BEIJING, April 2 -- The Dalai clique's allegation of "Tibetan cultural genocide" is groundless, said Wang Xiaobing, associate researcher at the China Tibetology Research Center. Wang recently spoke at an exhibition on March 28 titled "Witnessing the History of Tibet and Carrying Forward Tibetan Culture."
"Tibetan culture has been developing toward globalization and modernization. Globalization and modernization do not mean so-called 'Hanification.' Instead, they represent the developmental trend of any civilization," he said.
Wang said that Tibetan culture has been moving forward and developing during the five decades of democratic reform in Tibet. Culture is not unchangeable, he said. Instead, it develops with social progress. Only by innovation amid inheritance, expansion amid protection and development amid opening up, can the culture of a nationality retain its vitality, he said.
The Dalai clique's prattling about the "extinction of Tibet culture" is their means of excluding external culture and keeping Tibetan culture intact, completely catering to the needs of anti-China forces in the Western world. The central government¡¯s only impact on Tibetan culture is their facilitation of the modernization, internationalization and globalization of Tibetan culture, he said.
"The 14th Dalai Lama was interested in photography, films and cars when he was young, which was clearly recorded in a book titled ¡®My Seven Years in Tibet' written by a German," Wang said. "He adored the Western world's material civilization and let the German build a cinema in Tibet where he showed films for other people. He dismantled and reassembled new machines, and learned English from the German."
The German recalled that the 14th Dalai Lama usually carried chewing gum, colored pencils and pens with him. He is the only religious leader who is interested in such profane things, Wang said. Histories that examined the 14th Dalai Lama found he liked watches and clocks most. He even bought an Omega clock with a calendar.
Thomas Laird described in a book titled "The History of Tibet¡ªInterview Record of the Dalai Lama" that the Dalai Lama liked and frequently dismantled a watch that an American president had given him in the 1940s. The Dalai Lama even had the watch repaired many times.
"Enjoying the material achievements of the global civilization is the right of every person. More modern things do not mean less Tibetan culture," Wang said.
"As early as the 1980s, some young people in Lhasa tried popular new things such as discos, bell-bottoms and jeans. In today's Lhasa, more and more young people follow popular trends including listening to pop music and watching the latest foreign films," Wang said. "We can see that they do not reject the products of modern civilization. It is known to all that every nation has the right to pursue a better and more developed life, and that cultural integration and development are the key parts of the modernization process. However, this does not mean the so-called extinction of Tibetan culture."
Wang has refuted "Tibetan cultural genocide" in his monograph, "60 years in Tibet." Wang explained that some scholars in Western countries make use of postmodern thought and propagandize the benefits of maintaining a pre-industrial Tibet. They object to any form of civilization and progress, including democratic reforms, which has greatly encouraged the Dalai clique to form their unrealistic dream of restoring the old system in Tibet.
For example, the Dalai Lama has taken the opportunity to accuse the Chinese government of destroying traditional Tibetan culture. As seen from the above, the propaganda of Western scholars is quite harmful to the development of Tibet.
Wang said he believes that the Dalai Lama plays the "cultural genocide" card only to restrict the development of Tibetan culture so that Tibet will never become an advanced ethnic group and will always be subject to developed countries, which is actually a variation of colonialism. All around us, things are constantly changing. Social, political, economic, and a host of other changes are taking place around the world. In recent centuries, thanks to the rapid development of technology and economy, things have been changing even faster. This is even more evident in Western countries.
Wang added that Tibetan culture has its own distinctive features and its own charm due to the influence of natural conditions, geographical environment, religion, historical changes, and other factors. In recent years, the central and local government invested heavily in the comprehensive systematic survey, collection, collation and publication of Tibetan cultural heritage and folk arts, which has brought new vigor and vitality into Tibetan culture.
For instance, thanks to the persistent efforts of those working in China¡¯s cultural sector, the outstanding Tibetan cultural work "Gesar Epic Tradition" was finally included on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity on Aug. 30, 2009 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Statistics show that the central government and Tibet Autonomous Region invested about 24 million yuan during a three-year period from December 2006 to the end of 2009 to protect national and regional-level cultural heritage within Tibet. Tibet's cities and counties also invested a total of over 20 million yuan for the work.
A Tibetan proverb goes, "Despite the crying of crows, fine horses are still running." Wang said, "In the industrial age, each country and nationality in the world has the double task of developing the economy as well as achieving social modernization while effectively preserving excellent national culture. The development and practice of each country and nationality fully proves that to explore and develop traditional culture by closing its door to the outside world will instead cause an ethnic group to lose its vitality because of the lack of competition, and it will become the first country or nationality to lose its national traditions."
"The door-closing policy is virtually a policy leading to suicide of traditional culture. The best way to kill national traditions is to isolate the nationality from modern society under the excuse of protecting it," Wang stressed. "There is no contradiction between the democratic reform in Tibet and the preservation of the traditional culture. On the contrary, it will greatly promote and improve the inheritance and development of Tibetan culture."
(Source: People's Daily Online)