Escape From Tibet
A True StoryBook - 2014
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As a novice Buddhist monk, 18-year-old Pasang was under constant surveillance, oppression and harassment by Chinese authorities in his small village in Tibet. It was apparent that to continue his studies, he would need to leave the country.
His younger brother, Tenzin, was forced to attend a very strict Chinese-run school where students were severely punished for many things, including speaking in their own Tibetian language.
Meanwhile, with the recent, untimely death of their father, it was a constant struggle for their mother to support the family of four boys.
For these reasons, Pasang and his mother decided that he and Tenzin, the oldest boys in the family, would leave their village to make an incredibly long and difficult journey. They would travel the months-long route over the Himalaya Mountains and through Nepal to freedom in India in order to escape a life of continual repression under strict Chinese rule. And because Chinese laws decreed that all Tibetians must stay where they were registered, the journey would need to be made in absolute secrecy.
After leaving the village, the boys set out on a harrowing journey to freedom – one that presented great physical hardship and possible danger at every turn. They experienced the constant threat of capture, imprisonment, betrayal and cruel treatment from local police and border guards along the way. They endured many setbacks, frequent hunger, illness, extreme weather conditions and many other challenges posed by the unforgiving terrain and weather in the world’s tallest mountain range. It was truly a test of human endurance.
The hope and quest for freedom – and a chance meeting with the Dalai Lama - sustained the brothers through the long, desperate weeks and months.
The day finally arrived when the brothers, hungry and weary, reached India and claimed asylum as refugees.
This inspiring, true narrative of exceptional courage and ultimate triumph draws attention to the contemporary and historical struggles that the people of Tibet face.
The story has been made into an acclaimed documentary by filmmaker Nick Gray and narrated by 11-year-old Tenzin.
** Recommended for ages 11 years and up.
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