Saturday, June 20, 2009

Royal Anthem Series XXIV: Tibet

The Kingdom of Tibet was a Buddhist theocracy on the Tibetan plateau in the Himalaya mountains, known as the "roof of the world". Ruled for centuries by nobles and a religious hierarchy topped by the god-king known as the Dalai Lama ("Ocean of Wisdom") Tibet was once a powerful empire but overtime became a vassal of the Great Qing Empire. When the Manchu dynasty collapsed Tibet and Outer Mongolia (which share a religion and have many cultural and historical ties) declared and recognized each others independence; asserting that their agreements had been with the Manchu Emperors and not the nation of China as a whole. For many years political turmoil in China allowed Tibet to remain free and blissfully isolated. That all changed with the victory of the communists in the Civil War who quickly moved to conquer and occupy Tibet. With no allies, a tiny, primitive army and a culture that found killing repugnant the Tibetans were easily conquered and remain occupied by the Red Chinese to this day. The government-in-exile of Tibet operates from India and is currently under the reign of His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso, the XIV Dalai Lama.

The Tibetan national anthem celebrates the radiance of the Buddha, his teachings and the gives praise and invokes blessings on the divine monarchy. The anthem, like the Tibetan national flag, is strictly forbidden by the communist authorities in Tibet today.

The Tibetan National Anthem: Gyallu

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