Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Robust Tibetan Language Checked Cultural Dilution

18 July 2006 -- TibetNet

Dharamsala: The mere fact that the Tibetans have been able to retain their written language (in its original form) for a long, long time, had thwarted degeneration of their rich cultural heritage and division of their nationality based on languages, Kalon Tripa Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche said here yesterday.

Since the advent of Tibetan script, especially after printing of religious texts began in the tenth or eleventh century, it has not undergone any major changes, the Kalon Tripa said in his inaugural address to a seminar at the College for Higher Tibetan Studies, Sarah.

"The literary works from the times of Thumi Sambhotta in the 7th century can be read and understood today by anyone who has adequate command over Tibetan language.

"Likewise, although dialects based on Tibetan language are spoken in many regions, the Tibetan written language is understood by all, from Ngari to Gyalrong and Amdo."

During the four-day seminar, which provides a forum for discussion and fraternization, 28 students from various institutes of (higher) Tibetan studies will discuss how to promote Tibetan language.

"In the past 50 years, barring those thrust purposely during the Cultural Revolution, many subtle alterations and dilutions have crept into the Tibetan language," the Kalon Tripa said, adding that "we must identify and tackle them earnestly."