Language Awards, Lhakar, and Tibetan Education
Jul 2011 26

Recently several photos of a language awards ceremony in Lithang County were sent from Tibet. The photos show Tibetan youth being presented certificates and being offered Khatas for their achievements in Tibetan language and study of Tibetan history. The recipients of the awards range in age from 10 to 18. Because the high cost of private schools and the poor quality of state education, young Tibetans often attend community run schools.

“Most people think that because the government gives free education to Tibetan youth, it’s a good thing. But after 5 or 6 years in these schools, they start to forget Tibetan,” the Tibetan source in Lithang said.

When asked if the awards were given as part of Lhakar (literally white Wednesday), the homegrown Tibetan noncooperation movement, the source said “Some people in Lithang do Lhakar. For example, in Lithang the Tibetan alphabet is written on doorways and graffitied on walls. They need a better way to promote Tibetan [language].”

Read more from the Students for a Free Tibet blog.

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