Buddha statues in Tibet
Tibet in 2008, just prior to the riots there. I was on an overland journey from Nepal through to China which of course means passing through Tibet, which is a controversial part of China. Here, Tibetan monasteries are plentiful. In this particular photograph Buddha behind a veil holds a significant meaning …
Facts from behind the lens of this photograph:
The Story behind the photograph
I only knew of a somewhat one-sided “western” ideal of the Tibetan situation when I traveled through Tibet overland. And, I’ll save the whole “free Tibet” notion for an early post next year.
I will however describe to you the facts as they were repeated to me by many monks in Tibet’s more outer regions. I write it like that for good reason.
In one such location a monk listened to my questions about the history of a monastery. He must have enjoyed history too as it livend him up to show me through some old libraries.
He turned briefly to another monk, and then used a wooden pole to pull a golden box our from a wall that looked like an ancient safety deposit safe. Minus the locks, but including a lot of heavy red and gold decor.
It was later, upon questioning another man about what the monk meant I learned that the Chinese had come and removed the old Tibetan history scrolls with their own ones during the “occupation” of Tibet.
The notion of a place, be it autonomous, occupied or a state within a nation having its historical documents and history taken and replaced by someone elses notion of their history is very disturbing.
As I moved on through Tibet I found myself being pulled into looking more behind the hidden curtains in many place than the outside picture. What I saw was indeed like another culture living in the shadows. Hidden, behind a wall of someone elses expectations.
Again, this is not a political jibe, nor point of view. This is simply what I saw in Tibet. So, when I came across this golden statue of The Buddha behind a curtain, I thought it quite reminiscent of my experience thus far. With some silk scarves seemingly hiding his face, he’s looking on; as if in wait for the right time to let history tell its truthful tale.
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This is an additional photograph feature from my world travel photography gallery, documenting the story behind the picture
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