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Free Tibet

August 30, 2011

Every Tuesday and Thursday NID students show movies in the auditorium, whether it be their own work (lots of cool animation designers here) or something they are passionate about. Today they showed ‘Leaving Fear Behind’ a short documentary about Tibetan thoughts on China vying for the the 2008 Olympics. Have a look at Filming for Tibet for more projects and news.

It was interesting, especially considering India is very involved in the issue. There was a surge of 80,000 Tibetans following the Dalai Lama to India, and many more refugees are still arriving. There are now 120,000 Tibetan refugees living in North India, and I imagine this would not include those that have become citizens. Many NID students, including a close friend, are descendants of Tibetans that fled the country in order to provide better for their children.  As refugees they do not have the same rights as Indians to work and provide for themselves, so many begrudgingly become citizens in order to access these rights. Becoming a citizen involves listing a ‘tribe’ that you come from, something that is not relevant to the Tibetans and leaves them uncomfortable with the false background. China has tried to convince/bribe Indian officials to limit the Dalai Lama’s movements and speeches within India, and there have had a few hiccups but India is now mostly keeping a democratic attitude. The whole situation is a much more visceral concern here than in Australia.

We had a chat to the representatives of Students for a Free Tibet who gave us an insight on what it feels like to be a refugee, isolated from your homeland because you are not free to practice your religion and culture there. If you would like to get involved, check out the link for your local ‘Chapter’.

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