April 18, 2108 -- When hearing the word “Tibet”, some people think it as a “mysterious paradise”, while some “nostalgic” Tibetans are struck by change and believe change means destruction.
Then, let’s try to get a glimpse of what Tibet looking like in the eyes of Wensang Jigya, a young Tibetan born during the 1990s.
“I believe Tibet is a most authentic ‘mortal world’. People here need to face all kinds of life problems as others do, experience all kinds of emotions, and aspire to live a better life. Tibet, like other regions, has a rich historical and cultural background. In the past, secret foreign travelers would try to explore Tibet and give an account of their travels and its history. Today there are more and more white-collar workers characterizing themselves as ‘literary youths’ visit Tibet and write series of articles that ‘unveil the mystery’ of Tibet. However, both are bound to be subjective and prejudiced in order to attract a target audience, intentionally overstating or belittling the real situation. All are obvious, intentionally or otherwise continuing to ‘deify’ or ‘demonize’ Tibet. This gives off an illusion to people who do not have a thorough understanding of Tibet, and even leads people astray.”
In response to this problem, Professor Shen Weirong of Tsinghua University says, “Today, Tibet is increasingly being regarded by some people as a Pure Land on which the dreams of the world are placed. Tibetan Buddhist culture has also been mythically transformed into a miraculous cure-all, and Tibet has even become a ‘Utopia’, the synonym for which is Shangri-La, a word created during the western imperialist era. This undoubtedly hinders our understanding and knowledge of a realistic Tibet and Tibetan culture and creates new challenges for us in building a New Tibet and for preserving traditional Tibetan culture.”