Tibetan Government Workers Forbidden to Attend Kalachakra

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Tibetan Government Workers Forbidden to Attend Kalachakra

Government employees in a Tibetan prefecture of northwestern China’s Gansu province have been barred from participating in a major Buddhist religious ceremony this week amid heavy security presence, with warnings given of administrative punishment if they ignore the ban, sources said.

The ancient Kalachakra ceremony, conducted by the elderly and well-respected monk Setsang Lobsang Palden Rinpoche, is being held in Tsoe (in Chinese, Hezuo) city in the Kanlho (Gannan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, according to sources.

“Government employees of Kanlho prefecture, Tsoe city, and local government schools are forbidden from attending the Kalachakra teaching,” a local source told…

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Day 7 Action Movies and Bitchy Ticket Checkers

In small town China, bus drivers honk the horn to alert the whole town that the bus has indeed arrived. And that’s how I woke up this morning. A horn for my bus to Hezuo. 5:50 am.

Once I found my seat, got comfortable, and the bus began bumping down the unpaved road, the driver’s assistant put on a movie. There were machine guns. There were bad guys from Central America. There were big muscley men, and you guessed it, there was Sylvester Stallone.

Yeah, in the middle of Gansu Province, surrounded by dry mountains, grasslands filled with yaks, mountain goats, baby pigs, cows, I occassionally found myself watching a Sylvester Stallone movie. Could be worse. Could have been Steven Segall.

Luckily for me, I had another foreigner to share in this oddity—Simon, a British traveller I met the night before in Langmusi. We both attempted to eat yak burgers at Leisha’s restaurant. Well, I attempted, and he succeeded. 

When we asked each other the regular first-meeting foreigner questions, we realized we were both heading to Xiahe the next day and decided to take the same ass-early bus to Hezuo then onward to Xiahe.

Might I add that was the easiest transfer ever. Got off at the south bus station, walked to the street for a taxi, arrived at the central bus station, walked across the street to hear a man yelling for passengers to Xiahe. That’s us!

When on the bus, we witnessed an interesting and telling exchange between a Han Chinese ticket checker and Tibetan passengers on the bus. The woman got on the bus with an attitude, walked directly to the back of the bus, and randomly (or shall we say prejudicedly) asked passengers if they had bought a ticket. 

One man confessed to not having bought a ticket. She then asked how many people was he travelling with. Three. So three tickets at sixteen a ticket. How much is that? The ticket checker and the ticket assistant both stood in the aisle thinking, then I spoke out in Chinese, “Si shi ba”. 

It was a proud moment for me. For once in my life, I looked as if I had math skills. Thank you to my years of working retail for JCPenney. 

Suppose I looked too smart and suspicious though. Then, the lady turned to me and asked if I had bought a ticket. I immediately responded, “Yes, in my bag above me. Do you want to see it?” Bam! Shut down.

After that, the ride to Xiahe went smoothly once the bitchy ticket seller disembarked (my favorite that Jim, the tour guide at Jiuzhaigou, would use).

这是我们班第一影片。 我们想给你们介绍一下俄语的网络语言。 请你们看一看,然后请提出问题。 谢谢你们的合作! P.S. 我们的作业员不会做字幕, 所以我们的影片没有字幕。 非常对不起!

We’ve made this video mostly for fun, but at the same time we hope, it can help Chinese people understand some of the Russian internet words. 

我们做这片影片 因为我们希望,中国人对俄语和俄语网络语言很有感兴趣。请你们看一看,然后请提出问题。 谢谢你们的合作!

5

1. The Milrapia Palace

2. Other Buddhist, mainly Tibetan Buddhist, temples on the same hillside

3. A stupa

4. Central Hezuo, the huge building in the middle is a mosque

5. The mosque was too big to fit into one photo from such close range. Note the Chinese architecture of the minarets and all the Hui Muslims leaving Friday afternoon prayers

China Tightens Security at Tibetan Religious Teaching

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China Tightens Security at Tibetan Religious Teaching

Chinese security forces are ramping up their presence in a town in China’s northwestern Gansu province where thousands of Tibetans have gathered to attend a Kalachakra ceremony, an ancient Buddhist ritual, sources say.

The ceremony, conducted by the elderly and well-respected monk Setsang Lobsang Palden Rinpoche, is being held this week in Tsoe (in Chinese, Hezuo) city in the Kanlho (Gannan) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, a resident of the area told RFA’s Tibetan Service on Monday.

“Chinese authorities have increased the presence of security forces around Tsoe city, where Setsang Rinpoche is conferring his…

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Day 35- Hezuo to Xiahe

September 4, 2014

67 km

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“We travel, initially, to lose ourselves, and we travel, next, to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again—to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more.” Pico Iyer

I read this quote a few months ago and found it again today to post it for a friend. It’s simple, beautiful and accurate.

Someone I used to work with told me I have a weird obsession with strong color combinations. I took it as an insult that time. I interpreted it as if he had said I dress weird. Today while walking around the monastery fascinated about the colors in front of my eyes, their location and the way they created passionate and lively images I found out that I really do love strong colors, their combinations and playing with them. For me, colors are life. I like to wear black because it is a strong and clean color but I always need at least one other color next to it. Something bright. Something alive. Something with a message.

When you travel alone you take time to become friends with yourself. Was about time Kaisa!

Today was WONDERFUL! That’s it. WONDERFUL!

The road- hills, bright blue sky and donkeys waiting for a bus.

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The lovely restaurant called Himalaya Café with the coolest owner- a local guy who speaks fluent English, loves learning about other cultures and politics and takes time to talk to every client. The food is cheap, mouthwatering and looks beautiful. Fresh juices and milk, homemade yogurt, jams and mountain honey. The coffee- I have no words- I misses you my friend!

 

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The monastery- a true performance of colors.

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Hezuo

The first serious bus trip of my journey took me from Lanzhou to the big village/small town of Hezuo in four hours. The first hour was glorious as we bowled along a new road through pleasant green countryside. All long distance buses in China, even 33 seat minibuses like the one I was on, have a TV on them which usually plays karaoke music, terrible Chinese films or dubbed foreign action films; I once saw The Transporter and The Transporter Two back-to-back on a bus trip. This time I thought I’d struck gold because when the TV eventually turned on it started playing The Dirty Dozen. Sadly one of the 32 Chinese passengers obviously took exception to Donald Sutherland and after a stop at a service station the film was replaced by The Voice of China.

Disappointed I fell back on plan B and watched the countryside roll past, every village here had at least one mosque and many had more; when we stopped at the service station I could see five mosques in a 360° panorama. When back on the bus I reverted to type and fell asleep.

When I awoke the road-signs were in Tibetan as well as Chinese script and Buddhist temples had started appearing. But there was nothing that prepared me for Hezuo where an entire hillside was covered with temples, most under construction, and the nine floor golden roofed and red walled Milrapia Palace.

Each floor of the Palace was dedicated to a different sect of Buddhism but all were architecturally similar with a thin outer corridor that had to be walked around clockwise before entering the inner hall/shrine. Even in the dim lighting the murals, fabric hangings, paintings and statues were all very colourful. It was a little spooky though as no shoes were allowed and there were very few other visitors so the only sounds came from creaking floorboards.

Whilst the hillside was dominated by the Palace, temples and stupas the centre of town had a massive four storey mosque. With the end of Friday prayers 100s if not 1000s of white skull cap wearing men and boys came spilling out onto the streets. This clearly defined split between Buddhists and Muslims would be repeated in my next destination.

 

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