16 September 2014
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"I’m going to be an astronaut. There’s another world out there. And I want to go there."

(Jammu, India)

16 September 2014
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"Everyone appreciates her more than me. If something goes wrong, I’m always blamed for it. And mom lets her use the computer much more than me."
"That’s because I watch educational videos and she plays games."
"That’s not true, last time she was on the computer, I saw that she was playing a game."

(Jammu, India)

16 September 2014
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"When my children are settled, I am going to retire and devote more time to my meditation. Every time you meditate, you get a little further from the world. You become more and more like the lotus, which grows in the water, but never touches the water."
"So what’s the benefit of withdrawing from the world?"
"Meditation is like a glass of juice. I can describe the glass of juice to you. But you’re not going to know the glass of juice until you taste it."

(Jammu, India)

16 September 2014
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Today in microfashion…

(Pathankot, India)

16 September 2014
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"I have a doctorate in Buddhist philosophy. Now I want to learn as many languages as possible so I can teach as many people as possible."
"What do you think is the most important thing that people can learn from Buddhism?"
"Compassion. Everyone suffers and everyone needs happiness."

(Dharamshala, India)

15 September 2014
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"Before I went to the protest that day, I stood in front of a picture of the Dalai Lama, and I swore an oath: ‘If I am arrested, I will not give the names of any of my friends.’ They put me through eight months of interrogation. They burned cigarettes on my face. They made me stand in ice for four hours, until my skin froze into the ice, and then they pushed me forward. They gave me electric shocks on my tongue. They told me they were going to kill my father and mother. After eight months, I had a trial. Two guards stood next to me when I testified, and they hid electric shocks in my sleeves in case I said something they didn’t like. I was sentenced to four years. Sometimes I’d get so hungry I’d eat toothpaste. And sometimes I’d get so thirsty, I’d drink my urine. When I finally got out, I weighed 39 kilograms."

(Dharamshala, India)

15 September 2014
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"It was March 5th, 1988. There was a prayer festival that day, so we thought it would be a good day to protest. It was entirely peaceful. We were only shouting three things: ‘Long live Dalai Lama,’ ‘Free Tibet,’ and ‘Bring Dalai Lama Back to Tibet.’ First they fired tear gas, and then they started shooting. A girl standing next to me got shot in the heart. We ran into the temple, but they came in and kept shooting. I saw three young boys get thrown off the roof. I was shot, but I managed to escape, and two Tibetan doctors helped remove the bullet. One of the doctors worked for the Chinese army, but she still helped me as a Tibetan. Soon there were posters of me hanging up all over town. They said I was a dangerous monk. My friends dressed me in women’s clothes. For a week, I wore lipstick and rings and long hair. But at one point I tried to visit my mother, and that is when they found me."

(Dharamshala, India)

15 September 2014
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I think a wonderful symbol of the Tibetan culture is the behavior of the stray dogs around their monastery. Most everywhere else I’ve traveled, stray dogs have been very skittish around humans. Here, they seemed right at home.

(Dharamshala, India)

15 September 2014
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We were eating lunch with the door open, and a monkey started to peek through the door.’Isn’t that cute?’ we thought. 
'Hello monkey,' we said. 
Then the situation quickly deteriorated. 

(Dharamshala, India)

14 September 2014
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"I came to Dharamshala when I was nine years old. Back then, we weren’t allowed to learn the Tibetan language in school, so my parents sent me to India. For a whole month we walked over the mountains. It was very snowy, and we only walked at night. One night I almost fell off a cliff, but one of the adults grabbed onto my hand and pulled me back up. It’s been twenty years now since I last saw my parents. Just a few months ago, I had a really bad stomach problem and had to go to the hospital. Even though I’m an adult, I’ve never missed my mother more. Being that sick made me realize that I have nobody watching over me."

(Dharamshala, India)

14 September 2014
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"I think the great fear of every Tibetan is that our story will die out. It’s been over fifty years now since Tibet lost its independence. Our monasteries have been destroyed. The Chinese language curriculum is being mandated in our schools. More and more Han Chinese are moving into Tibet— building homes, building malls. I think now we are all starting to think that the Chinese are too powerful and that the dream of returning home is fading away. I think our mistake was that we didn’t keep up with the world. We held on to the monastic tradition too tightly. We didn’t embrace modern education, and so we weren’t connected with the outside world. Because of that, we lost our freedom silently. I think our challenge now is to educate our children in a modern way, so hopefully they will be better at sharing our story."

(Dharamshala, India)

14 September 2014
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"The right to protest is very limited in Tibet. But the Chinese laws allow for ethnic minorities to practice their traditions. So every Wednesday, to demonstrate solidarity, Tibetans all over the world express their culture. They speak Tibetan, eat at Tibetan restaurants, and wear traditional Tibetan clothing. It’s a form of silent protest." 

(Dharamshala, India)

14 September 2014
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I walked into a classroom where some young Tibetan students were practicing their chants, and all the kids suddenly grew very focused and well-behaved on account of the visitor. Except for this guy, who started laughing at me. Then he started laughing at himself laughing. Then he started laughing that he couldn’t stop laughing at himself laughing.

(Dharamshala, India)

14 September 2014
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A bit of context on this next series of photos: Dharamshala, India is where the exiled government of Tibet resides. Led by the Dalai Lama, nearly 100,000 Tibetan refugees live in this northern Indian city, where they seek to maintain their traditions and culture in exile. The long journey from Tibet to India includes a grueling 28 day walk through the Himalayan mountains. Many of the refugees make this trek as children, sent by their parents in hopes of studying their language and religion in freedom. In conclusion, here’s a young Tibetan monk playing with a kitten.

(Dharamshala, India)

13 September 2014
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"My mother-in-law is giving me problems."

(Kotla, India)

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