Why I call it Tibet...
In the previous century, China absorbed Tibet, similar to what the US and other imperial nations have done: take over (usually by force) another nation, country, culture, creed... The actions of these nations perfectly define imperialism: ”the policy of extending the rule rule or authority of an empower or nation over foreign countries, or of acquiring and holding colonies and dependencies”. I write these words as facts, not as judgments; it is too late for criticism and living as a guest in the country of China, I reaffirm “I love China!”
I’m stilll researching the absorption of Tibet and all the other “ethnic minorities” (China’s terminology, not mine. I prefer to call them individual ethnic groups or tribes or ...?) that live on land that is politically deemed China. Again, similar to US history and policy, in that First Nation-Native Americans are made up of a multitude of cultures, creeds, and origins— they can’t be called “Indians” or even the same “tribe”. The Cherokee vary from the Lakota as much as the Khampas are unique from the Yis on this side of the world.
In essence, if the governing political borders of western China were invisible, Kangding all to its west could be named after the most populous creeds in those lands. While I don’t have firm or accurate statistics on dates and defined political borders, I can explain this much: Kangding and denizens west are largely populated by the individual ethnic groups and Tibetans, with the Han Chinese being a smaller portion of the population. Of course, this seems to change daily, just like Austin, which is now dominated by Californians and Coloradans. The former area of Tibet is now called the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR), whereas parts of the provinces that border TAR, such as Sichuan, Yunnan, and Qinghai, are designated as Tibetan Autonomous Prefectures (TAP). Both appellations recognize the majority “ethnic minority” population of these regions. I can’t even begin to discuss Mongolia and Xinjiang. I am still learning about the cultures, the ethnic groups, and the histories of this part of Asia, so if any of this is outdated or inaccurate, give me more time to research and correct myself.
The point of all this is to inform you all why I claim my travels are to Tibet; simply, this is because the regions I visit are dominated by ethnic groups of non-Han Chinese that were once ruled by Tibetans and various other groups, but which are now under Chinese dominion. Just because the US took over parts of Mexico doesn’t make the people of the land any less Mexican, if you don’t count the extinction of culture of time if it is not tightly guarded.
I love all that I am learning about this area and its people—all its people! They are all wonderful!
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Gina The Great in the country of The Great Wall!