#13 – Tibetan Uprising Day and children training to be monks (Gaye)

Today celebrates Tibetan Uprising Day. The people of McLeod walk the narrow streets early in the morning heading to the temple. Many carry Tibetan flags, including some in the group. We pass a statue of a monk who has set himself ablaze. Still today in Tibet monks will chose martyrdom as the Chinese regime continues to destroy monasteries and limit religious freedom.

The Prime Minister of the government speaks. Children, many of whom have never seen or lived in their homeland, sing the national anthem and their song of resistance.

The tone is somber and yet it lasts a short while. The Tibetan people are so positive, welcoming and hard working. After the ceremony they are back into their shops, ready for business

What grabs my attention are the young boys who are training to be monks. Their families hand them over to the monastery when they are four. Sometimes I see them chasing one another or scarfing down a bag of potato chips but usually they are in the company of one of the older male monks. They get an excellent education but four? I was fascinated by them, concerned for them.

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