"Those People" A Poem About Mining By Theurang

2016 06 07 Those People by Theurang
Screenshot of the poem

High Peaks Pure Earth presents an English translation of a new poem by Tashi Rabten, writing under his pen name, Theurang. The poem was written on May 22, 2016 and has been circulating on WeChat since then.
In this poem, Theurang tackles the topic of mining in Tibet, a topic that has been in the news recently with large anti-mining protests reported in Amdo over the last weeks.

Thank you to Palden Gyal for this translation.

“Those People”
By Theurang


Mountains hollowed out, rivers befouled
And wildlife wiped out.
Those people burrow our land
With their fangs and claws.

Pastures denuded, forests demolished
Boundaries of fields and pens dissolved and
Converted into extensive spaces of foreign, unhealthy trees.
Those guests have now settled, unapologetically.

Rangelands divided, fenced with iron enclosures
Livestock disturbed, and its population dwindling.
With fierce expressions, they snatch away slabs of our gold ores
And with unblushing smiles, they reward us with a few sacks of flour.
Those people really know how to ingratiate themselves.

Law. Policy. Harmony.

Those people have chains, locks
And awfully tight snares.

May 22, 2016


  1. I’m very sorry for this. I visited Tibet many years ago and was a wonderful experience, i came again 8 years ago and i can recognise the same place that i knew. Street, new building, train, tunnel in the mountain, many chinese people everywhere, the Potala became a museum not a sacred place and i came back in Italy very sad for the Tibetan people. Please fight for your freedom and preserve your culture. I love you forever.

    • Thank you so much for your concern and we will fight for our just cause. As long as the solidarity of world standing just next to the just cause of ours, Tibet will be free soon.

    gyalpo tsering
    Days of tending my herd on the Jhangthang* are over,
    Liberated; I am forced to beg the streets of the holy city.
    Lord Buddha may rule the hearts of men but the shadow
    Of Mao rules the courtyard and hides among the icons.
    Sacrificial bloodstains darken my cold emerald grassland;
    Where I once roamed free and proudly among the knolls
    I have long ceased to voice my sweet melancholic strains
    Unheard and carefree across my vast cold green pastures
    My sweet emerald plains wild and free, now a mud-pit,
    Dug out by greedy men from the east in search of gold
    Lies wasted, and putrefied and leaking nameless poisons
    Seep into crevices and foul the sweet tundra streams.
    Today metal trains with long silver bodies roars across it;
    Crushed into a virtual prison of limited space and time
    Huddled in cramped dark corridors of cold stone and brick
    I am broken, condemned, and privileged to living in hell.
    When will this long night of insufferable dreams end?
    My spirit soaring over the northern plains, I call home
    Challenge the winds with my untamed summer songs:
    These rusty chains that confine me fall away to the floor…
    *Northern Plains of Tibet.

  3. Pingback: Those People – Tibetan Poetry in Translation

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