Imagine if you will that one day a foreign army invades your neighborhood, enforces a lockdown and then imposes a series of draconian new rules. It announces that the name by which you and your family have known the town for generations is now changed to a verison in their language. Any dissent will be met with arrest, torture or execution. One of the new policies requires you to celebrate the New Year, not on 31st December but the 15th February. On that day you will parade carrying the flag of the tyranny which now terrorizes your community.
Allow us to introduce you to a village (in the Tibetan region of Kongpo renamed by the Chinese regime as Nyingchi) that’s around 6 hours drive east of Lhasa. As you can see from the photo above, taken around February 12 the local Tibetans were lined-up to wave the Chinese flag as part of what was described in the propaganda website ‘China Tibet Online’ as a ‘Losar celebration in a Tibetan village’. For untold generations the Tibetans of Kongpo tradionally celebrated their New Year in November, why then are these villagers supposedly enjoying festivities in February? Either the authentic customs of the area have been eradicated, or these Tibetans have been forced into a propaganda photo-shoot to coincide with the date of the Chinese Spring Festival.
This is further evidence of Tibetan traditions being suppressed and replaced with events dictated by the Chinese authorities. What has been since ancient times a festival welcoming the New Year, honoring the spirits of land and water and dispelling negativity along with the old year, has been debased into a crass political stage-show.