“Honk For Tibet”

The other day, while driving to a call for work, I noticed a small crowd of colorful characters in the distance. As I got closer, I noticed they were carrying signs, and a Tibetan flag. The signs said “Free Tibet” and “Honk For Tibet”. As I tooted the horn, I could hear a couple other cars tooting as well. I did the work I needed to, and passed the group again later, giving them another toot. I just noticed our local newspaper has written something up about it, so here it is from the Cape Cod Times

Savage Bohemian proceeds to go to Tibetan Nuns Project

My friend Kelly, at Savage Bohemian, asked me to mention something great they are doing throughout the month of February at her online shop. The name is, as mentioned before, The Savage Bohemian. Who are they and what are they doing? Well I took this from their site…

We started The Savage Bohemian with two goals: to grow a sustainable, fair trade business to help support families and communities who make our handmade artisan jewelry and accessories by paying fair prices; and to provide quality, affordable jewelry that preserves ethnic and tribal cultural elements that are unique in today’s mass-produced marketplace.

During the month of February, all proceeds will go to the Tibetan Nuns Project. This cause is very close to Kelly’s heart, so I am more than glad to help her get this out to more folks. Here’s a little bit about the Tibetan Nuns Project, from their website…

In the mid 1980s, with the strong encouragement of H.H. the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan Women’s Association began to work on behalf of nuns of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Initial efforts focused on small projects within the two existing nunneries in the Dharamsala area, and the women also worked to start a new nunnery in South India.

In early 1991, a group of 66 refugee nuns appeared overnight on the streets of Dharamsala, India. They had been on a two-year pilgrimage from eastern Tibet that had ended in a journey over the Himalayas. Ill and exhausted, they had nowhere to go. The Tibetan Women’s Association organized emergency assistance to meet their basic needs, and set in motion the Tibetan Nuns Project to work exclusively on behalf of the nuns. The Project immediately began to find long-term solutions to the problems of securing housing, medical care and most importantly, education for refugee nuns. The Project created a sponsorship program, reaching out to individuals around the world.

I hope you’ll take a moment to check out the Savage Bohemian website and see if there is anything there that will peak your interest enough to make a purchase. There are great things there for that special person in your life, Valentines Day is coming up soon you know!

Missing the Mark… Groupon’s Tibet Superbowl Commercial

Whether you’re a sports fan or not, by now you’ve probably seen the Superbowl Ad (can be seen by cllicking the link or scroll to the bottom of this for the embedded video) that Groupon put out featuring Timothy Hutton.

The video starts out marvelously, and it seems like maybe someone is actually trying to raise some awareness on a large stage re: Tibet. The ad makes a turn for the worst as quickly as it has you hoping this is the real deal.

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Dalai Lama ‘to retire’ from government-in-exile role

From AFP

The Dalai Lama intends to retire as head of the Tibetan government in exile next year as he looks to reduce his ceremonial role and scale back his workload, his spokesman told AFP Tuesday.
The Tibetan movement in exile, based in the northern Indian hill station of Dharamshala since 1960, directly elected a political leader in 2001 for the first time.

“Since then, His Holiness has always said he has been in a semi-retired state,” spokesman Tenzin Taklha said.

“In recent months, His Holiness has been considering approaching the Tibetan parliament in exile to discuss his eventual retirement.”

Taklha stressed that his “retirement” would be from his ceremonial responsibilities as head of the government, such as signing resolutions, not his role as spiritual leader and figurehead for Tibetans.

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The Kind Man

A Tibetan folk-tale, author unknown

Once there lived a very kind, generous man. He was loved and admired by many for his good works and kindly deeds. One day, a very famous lama came to his village. The man wished to speak with the famous lama, and when his wish was granted he prostrated himself at the feet of the holy man, and spoke to him thus:
“I would like to become an enlightened being, compassionate and wise, so that I may help all living beings, and devote my life to the teaching of the Buddha. What should I do?”

The lama saw that the man was sincere in his motives and told him to go to the mountains and spend his life praying and meditating. He gave the kind man a special prayer to chant, and told him if he did this constantly and with great devotion, then he would surely become an enlightened being, able to help all others through his wisdom and compassion.

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Tibetan students protest, say China is wiping out their culture

From CNN

Thousands or hundreds of Tibetan students have taken to the streets in protest this week, depending on divergent accounts — one from advocates for a free Tibet and another from the ruling Chinese government.

The students say their culture is being wiped out as China overhauls curriculum and limits the use of the Tibetan language in schools.
“The protest resulted from a new education policy which reduces Tibetan language teachings,” an official identified only as Mr. Wang, speaking for the International Information Office of the Qinghai government, said Thursday.

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“It Is Too Late”

A couple of days ago, I dropped into a local Tibetan shop and started talking with one of the owners. Whenever I get the chance to, I love to ask ethnic shop owners about their background and how they ended up here. This being a Tibetan shop I was curious, of course, about her roots to Tibet and what her journey had been like.

She was 9 years old when she left Tibet, her family fleeing via the Nangpa La Pass. She didn’t go into great detail, but as we can all imagine from stories we’ve already heard, it was not easy. Her family made it safely to Nepal, and from there she was schooled in Nepal as well as in India.

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Press Statement of His Holiness The Dalai Lama on Liu Xiaobo Being Awarded The 2010 Nobel Peace Prize

From The Office of His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama

I would like to offer my heart-felt congratulations to Mr. Liu Xiaobo for being awarded this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.

Awarding the Peace Prize to him is the international community’s recognition of the increasing voices among the Chinese people in pushing China towards political, legal and constitutional reforms.

I have been personally moved as well as encouraged by the efforts of hundreds of Chinese intellectuals and concerned citizens, including Mr. Liu Xiaobo in signing the Charter 08, which calls for democracy and freedom in China. I expressed my admiration in a public statement on 12 December 2008, two days after it was released and while I was on a visit to Poland. I believe in the years ahead, future generations of Chinese will be able to enjoy the fruits of the efforts that the current Chinese citizens are making towards responsible governance.

I believe that Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s recent comments on freedom of speech being indispensable for any country and people’s wish for democracy and freedom being irresistible are a reflection of the growing yearning for a more open China. Such reforms can only lead to a harmonious, stable and prosperous China, which can contribute greatly to a more peaceful world.

I would like to take this opportunity to renew my call to the government of China to release Mr. Liu Xiaobo and other prisoners of conscience who have been imprisoned for exercising their freedom of expression.

Chinese Dissident Liu Xiaobo Wins Nobel Peace Prize

Absolutely amazing. It’s good to see someone standing up to China. Yes, they will be outraged, not sure if that’s a strong enough word, but awarding this to Xiaobo is a message to China that it really needs to get i’s head out of it’s rump and clean itself up!

via The Associated Press.

Imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo won the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for “his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China” – a prize likely to enrage the Chinese government, which warned the Nobel committee not to honor him.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland said Liu Xiaobo was a symbol for the fight for human rights in China.

“China has become a big power in economic terms as well as political terms, and it is normal that big powers should be under criticism,” Jagland said.

It was the first Nobel for the Chinese dissident community since it resurfaced after the country’s communist leadership launched economic, but not political reforms three decades ago. The win could jolt a current debate among the leadership and the elite over whether China should begin democratic reforms and if so how quickly.

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