is a Sichuan chick.

At this moment, I’m touching the damaged Buddha,
Wondering how it should be possible
That a month later all these people would gesture and speak in astonishment:
“Since Tibetans have religious beliefs, how can a Lama kill people?”
I think everything is dreadful for a reason.

Where else could we head for,
If the whole land is darkened by night?


Because I’m a Tibetan, I have
A lot of memories:

“The monkey and the demoness
With the nature of getting along with Mother Nature in harmony,
And, the Tibet Empire and the Tibetan song of Gesar orally passed from generation to generation.

Because I’m a Tibetan,
I have been suffering from a life in misery;
Because I’m a Tibetan,
I have obtained enough comfort.

But it is in this autocratic winter
I composed this poem!


“Her eyes and the wrinkles on her palms are Tibetan,
Her name, Tibetan,
Her dreams and sorrows, Tibetan,
Her belief, her legs and body, Tibetan,
Her language and her silence, Tibetan,
Her voice, Tibetan,
Her birth and death, Tibetan” [1]


How wonderful it is
To dream of parents!
I deeply believe that at this moment
I’m no longer in sorrow.

In this snowy night,
I get up to light a butter lamp.
I decide to take the prayer beads off my waist
And pray to Buddha.

At this moment, the night seems so real and profound.


Celestial burial is
Not frightening at all,
In my eyes;
In your eyes.

Because I’m a Tibetan,
I understand myself.


This time the rejection is
Related to your identity.
I said,
The Tibetan knife I carry with me every day is
Not for killing other lives.
You always wonder if in this world there ever exists a place

“Speak Tibetan because you are a Tibetan,
Celebrate Losar because you are a Tibetan.”

In my mother tongue I answered,
“Life and death are separated from each other.
I said I carry a knife with me
Because I soberly know who I am
And I want to intimidate myself.


There they came on a Saturday afternoon.
There they came, in buses appearing as armoured cars.
There they came, with buzzing saws, ropes and other equipment.
There they came, the seven workers.
There they came, the seven devils.
There they came, holding beer bottles like flowers, drunk.
There they came, in camouflaged green outfits.

With bright red faces,
in black leather shoes,
There they came… [2]


I am Tibetan,
I want to worship my gods in awe.
I am Tibetan,
I want to partake in all my religious festivals.
I am a Buddhist and I
Won’t allow anyone to take away this
baptism of mine.


How far must I go to arrive in the land of Tibet?
How far must I go to meet my parents?
How far must I go to wear Tibetan clothes?

We are heading for Lhasa.
The festered feet as the proof,
That our bruised bodies and hearts are

The garden is silent;
In the form of an eagle
Lhasa is flying.
Drawing near the thunder,
Comes soon the rain!


Because we are Tibetan,
We are treated differently from other minorities:
Enduring aggravating discrimination, imprisonment, torture and death.
Because I am Tibetan,
I am no longer in fear of anything.
Still a courageous Buddhist,
I lit many lights before our honoured Gods
In memory of my dead brethren
Just as usual.

Speaking in my mother tongue, I deeply believe that
At this moment, I feel peaceful and blessed!

Because I am Tibetan, I often ask
Apart from in Tibet, where else could we find a piece of land of the exiled
with such rich poetic sentiments?

February 10, 2010.

[1] An imitation of the poem “The Lover from Palestine” by the Arabian poet Mohamed Darwish
[2] An excerpt from “Saturday Morning” by the Iraqi poet Yusuf

[Translation: High Peaks Pure Earth –]


Kunga, Yadong, Gangshung & Tsewang, “Mentally Return”

“Mentally Return” སེམས་ཀྱི་ལོག་ཕེབས།

Mentally Return has become one of the most popular modern Tibetan songs. Sung by four of the best Tibetan singers, the song praises the natural beauty and bounty of Tibet and eulogizes the Tibetan people for their kindness and courage. Among these four singers, Kunga (Phuntsog) is one of the most famous young singers in Tibet. His song, ‘Sadness’ (nyi da kar sum ཡིད་རེ་སྐྱོ།) is probably the most well known Tibetan song of modern times, propelling Tibetan music to another level. Kunga’s songs are widely appreciated by Tibetans both for their melody and for their meaningful lyrics. Kunga’s teacher, Yadong, another of the four performers of “Mentally Return” has been singing Tibetan songs for a long time and is very popular. He sings both in Tibetan and Chinese, but amongst Tibetans he is probably best known known for his song, ‘Ama’ (Mother).

[English] | [French] | [Chinese]


གཞས་མཁན་ ཡ་དུང་། ཀུན་དགའ་། གངས་བཞུགས་། ཚེ་དབང་།
ཚིག་། འབྲུག་ལྷ་རྒྱལ་། ༼ཡེ་ཤེས་ནས་བསྡུ་སྒྲིག་བྱས་༽
དབྱངས་། བཀྲིས་རྡོ་རྗེ་།

ཨོ།་་་་་་་་་ མ་ཡུམ་ལགས་། གངས་ལྗོངས་།
ཨོ།་་་་་་་་་མ་ཡུམ་ལགས་། གངས་ལྗོངས་ལགས་།

ཨོ།་་་་་་་ སྤུན་ཟླ་ལགས་། བོད་པ་།
ཨོ།་་་་་་་ སྤུན་ཟླ་ལགས་། བོད་པ་།


“Mentally Return”

Its snow-capped mountains are the heavenly ramparts,
Its pure blue rivers are the shimmering ornaments of the sun and the moon.
Its vast meadows and pastures are the beds of the stars,
This holy land situated close to zenith of the sky,
This bountiful land on the roof of the world,
Are these are our fatherland, the Land of Snow!

Oh Great Mother, the land of Snow,
I’ve come for the cosy warmth of your loving care,
And today I sing a song in your lap.
Oh great Mother, the Land of Snow,
This is a song of auspiciousness taught by you.
This is a gift for having traversed across my fatherland!

The six migratory beings are our kind parents,
Non-violence and peace are our mental wealth,
Bravery, wisdom and heroism are the strength of our heart:
The nationality who inhabit this land of Snows,
The first people to settle here and exercise ownership,
Are us, the ruddy faced Tibetans of the Land of Snows.

Oh Tibetan brothers and sisters,
We’ve come missing your profound love and friendship,
Today, in your presence we dance in joy!
Oh Tibetan brother and sisters,
This is the circle dance of unity taught by you,
This is a gift to celebrate the reunion of brethrens.

Oh Tibetan brothers and sisters,
Oh Tibetan brothers and sisters,
This is the circle dance of unity taught by you,
This is a gift to celebrate the reunion of brethrens.
This is a gift to celebrate the reunion of brethrens.
This is a gift to celebrate the reunion of brethrens.

[Translation: High Peaks Pure Earth]


Retrouvailles en pensée

Ses montagnes enneigées pour célestes remparts,
Ses fleuves d’un bleu si pur, scintillantes parures du soleil et de la lune,
Ses vastes prairies et pâturages, berceaux des étoiles,
Cette divine contrée tutoyant le ciel à son zénith,
Cette terre généreuse sise sur le toit du monde,
C’est notre patrie, le Pays des neiges !

Ô Mère patrie, Pays des neiges,
Je suis le fruit de la douce chaleur de votre amour,
Et aujourd’hui je chante en votre sein.
Ô Mère patrie, Pays des neiges,
Voici le chant porte-bonheur appris de vous.
Un cadeau pour ce périple à travers ma patrie!

Les êtres aux six royaumes sont nos aimables parents,
Non-violence et paix, nos richesses morales,
Bravoure, sagesse et héroïsme: les forces de nos coeurs.
La nationalité qui habite ce Pays des neiges,
Le premier peuple à avoir fait siennes ces terres devenues son foyer,
C’est nous, les Tibétains du Pays des neiges et nos visages hauts en couleur.

Ô mes frères et soeurs tibétains,
Comme votre profond amour, votre amitié nous ont
Mais ce jour, vous de retour, nous dansons de joie!
Ô mes frères et soeurs tibétains,
Voici la ronde de l’unité apprise de vous,
Un cadeau célébrant nos fraternelles retrouvailles.

Ô mes frères et soeurs tibétains,
Ô mes frères et soeurs tibétains,
Voici la ronde de l’unité apprise de vous,
Un cadeau célébrant nos fraternelles retrouvailles.
Un cadeau célébrant nos fraternelles retrouvailles.
Un cadeau célébrant nos fraternelles retrouvailles.

[Translation from English: Damien Guiot]







(Translation from English: Meili Chow)

Dolma Kyab “Phayul” [Fatherland]

Dolma Kyab  སྒྲོལ་མ་སྐྱབས།

Dolma Kyab is a rising young singer from Amdo.  He became very famous for the song, ‘Tibetans’ (or ‘People of the Land of Snow’ གངས་ཅན་པ།) several years ago, since which time he has worked with other Tibetan writers to produce a tremendously powerful album called, ‘Tsampa and Fatherland’.  He explains that growing up in the grasslands of Tibet, hearing beautiful Tibetan music, led him to a career in Tibetan musical art. His songs evoke pride and love for Tibet and Tibetan culture.

[English] | [Chinese] | [Download]


ཚིག སྨན་ལྷ་སྐྱབས། ལེན་མཁན། སྒྲོལ་མ་སྐྱབས།

ཨོ་་ ཧོ། གངས་རི།
ཨོ་ ཧོ་། ཕ་ཡུལ།
ཨོ་ ཧོ། ཡུལ་ལ་ལོག་ན་བསམ་བྱུང་།

ཨོ་ ཧོ། གངས་ཆུ།
ཨོ་ཧོ། ཕ་ཡུལ། ཕ་ཡུལ།


“Phayul” [Fatherland]

Lyric: Menlha Kyab Singer: Dolma Kyab

The snow mountains,
The celestial presence on the ground
Whose dream was robbed and where?
What’s left behind?
Whose small shoes were withered by the wind?
[I] miss my own home land
Oh Snow Mountain
I laid eyes on you when I am born
I am stuck to you when I grow old.
Oh Home Land
The snow afar has turned into rain,
My eyes are filled with rain water
I dearly miss my loved ones
Oh how I wish for them to return.

The blue water of snow,
Flow tenderly across the land
Whose wish was robbed and where?
What’s left behind?
Whose base is tightened by freeze?
Whose neck (voice) was choked?
Oh Snow Water
I drank the snow water when I was born
I cherish you as I grow old
Oh Fatherland,
The snow afar has turned into rain,
My eyes are filled with rain water
I dearly miss my loved ones
Oh how I wish for them to return.







(Translation from English: Meili)


Download the lyric for Phayul (ཕ་ཡུལ།).

– Copy and paste the embed code below to your website. The size can be adjusted. Or get it directly from youtube: