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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

5

Children on Fire

National Geographic puts a human face on the young Tibetans who choose self-immolation and the people who find themselves left behind:

Jamphel Yeshi—Jashi to his friends—lived with four other Tibetan men in a one-room, windowless apartment they rented for the equivalent of $90 a month. The entrance to the room is through a tiny kitchen area, which is separated from the sleeping quarters by a threadbare curtain in a Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck motif. Jashi's mattress still lies on the floor in a corner, below posters of the Dalai Lama and other senior lamas. His mattress and four others form a U-shape around the perimeter of the room, which is illuminated by three fluorescent tubes. A thin cabinet still holds many of Jashi's books, including several well-thumbed collections on Buddhism, Tibetan politics, and history. During the day, the men would store their personal belongings in two tiny alcoves. Jashi's small nylon suitcase remains where it was when he was alive, holding most of what he owned, including three ID cards, two plastic pens, two rosaries, four cotton sweaters, four pairs of pants, a vest, a scarf, a green and a red string, and a small Tibetan flag.

And then, this weekend, another teenage girl.



5 Comments / Post A Comment

fondue with cheddar

"...she is the eighth person under 18 to self-immolate. Four are known to have died..."

That means four lived.

PistolPackinMama

@fondue with cheddar ...so far... and yeah. That was my thought. Oh dear.

fondue with cheddar

@PistolPackinMama Everything about the entire situation is heartbreaking and maddening. I really want to read the National Geographic piece, but I'm not sure I should do so at work. Because I might get something in my eye.

allendaniel

Yes ! I love this !@a

peculiarity

I was fortunate to see the Dalai Lama speak in the fall here in Virginia, and he spoke about these immolations, how horrific they were. He said he and his monks were urging all Tibetans to refrain from this practice because it would serve no purpose. Very, very sad.

(Btw, he was such a genuine, kind person who really seemed to have no ulterior motive. He just wanted people to stop being assholes and start being nice. So different from the average American politician, motivational speaker, celebrity, journalist, educator, etc.)

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