Monthly Archives: January 2013

Dhasa – a Dreamy City

After much travel, I have arrived in Dharamsala – affectionately called “Dhasa,” Dharamsala and Lhasa combined – at last.  Surrounded by Tibetans, their gorgeous script, and the humbling mountains, I feel that the journey of this project has finally begun.

The monks and nuns are a constant presence on the streets.  Old and young, they wear puffy quilted vests and sneakers along with their chougu (Tibetan monastic robes).  Each time I see the swishing burgundy fabric, I feel this immense excitement, as well as shyness.  After traveling all this way, with such anticipation, I find myself at a loss for words every time I see a robed woman in the lanes of McLeod.   The desire to speak with them, coupled with months of research and admiration from afar, has me feeling like a schoolgirl facing her crush.  But I’m already in communication with TNP India, and my interpreter is finalized – I’ll be meeting the nuns very soon, so my giddiness will have to be subdued.  The next few days will be spent polishing my interview questions.  I plan on spending time with the women before we sit down for the interview itself – get to know them, and tell them about my life also.   I believe that this practice will encourage more equity: I am not simply an outsider asking questions, getting what I want, and then leaving.  I want this to be more of an exchange, a sharing.

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Filed under Cultural Anthropology, Tibet, Tibetan Refugees