07 December 2010

Tibet and Western Civilization

Tibetans are not directly linked to much of Western history, but I've been drawing parallels throughout the semester to relate my research to European civilization.  I began with Tibet as a Utopia, in More's use of the word for his book of the same title.  While discussing the printing revolution I pondered the revolution of authority in the digital renaissance and its implications for research in India.  I linked democracy to the digital world to the Tibetan situation in exile.  In comparing the digital world to the American frontier I explored the possibility of Tibetan students feeling overwhelmed by the digital mass of information as I do.  On that same train of thought I found a common ground in future shock, Darwinism, and Tibetan religion.  I marveled at the way modernity has changed what is actually "common sense," specifically in what I have been able to do (for free!) as I prepare to go to India.  When we read Freud I disputed his quote in relation to the Tibetan community.  Of course, I discussed the modern digital revolution itself in relation to Tibetans as well as technology itself, and I wondered about both positive and negative results of digital literacy.

I believe that these relationships are sufficient to link Western civilization to our project interviewing Norbu, but I could also add a blurb about British colonialism.  Until shortly after the Indian mutiny in 1857, India was a colony of Great Britain.  Thus, Indian writers like Salman Rushdie have contributed to literature in English.  In this way, India itself has directly become a part of the Western tradition.

1 comment:

  1. Nicole -- Tibet's links to the West have been deepest since the Cold War. President Eisenhower was the one who authorized covert U.S. assistance for Tibet's resistance against China. It's in the book, "Freeing Tibet: 50 Years of Struggle, Resilience, and Hope." You'll also find interviews regarding how young Tibetans in exile view Tibet and China. Good luck on McLeod Ganj.