A Selection of Woeser’s Instagram Posts August – September 2021

High Peaks Pure Earth has translated a selection of Woeser’s posts from her Instagram account from August – September 2021. In these months, Woeser travelled from Beijing to Lhasa but the majority of posts are from Lhasa.

See translations of Woeser’s previous years’ Instagram posts from Lhasa here and here. The series will continue next with Woeser’s pilgrimage to Mount Kailash in September 2021.

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

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


Returning home.

Tso Ngonpo #tibet

Passing Lake Namtso. #tibet

Like a dream. #lhasa #tibet

I remember a very peculiar and very awkward conversation. For example, he points at the book “Guide to Shangri-la” that you are reading on the train and asks: “Do you believe in Shangri-la? Do you know where Shangri-la is?” For a few seconds, I was lost for words and then replied: “Of course, Shangri-la is in the heart.” As soon as I had said the words, I regretted them; the answer was far too simple and of course, I saw the look of disdain on his face. I tried to add a few more sentences, for example that Shangri-la is the pure land, where you will arrive after reaching a certain level of Buddhist development and so on. This conversation really happened in a parallel universe from mine, the two will never converge. (The video was taken tonight at Sera monastery).

Three years ago, there was a streetlight in this place. #lhasa #seramonastery #tibet

Door to Sera Monastery’s prayer hall and me, taking a photo of the door. #seramonastery #lhasa #tibet

Today’s Jokhang Temple. #jokhang #lhasa #tibet


Hammered into the entire wall, a graffiti spectacle (Part 1). #lhasa #tibet

Hammered into the entire wall, a graffiti spectacle (Part 2). #lhasa #tibet

Hammered into the entire wall, a graffiti spectacle (Part 3). #lhasa #tibet

Photos of McDonald’s and KFC on the Linkhor and in the Barkhor, respectively. #lhasa #tibet

In the past, I always overlooked those murals at Jokhang Temple. They must have been repainted after the Cultural Revolution. This time I made sure to photograph them. Note the fascinating eyeballs of Gushri Khan. I don’t know who that bearded person next to him is. #jokhang #lhasa #tibet

Lhasa’s Barkhor has become a photo shoot background for tourists: they wear randomly assembled stage-like Tibetan garments and use Buddhist objects as casual props; they ruthlessly obstruct Tibetans who are there to pray and completely ignore the code of conduct, walking in the wrong direction, taking photos in all kinds of postures, lying, squatting, standing… we only need to take a look at Tibetan peoples’ faces to see how depressed they feel. #lhasa #tibet

Tibetan version of Disneyland. #lhasa #tibet

This used be an over 70-year-old building, which isn’t that important. What’s important is that this used to be the official family residence of His Holiness, also known as Yabzhi Taktser. But it disappeared in April 2018. It completely disappeared from its original place. Later, a brand new building started appearing in its place, covering the original ruins. Over the past years, I have seen with my own eyes, how the erasure of history and truth has been happening… #lhasa #tibet #YabzhiTaktser

I wanted to circumambulate the Potala Palace, tsekhor (also known as phodrang shakhor), but because of all kinds of barriers and security checks etc., I could only walk about two thirds, namely around the two sides and the northern end of the Potala Palace; one could not get to the front side, which also means that we no longer see scenes of people doing tsekhor facing the Palace to pray and prostrate. A friend said: “maybe one day circumambulating the tsekhor will be a mere myth.” #lhasa #potalapalace #tibet

The outer facade of Drapchi Monastery. #lhasa #tibet #tibetan

Going on pilgrimage to Mount Kailash. #lhasa #tibet #Kailash

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