Last night on ABC1 — Wild China: Tibet

02 Jun

I found this wonderful and fascinating. Here is a taste.

Here is the BBC site.

The Tibetan plateau covers a quarter of China – an area the size of Western Europe. This vast, windswept wilderness is one of the world’s most remote places, defined by the glacier-strewn Himalayas. It’s also home to some incredible wildlife such as the rare chiru, brown bears, wild yaks and the highest-living predators on Earth. There are more large creatures here than anywhere else in China.

Defined by over a thousand years of Buddhism, Tibet has a unique culture that has nurtured remarkable beliefs. The programme discovers why this landscape and ancient culture is the life support system for much of the planet.

The place of the Tibetan plateau in the generation of the world’s weather, and the fact it is the source of the major rivers of Pakistan, India, Burma, Bangladesh, South-East Asia, and China, means it is well worth our knowing much more about — even apart from whatever political concerns we might have.

Great program.

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6 responses to “Last night on ABC1 — Wild China: Tibet

  1. Kevin

    June 3, 2008 at 9:37 am

    Excellent program! I take back half of the bad things I said about the BBC.

  2. ninglun

    June 3, 2008 at 10:06 am

    Good heavens, Kevin!

  3. Davo

    June 3, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    Defined by over a thousand years of Buddhism, Tibet has a unique culture that has nurtured remarkable beliefs

    Does that mean that the BBC is giving its imprimatur, also recognising that Tibet is part of China, and “Chinese” culture?

  4. ninglun

    June 3, 2008 at 7:02 pm

    Yes and no, as internationally Tibet is recognised as part of China. It would have been even incorporated into China even if the Kuomintang and not the Communists had prevailed. The history is very long, and there have been periods when Tibetan culture was very strong in China Proper itself. The other issue is that Tibetans live in quite large numbers in two neighbouring provinces too, which raises the question of how big Tibet actually is.

    The Dalai Lama has been arguing not for the “Free Tibet” we often envisage, but a REAL autonomy for Tibetans, as distinct from the Han Chinese colonisation, often brutal — they would call it “modernisation” — we see now.

    The BBC documentary made very clear the unique nature of Tibetan culture.

  5. Kevin

    June 4, 2008 at 8:35 am

    Davo brings up an interesting and not easily answerable question though. Should Tibet become it’s own nation? For that matter, if Alaska wanted to leave the US, should America allow it? If Tasmania was sick of Australia and wanted out, should you let them? If Northern Ireland wanted to become part of the Island nation it is attached to, should that happen?

    What makes the whole idea interesting is our individual attitudes. For example, I think Tibet should be set free from China. Neither are my country, so it’s pretty clear to me that Tibet doesn’t belong in China. On the other hand, I’d be willing to go to WAR to stop Alaska from becoming a country (in fairness, I’m conservative – I’ll go to war over just about anything) even though deep down I know that Alaska really doesn’t fit with our country, at least until we conquer British Columbia (I’m willing to go to war over that too!). But if you think about it, Tibet, Alaska, Hawaii, Tasmania, Northern Ireland, Basque, etc are all essentially the same deal.

    Eh. It’s interesting to me at least. Thanks for giving me the forum to think this through. The solution for America is now clear. We should attack British Columbia. Then we have to somehow conquer the ocean between California and Hawaii. I shall inform our overlords.

    BTW, Does Canada have a ‘Northwest Territories’ that we need to pummel into submission too, or is that just a name the makers of ‘Risk’ made up?

    ps – I’m just kidding about most of this post… as far as you know 🙂

  6. ninglun

    June 4, 2008 at 11:15 am

    Check the Tibet link in the side bar.

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