Summary and Info
CITATION: Tsering Bum (CK Stuart, Ramona Johnson, Solomon Rino, Gerald Roche, Timothy Thurston, and Gabriela Samcewicz, eds). 2013. A Northeastern Tibetan Childhood. Asian Highlands Perspectives 27.SUMMARY: Tsering Bum (b. 1985) describes his early life in Amdo in terms of dreams, herding, punishment from a lama, schooling experiences, attending a Kalachakra teaching, a lhatzi gathering, irrigation, his grandfather, archery, and other important moments and influences.ACCLAIM: Another incredible production from Kevin Stuart's Tibetan English students! Tsering Bum gives us a series of intricately woven vignettes of his childhood and adolescence in a small Tibetan village in Qinghai Province. A Northeastern Tibetan Childhood takes readers into the social and material culture of Tsering's family and fellow villagers. We begin with a home scene on the heated brick hyitsi 'bed', where the family sleeps, meals are taken, and guests are entertained. Through Tsering's writing we taste the noodles his mother makes by hand, know the life of the herders, meet ritualists who communicate with the mountain deity, visit a Kalachakra for blessings, experience an archery contest that ends in singing and drink, swim naked in cold mountain rivers, celebrate Losar, or Tibetan new year festival, visit a nomad festival, enter the transformative world of a county primary school, and hear the accounts of three deaths. The stories take us through a landscape of mountains, rivers, and grasslands to new worlds that for the narrator end with a kindled sense of global vision and self-worth. —Mark Bender, Ohio State UniversityI highly recommend this exciting new work. Tsering Bum's account of his life is a quick and pleasant read, full of insights into many aspects of contemporary Tibetan culture. From village rituals associated with death and archery contests to the challenges of modern schooling in rural areas, Tsering Bum leads us quickly through a narrative that links past and present to hopes for the future. Tibetan Buddhism and mountain pilgrimage play a limited but significant role in the story. As a historian, I was most interested in the chapter 'Grandpa' that recounts the poorly documented but well-known troubles the Amdo Tibetans faced under the warlord Ma Bufang. —Gray Tuttle, Leila Hadley Luce Assistant Professor of Modern Tibetan Studies, Columbia UniversityThis collection offers a poignant, insightful series of vignettes on life in Tibetan communities. At a time when much attention is focused on macro issues of state institutions, nationalities policies, and international implications related to China and Tibet, this study is a welcome correction that reminds readers of the human stories that are the foundation for understanding social change in local communities. —Pitman Potter, Professor of Law; Director, Institute of Asian Research; The University of British Columbia
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