High Peaks Pure Earth has translated a response from students in Ngaba, Amdo, to a speech that was given by the Director of Ngaba’s Education Department at the end of October 2014. The response was written on November 5, 2014 and subsequently widely circulated on social media.
According to information from International Campaign for Tibet and Free Tibet, officials in the Ngaba area gathered and discussed education policy and issues on October 29, 2014. In the meeting, the Education Director Tan Ke reportedly described Chinese as more important than Tibetan language.
These remarks sparked protests by local students on November 1, 2014 in Dzoege County calling for equality of education. A few days after this protest, the written response appeared, addressed directly to the Education Director Tan Ke.
“Respected Director, Open Our Path”
One, Respected Director! First, I would like to ask you
How do you know that there is no future in learning Tibetan?
Is the Chinese government policy to eradicate Tibetan language?
You are a government cadre?
Maybe you know of policies that we commoners are not aware of.
Two, Respected Director! Just like Tibetan language changed into Chinese
Chinese should change to English.
Do you suggest Chinese language should be abandoned for English?
China should abandon Chinese language and writing for English.
In time, English should become the language of China
If this is the case, let us all learn English.
Three, Respected Director! Tibetan language is not without a future
With a purpose and methodologically, the future is destroyed.
In the future, before you speak, pay attention to details.
Four, Respected Director! If one want to eradicate a nationality
first one has to destroy the language of the nationality
This was said by Communist ideologue Stalin
Don’t know if you have heard these words
You will accept these are the words of Stalin
You spoke of Tibetan language having no future
The real reason is to destroy the Tibetan nationality
You a lowly official, are you taking responsibility for such an important task.
Five, Respected Director! Whatever nationality, its language is
Not about filling one’s belly or seeking promotion
Specially a nationality that is facing danger of extinction
A language is parent of one’s culture and knowledge
Culture is one’s mental disposition and practice of living
You are saying, the Tibetans change their mental disposition and living practice
Even if you say so, this is difficult for us to accept.
Six, Respected Director! Spoken and written Tibetan, high or low
It is a great treasury of knowledge of a nationality
This accumulation of blood and sweat of our ancestors
We, the Tibetans have many precious gifts to offer
Do not obstruct our path.