The only thing about our independence I know is the struggle for it. Since I was born much after the Chinese occupation of Tibet, to be a citizen of an independent country is a feeling I'm not very familiar with.
When we were younger, the small Tibetan community evoked patriotism by watching street plays that illustrated the hardships our fathers and their fathers suffered, crossing the Himalayas barefoot and fleeing the Chinese brutality. So to me, Independence equaled suffering, violence, deprivation. Worse still, it made us "identity-less", gave us the tags of exiles.
During teenage years, my idea of Independence Day was the function at school, before classes — the day we dressed in our (or borrowed) Indian best. It was a day when we acknowledged the importance of the maintenance staff in our lives- in a residential school. Instead of the Principal, the Indian flag was always hoisted by a watchman, a cook or a sweeper.
In my early twenties, Independence Day was justRead More »from Chasing Independence