(TibetanReview.net, Feb 12) – Despite Chinese attempts to erase Tibetan memories of the brutal crackdown in the aftermath of the Mar’08 uprising protest, few families seemed to be in the mood to celebrate the upcoming Losar, their New Year, on Feb 25-27, in Rebkong County of Qinghai Province, reported The National (UAE) Feb 11. “A lot of young people were killed last year and people are sad. There is no feeling of happiness,” it quoted a monk standing in the corner of a monastery as saying. “Few people celebrated the (Chinese) New Year this year.”
The report also cited a former monk, who was now producing thangkas, as saying most people had chosen to remember those who lost their lives in last year’s melee rather than mark the new year.
“It wasn’t a joyous New Year,” it also quoted a Tibetan farmer standing in the courtyard of the Nyentog Temple as saying, as he slowly brought his two fists together to express his meaning before disappearing into the crowd.
China bribed Tibetans to celebrate the Chinese New Year too, which fell on Jan 25 and which many of them usually do. However, most did not celebrate this time. Officials offered money and gifts and distributed fireworks, lanterns and couplets. But, the report cited prominent Tibetan writer in Chinese Ms Woeser, living in exile in Beijing, as saying the government efforts failed. She had described how some 2,000 Tibetans showed up at one temple wearing old and worn-out clothing, a clear sign of civil disobedience.