I visited India and Nepal for the first time on a Buddhist pilgrimage led by Shantum Seth in 2007. The following is from my 2008 trip to India, Nepal, and Tibet and is about Tibet.
I just gave a little kid a pen — it seems to have worked, since he took it and walked away. Great, even toddlers know the English word “Hello.”
Today we are driving back to Lhasa.
Yesterday was International Women’s Day, which I never heard of before. I need to research that. People were celebrating by drinking and dancing. That explains the fireworks. I didn’t know about it until this morning: Gyantzing asked me if I slept well and explained why there was so much noise that could have kept me awake but didn’t.
I wish I’d known about this yesterday. Too bad I wasn’t out celebrating with women, but then again, I’m not into drinking and dancing. I’m into overthrowing patriarchy. I’m into getting the revolutionary ball rolling, which is what Women’s Day should be about.
It’s ironic that it was supposed to be Women’s Day when for me it felt like Misogyny Day. Without patriarchy, every day would be Women’s Day — a day free of war, rape, incest, domestic violence, and prejudice. Every day would be a day free of oppression and injustice. Bye-bye Dominator Society, hello Partnership Society, to use the scholar Riane Eisler’s terminology.
It seems to me like International Women’s Day is scarcely more than condescension, mere words. It doesn’t seem to be conjuring a lot of feminist consciousness around here, that’s for sure, judging by my experience on the streets of Shigatse yesterday. It should be about sociological transformation to an egalitarian and just society, not about drinking and dancing.
Writing while in the car (and therefore large and messy handwriting):
I see shaggy goats with curly horns.
Brahmaputra/Yellow River — we’re passing it again.
On the left of the highway, we see some small buildings and an area where a new, smaller airport will be built.
Straight ahead stands a wide, roundish, rocky brown mountain. It’s a holy mountain for sky burials; wealthy families pay for funerals there. I see two stupas…