China in My Eyes

50 years of continued friendship

The Tibetans

Colin Mackerras discussing the issue of ‘Tibetan cultural genocide’, modernization and culture.

Tibetan people

In January 1997 I visited a small Tibetan village in western Sichuan province. The original motivation was to look at old beacon towers, which are historically very interesting. In ancient times, messages like potential invasions could be sent from one beacon tower to another if they needed to reach the capital quickly. Nowadays there are very few left, but in western Sichuan, which was once a border area, a few still remain, although of course they are only historical relics and no longer in use as beacon towers. The first picture shows one of the beacon towers just beside a Tibetan family house.

This picture below shows the village itself, set on a hill

This picture below shows the village itself, set on a hill

This picture below shows the village itself, set on a hill

This picture below shows the village itself, set on a hill

In one of the houses I visited at random in the village, I met a young Tibetan girl, in the third picture below. Her family put a considerable proportion of their income into her education. She walked every week to her school about ten kilometres, shown in the fourth picture below. It happened to be a Sunday, which was why she was at home. She was very enthusiastic about study. I have not heard from her since, but hope she is doing well.

Tibetan woman

Tibetan woman in Sichuan

 Tibetan School

Tibetan School in Sichuan

Tibetan woman

A thirty-year-old rural Tibetan woman. She has had a hard life and looks older than she is. Her clothes are old and worn. Taken outside Lhasa in June 2002.

Tibetan monks

Tibetan monks in Tibet

Tibetan men with Colin

Tibetan men with Colin in Tibet

Tibetan women

Tibetan women in Tibet

Tibetan women

Tibetan women in Tibet

Tibetan monk in 1987

Tibetan monk in Tibet

 Qinghai Tibetans

Tibet