Saturday, March 10th was the 53rd anniversary of Tibet’s National Uprising Day. Every year on this day, Tibetans across the world gather to stand together, resolute in our determination that Tibet must be free, that Tibet as an issue will not be forgotten and to commemorate the sacrifice of those who have gone before.
This year, we commemorated the 26 Tibetans, half of them just kids themselves, who self-immolated in protest. One can only imagine their suffering, not just in the immolation of their bodies but what led up to it for them to decide that such a death was better than the life they were living under Chinese brutality.
This is something that I want my child to understand, this is something I want my child to know and remember. I want him never to forget that he is of Tibetan descent. That he is Tibetan-Canadian. I want him to know as a Tibetan born in exile but born in the freedom that comes with being a Canadian citizen, he automatically carries the responsibility of being a voice for those who cannot speak inside Tibet. That he must at every turn remember that he is an ambassador of his community, his country and his heritage. I want to teach him all that I know of our culture and ensure that we attend community events and celebrate our culture at home because without that, our culture is forgotten and when an entire community forgets their culture, it dies.
Some may say that it is his burden to shoulder – I say it is his priviledge to carry it forward and hopefully to teach his children.
And should he one day ask me how to do that, hopefully I’ll have a more worldly and wise answer but as of right now the method I’m going with is called, “Start them young, teach them what you know as best as you can ….. and pray to God it sticks!”
Bod Gyalo! Free Tibet.