Woeser’s Instagram Posts from Lhasa, May 2018

Screenshot of Woeser’s Instagram feed

High Peaks Pure Earth has translated a selection of Woeser’s posts on her Instagram account from Lhasa posted in May 2018. Woeser’s return to Lhasa from Beijing in April this year was the first time she had been allowed to return to the city since November 2014.

Woeser actively posts on her Instagram account most days, follow her here: https://www.instagram.com/tsering_woeser/

See Woeser’s Instagram posts from Lhasa from April 2018 here: http://highpeakspureearth.com/2018/woesers-instagram-posts-from-lhasa-april-2018/

You can also follow High Peaks Pure Earth on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/hpeaks/

I heard that these matchbox-like houses were one be one given to relocated villagers (or residents?). But it’s not quite true, I need to find out more.

 

On the high mountain on the north-eastern side, we find Mechungri, a tiny nunnery. One day, I would like to go there on pilgrimage.

 

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有关次觉林寺附近地方,至今拉萨民间还流传一句俗语:“次巴朵玛洒涅,加巴日勒荡涅”(大意是:次地的人吃法会供品,拉屎就在山上。藏文与口语略有不同:གྲི་པ་ཏོག་མ་བཇའ་མཁན་།རྐྱག་་པ་རི་ལ་བཏང་མཁན་།)据说当年这一带因山势较陡,栽种及放牧不便,百姓生活贫穷,常常在法会结束之后讨要供品“朵玛”来吃。这句俗语含有讥嘲,但也不带恶意就是了。不过今天这里是新开发区了,已经有了文成公主剧场,又正在修建金城公主的什么。好在历史上就这两位“甲萨”,如果再多一两个,怕是这里就挤不下喽。#lhasa #tibet

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About the place near Tsechokling Monastery, Lhasa people have a common saying even today, the general meaning is: “People here offer food and they defecate in the mountains”, (In Tibetan, the written and spoken meaning are slightly different: གྲི་པ་ཏོག་མ་བཇའ་མཁན་།རྐྱག་་པ་རི་ལ་བཏང་མཁན་།). It is said that at the time, the mountain slopes here were extremely steep, so not suitable for agriculture or herding; people were poor, so after Buddhist gatherings they would ask to eat the food used as offerings. The saying has a mocking sound to it, but it has no evil intentions. Today, this area is a new development zone, a Princess Wencheng Theatre already exists and they are currently building something for Princess Jincheng. Luckily, history only has two such Gyasa, if there were one or two more, they wouldn’t be able to squeeze them in here.

 

It is chance that you and I came together at the Jokhang to pray to Jowo. We were both shedding tears. We were brought together by fate, but this moment passed in the blink of an eye…

 

How to avoid also capturing those ugly high-rises when taking photos of Potala Palace is really difficult. (1)

 

How to avoid also capturing those ugly high-rises when taking photos of Potala Palace is really difficult. (2)

 

I secretly captured those two Abohor (a playful appellation for herdsmen from Nagchu) at the entrance of my compound. It was mainly the hat of the man on the left that I found quite eye-grabbing, the price tag was still attached.

 

Huge weather changes opposite Tsechokling, it looks like it will rain. It is just like the proverb that Tibetans often use when playing dice: གྲིབ་ཆར་སྔོན་པོ་རྟ་ལས་མགྱོགས་།སེར་རའི་གྲྭ་པ་ར་ལས་ཚུབ་། it generally means: the rain here is even faster than horses, monks from Sera Monastery are even more naughty than goats.

 

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布达拉宫前的游客经典造型。#lhasa

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A typical pose by tourists in front of Potala Palace (1)

 

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布达拉宫前的游客经典造型。#lhasa

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A typical pose by tourists in front of Potala Palace (2)

 

On the night of March 17, 1959, did His Holiness exit from this door towards the Lhasa river and then further onto the road of freedom into exile? (1)

 

This statue that has become publicly known as a pile of shit is supposed to symbolise a “Happy Lhasa”.

 

On the night of March 17, 1959, did His Holiness exit from this door towards the Lhasa river and then further onto the road of freedom into exile? (2)

 

Looking at the almost flawless sky, hearing only the sounds of praying. This is when I really know: this city is not real, this temple is not real.

 

Next to the public toilet, there is a “Chinese iron tower”, imitating a prayer wheel.

 

This man from Panam County (Shigatse), performing “Dekar”, said to me: “I can only say a few simple things. Because you are recording me. If the County officials find out that I am performing “Dekar” everywhere, they will scold me.”

 

Yesterday. “Saga Dawa” continued around the Linkhor. A naughty older boy was teasing some younger kid prostrating. The kid sank into thoughts, starting to snivel. I reached out one hand and the kid took it firmly, wanting to go with me. I was a bit shocked and said in a low voice: “Do you want to be my child?” To me surprise, he nodded. I felt helpless. I remembered that I still had some candy in my bag, so I gave him one. He smiled, took it and went back to his friends without turning around.

 

In my memory, this is the quietest “Saga Dawa” ever. In the past, the Linkhor would be totally packed…

 

Without the Potala Palace, this city would look like a suburb of Chengdu.

 

The traditional Linkhor prayer path up to Dekyi Road is fully in the hands of pilgrims… I would so much like to pass around the Linkhor as they do, prostrate every three steps, but I am not brave enough, my knees would probably not take it either. So in a nutshell, I have so much respect for those two women and one more behind them who pass along the road prostrating.

 

In the fourth month according to the Tibetan calendar, I walked around the entire Linkhor (before I always skipped around 1 km). It took me three hours and my phone indicated that I walked for 10.1 kilometres, that’s more or less how long it is. My app showed me many stairs, because along the way, there are pedestrian bridges everywhere! (I quite hate pedestrian bridges, but I could take this photo, so I guess that’s the only good thing).

 

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林廓路上磕长头。#lhasa #sagadawa

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Prostrating around the Linkhor.

 

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他看见了磕长头经过的信徒。#lhasa #sagadawa

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He is looking at the prostrating pilgrims passing by.

 

Today. Saga Dawa. Praying.

 

Today. Saga Dawa. Praying.

 

Today. Saga Dawa. Praying.

 

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我和母亲。我妹妹拍。#lhasa

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My mother and I. Taken by my younger sister.