Monday, July 7, 2008



In order to commemorate the 73rd birthday of HH the Dalai Lama, a group of former TIPA artistes based in San Francisco Bay area presented the play, ‘Tibet: A year after’ on July 5th. It is directed by Tsering Dorjee Bawa and written by the well known Tibetan playwright in exile, Kelsang Dorjee. Not so long ago, TCV based Gey Chevee also presented a satirical play, ‘Gongpa Matsung’ which is about exile Tibetans in India at Dharamsala. I've also heard that there is one act play competition taking place in NYC very soon. Thankfully one act plays are now reviving in our community in exile. Unlike Gongpa Matsung, Tsering Bawa’s play deals with Beijing’s harsh policy of gradual cultural genocide inside Tibet.

The play tells about modern day Tibet where thousands of Chinese settlers migrate into Tibet thereby reducing Tibetans into minority on their own soil. A talkative Tibetan mother and her daughter who were on their way to Drikung monastery in Lhasa comment on the life of a Chinese pauper who would very soon become a wealthy man in Tibet. Although the story is about Tibetan political scenario inside Tibet yet it is also about a situation comedy where China’s harsh treatment of the Tibetans is presented with suitable doses of humor and laughter. The well crafted play is further catapulted to a new height when the actors perform their roles convincingly real and articulate. The play is also highly critical of the railway line that brings countless number of Han migrants into Tibet.

When curtain opens, an aged mother and her daughter awaits bus to Drikung monastery in Lhasa. Then they’ll see a skinny Chinese pauper with a big hairy mole on his face. ‘Jen! Jen!’ meaning ‘Money! Money!’ was the first word that comes out of his lips. The mother and daughter thought that he might have misplaced his money. He then clarifies that he didn’t loose his money and that he visited Tibet to make money. The mother enquires, ‘Where is the money in Tibet? The pauper insists that there is plenty of money in Tibet. After one year, he becomes fat and super rich. Now he is about to return to China on the controversial train at Lhasa. The mother and daughter after recognizing the man from his hairy mole asks, ‘Why are you leaving Tibet now? Aren't you send here to improve the lives of Tibetans in Tibet?’ The man reply, ‘I’ve already improved my life and very soon my son will arrive here to help Tibetans.' The mother and daughter
faints and fall down.

At this crucial time when Tibetans inside Tibet are protesting against China’s oppression, I would definitely recommend the group to present the play to as many Tibetan communities as possible. If you really want to see a professional play by professional actors, ‘Tibet, A year after’ is definitely one for you. Thank you, Tsering Bawa and the group for presenting such a wonderful play after a long long time in our community. Two big thumps up!

Tashi Wangchuk
San Francisco bay Area

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