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Home Articles History The Lost World of Tibet 2/5 - artelino

The Lost World of Tibet 2/5 - artelino

The lost world of Tibet - part 2The second part of this documentary co-production of the BBC and the BFI (British Film Institute) shows the life of the aristocracy and monks in Lhasa before 1950. Religious festivities according to old traditions and customs dominated the year.

Aristocracy and Religious Festivities in Old Lhasa

In the second part one can see spectacular footage of aristocratic Tibetans in splendid costumes. The film scenes in color were shot mostly by the British representative in Lhasa. Other scenes show huge religious festivities for which up to 20,000 monks used to gather in Lhasa.

Also the 5 year old Dalai Lama is shown and his elder brother trying a toy car, a present by the British representative in Lhasa. The Dalai Lama remembers his upbringing in Lhasa and how he was a bit jealous of his elder brother because he enjoyed more freedom than him.

Pilgrims are shown how they prostrate on the Lingkor walk, a pilgrimage path in Lhasa that no longer exists in its former appearance.

Potala Palace and Norbulingka

A major event twice a year in springtime and in autumn was the move of the Dalai Lama and his entourage including the civilian administration of the country between the Potala Palace, the winter residence, and the Norbulingka, the summer residence. The move resembled a huge procession. The film coverage gives an impression of the splendid festival character of this event.

But everyone who has ever moved in his life with his private household and his whole office knows that this was certainly not an effective way to govern and administer the country.

Tibetan Government and Civil Service

But civil service of the Tibetan country in those days of roughly the 1940s was far away from the pest to which bureaucracy has developed in Western countries in our days. The film mentions that there were about 200 aristocratic families who made up the civil service. Out of these about 30 families held senior positions.

Dieter Wanczura, August 2010.

Last Updated on Thursday, 04 November 2010 13:14  

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