Cultural genocide in Tibet

Cultural genocide in Tibet

The Tibetan nation is battling to survive in the twenty first century since the Chinese government invasion of Tibet; its culture has been systematically destroyed.  The Chinese government has exercised numerous restrictive policies on the Tibetan traditional culture, religion and language.  Many young Tibetans have lost their identity and language. The Tibetan people are struggling to find their identity because they have lost their language and culture. Tibetans have great concern about losing their traditions because the Chinese government has been deliberately destroying indigenous Tibetan language, culture, religion and environments.

This ancient nation has a well-developed culture, language and religion, which are actually facing destruction due to the 1959 Chinese occupation of Tibet.  It is fifty-one years since the Chinese government carried out a variety of policies to eliminate the Tibetan identity.  The Chinese government implemented restrictive policies on practicing Tibetan culture and religion, (Sautman 182).  Tibetan students have to study the Chinese language in order to develop their career or get an education.  Students are under tremendous pressure to learn the Chinese language and to speak Chinese the same as Chinese people.  According to Gerard (6) many young Tibetan people who went to study in China were unable to speak Tibetan when they returned  to Tibet because there is a tremendous pressure to speak only Chinese in the universities or colleges. The Tibetan language is not a useful language in terms of developing a career or working for the Chinese government.  The government offices only allow the use of the official Chinese language, which is Mandarin.  Every government office, including local government has an obligation to use only Mandarin.  Therefore, in the government sector there is no opportunity for employment of people who are educated in the Tibetan language.

In the private sector, there is no employment opportunity for people who are educated in the Tibetan language because the government does not recognise the Tibetan language.  Therefore in the private sector, there is a bullying attitude towards people who are educated in the Tibetan language and bullying attitude who could not speak mandarin. The bullying attitude toward Tibetans is the cause that Tibetan people have less opportunity than Chinese. It is discrimination against cultural differences and equal opportunity,  it is also against United Nation (UN) indigenous people’s rights.

The Tibetan people are indigenous people in the Himalayan region.  They have a evolutionary history of the human development in the Himalayan region for four thousands years.  They are like any other indigenous people and lives in a peaceful harmonies society in the Himalayan region. The Tibetan people practised their tradition and religion until 1959. They have remained isolated from the rest of the world and they have not much contact with other countries (Thomas Laird 10). Tibetan people were in a truly a vulnerable position when the Chinese occupied Tibet in 1959.

However, Buddhism is the main religion of the Tibetan people. The Tibetan people value Buddhism beyond anything else’s.  The Tibetan culture is based on the Buddhist values therefore Buddhism and the Tibetan culture are inseparable.  However the Chinese government has established a restricted policy to practice of Buddhism and any other religion.  Therefore restriction on the practice of Buddhism is a restriction on the Tibetan culture. The Dalai Lama has stated that the current Chinese government “intentionally or unintentionally are carrying out cultural genocide in Tibet”.   According to Gerard (4) the Chinese government developed a school project, which is called Neidi schooling. Basically the Neidi schools projects involved taking Tibetan children away from their parents and sending them to Chinese schools.  In the Neidi school, children learn only Mandarin.  The government has no plans to build Tibetan schools in Tibet.  This is similar to what happened to the indigenous stolen generation in Australia in the 1970s’s.  Cultural genocide is taking place in Tibet according to Sautman (182); the Chinese government’s restrictive policies on Tibetan culture, religion and language are against the UN convention of cultural genocide.  Therefore, the current Chinese government is committing the crime of cultural genocide.

In Tibetan Cultural the Dalai Lama is a special significance for Tibetan people because he is the special leader for Tibetan people. Since 13th century the Dalai Lama has been the spiritual leader and political leader of the Tibet.  The Tibetan people respect him and they trust him.  The current Dalai Lama is the 14th Dalai Lama. The Tibetan people follow Buddhism, which believes that when a person dies, he or she is reborn in a new life. The Tibetans believe that the Dalai Lama a reborn as Dalai Lama for fourteen times. Therefore the current 14th Dalai Lama has special connection with the Tibetan people. The Chinese government is restricting Tibetans from following  the Dalai Lama even though the Tibetan people are following the Dalai Lama because spiritual reasons. The Chinese government is ordering Tibetans how to practice their religion based on the Chinese Communist theory. Therefore it is against freedom of religion.

The Tibetan people are worried about losing the Tibetan language.  The younger generation have obligations to learn Chinese and likely to find a career in the Chinese rather than Tibetan. The culture is the identity of Tibetan people and they are a proud people.  The Tibetan culture has developed based on Buddhist value and faith.  Culture, religion and language are the foundation of Tibetan identity without it, and the Tibetan people are lost.  The Tibetan people are greatly concerned about losing their cultural identity. The Chinese government is deliberately carrying out cultural genocide in Tibet.

Works cited

Barry Sautman. “Cultural Genocide” and Tibet”.  Texas International Law Journal 38.2 (2003): 173. Web.

Dalai lama. “News”. Tibetans Are Not Anti-Chinese, His Holiness Tells Chinese Reporters. Web. 15 August 2010.

Gerard A Postiglione, and Ben Jiao. “Tibet’s Relocated Schooling: Popularization Reconsidered.” Asian Survey 49.5 (2009): 895. Web

The Universal Declaration of human Rights .” UN. United Nation, 10/12/1948. Web. 19 Sep 2010. <>.

Thomas Laird, . The Story of Tibet. London: Atlantic books, 2006. 10. Print.


About Himalayansun

I am passionate about human rights.
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