Tracking the Tibetan Presence in and around Paris
April 2007 entries

And so what did I expect to find at the Salon du Livre this year?
A lot because I thought that I would find a flood of Indian publishers.
And maybe somewhere among them a Tibetan author or two floating around!


There was lots of fun where it wasn't expected.


And an interesting discovery where least expected.

This lovely cover of Yveline Feray's book "Tales from a Tibetan Grandmother"
is actually a Chinese painting done by a creative designer who
works for the China Railway Construction Corporation -
the ones who built the Qinghai - Tibet railway.
Guess in what section these artists usually work!
Subtle propaganda or goof of the year?

Is this lovely innocent child, looking so Chinese,
telling us that the future of Tibet is with China?
As many people as possibe should write to the editor or distributor
and let them know that their goof was noticed.
I think it a good idea to show that some of us
can tell the difference
between Tibetans and Chinese
and can not accept that they be considered
the same culture nor country,
despite what is happening politically.

There are museums and associations in France who are selling this book.
Boycott the Olympics in Beijing?
Maybe we should pay more attention to what is going on in our own backyard!

Meanwhile at the other end of the Salon!

Phurbu Dolma was presenting her book that had just come out.


And thangka artist Kalsang Wangchuk delighted visitors with his caligraphy


After reading Phurbu Dolma's book, TIBET Les enfants de l'espoir/ Children of hope,
I realized that it is not just another pretty picture book
with mind provoking
quotes from the Dalai Lama.
It is a quiet story about the TCV and its importance to a culture in exile.
The TCV is more than just a home and school for Tibetan refugee children.
It is a hothouse where a culture is being planted. cultivated and nourished for the future.
It is a place where children grow up to be "someone" by practicing compassion and sharing.

photo © TCV 2007

Tibetan Children's Village

During these past 46 years, TCV has grown from a humble beginning with 51 children
to the single largest and thriving Tibetan refugee educational organization in exile,
having provided education and training to over 33,939 Tibetan children
and presently looking after over 16,178 children under its care.
Jetsun Pema


And I find it very encouraging that a Tibetan College at Bangalore, India is under construction
These guys are not just waiting around to get their country back,
they are constructing a parallel
solution in case the waiting takes too long.
Don't forget that Poland was literally wiped off the map for more than a hundred years!

Never Give Up

Never give up,
No matter what is going on
Never give up
Develop the heart
Too much energy in your country
Is spent developing the mind
Instead of the heart
Be compassionate
Not just to your friends
But to everyone
Be compassionate
Work for peace
In your heart and in the world
Work for peace
And I say again
Never give up
No matter what is going on around you
Never give up


HH XIV Dalai Lama


Unfortunately, at the same time as the Book Fair and at the other end of Paris,
the International Women's Film Makers Festival was being held.
There was a short over lap so I ended up doing two things at once for a couple of days.
This festival takes place at the Maison des Arts in Créteil, which is situated on a plaza with some other official buildings.

Créteil is at the end of a metro line - just outside of Paris and the opposite end of where I live. But I consider myself lucky to be able to assist this International Festival every year. It is like landing on another planet. But then screening several films a day always makes me feel that way. So everyday for a week when I leave the dark projection room and pass by the large lake with its landscaped gardens, in order to get to the metro station, Paris and the life I normally lead seems very far away.

And yet even in Créteil I discovered a Tibetan presence.
Not in one of the films that was being presented but in a photograph
that was part of Catherine Cabrol's exhibition at the Maison des Arts ( 23 march - 1 april, 2007)

Another Tibetan restaurant has just opened this year in Paris: now they are 13 !
Where am I going to find the time to put up all those photos
I have been taking for the past couple of years?
Impossible to describe a cuisine that is neither Indian nor Chinese
but has been influenced by both. Pictures sometimes help. But do they really?

Just in case you are wondering, there does happen to be a Franco-Tibetan restaurant in town.
Which is good thing to remember when you are the only one in the group who wants to go Tibetan. And the owner not only cooks up a storm but is also part of the Tibetan Community Dance group. See Himalayan Festival video on my "peoples in exile" page.

It is the year of the Fire Pig, which sounds deliciously dangerous!


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