Tibet has long been known as a place of mystique and intrigue for its ancient customs and beliefs. The teachings of Tibetan Buddhism and the Dalai Lama have garnered widespread attention around the world, from the media to Hollywood celebrities. Despite this, the practices of Tibetan Buddhism and the real lives of modern day Tibetans are not well understood.
In this episode, America Abroad seeks to uncover the truths beyond the stereotypes, traveling to the Chinese city of Chengdu, near the Tibetan border, to explore the tensions between Tibetan culture and Chinese urbanization efforts; In Dharamsala, India, we examine how Tibetans in exile deal with Chinese surveillance while gradually embracing technology; And in the US we visit a Tibetan Buddhist Monastery in upstate New York to learn why Tibetan Buddhism has become appealing to so many Westerners.
Kaydor Aukatsang: Representative of the Dalai Lama to the Americas
Robbie Barnett: Director of the Modern Tibet Studies Program, Columbia University
Jim McGovern: Congressman of Massachusetts' 2nd Congressional District
Erin Potts: Founder of the Tibetan Freedom Concert
Lhadon Tethong: Director, Tibet Action Institute
Anne Thurston: Associate Professor, China Studies Program, The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies
Gray Tuttle: Associate Professor of Modern Tibetan Studies, Columbia University