Chinese government fails to protect Tibetan language, Tibetan youth suffer



Thursday, January 17, 2019

A bilingual version
of the Di Zi Gui,
which Tibetan
children are being
forced to learn.
(Photo: ChinaAid)
ChinaAid

(Gyegu, Tibet—Jan. 17, 2018) As the Chinese government endeavors to persecute ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, it has also taken measures to oppress key elements of Tibetan language and culture, according to a report recently received by ChinaAid.

The report said that last August, the Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture Ethnic Language Department, located in Qinghai Province, ordered that all regions be officially known as their Tibetan names, honoring the Tibetan residents. The prefecture would then have assumed the name “Gyegu.” However, last month, the local government overturned the decision, reinstating Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture as the area’s formal name.

A local linguist said that the lack of Tibetan’s use as a standardized language has caused many issues for the local people. Tashi Wangchuk, a Tibetan language activist, begged the local and central government to protect and promote the Tibetans’ native language, but the authorities imprisoned him.

Among the concerns, the Tibetan used across Tibet is often misspelled and has grammatical issues, creating what is known as the “fake Tibetan language.” Despite this, China’s authorities claim they are trying to safeguard the languages of the country’s minorities. The linguist says this dissonance exposes their disregard for ethnic groups.

In addition, the report said that young people in Haidong, Qinghai, are facing education and unemployment issues, and elementary schools are forcing young Tibetans to learn the Di Zi Gui, a Confucian standard for becoming a good child. The author of the report believes that the Di Zi Gui is being taught to make the children more like China’s majority Han people, while ignoring their own cultural background.

All Tibetan schools also must organize a “Be Grateful for the Chinese Communist Party: Revolution Songs Competition” on holidays.

This echoes China’s persecution of Muslim ethnic groups in Xinjiang, where residents are targeted for not being Han and for following Islam. More than 1 million of them have suffered in “re-education camps,” where they are tortured, made to study propaganda, and starved until they declare allegiance to the Communist Party.

A full translation of the article is forthcoming.

ChinaAid urges the Chinese government to immediately cease its maltreatment of minorities and allow them to honor and celebrate their cultures, languages, and religions.

ChinaAid exposes abuses in order to stand in solidarity with the persecuted and promote religious freedom, human rights, and rule of law. If you wish to partner with us in helping those persecuted by the Chinese government for their beliefs, please click here to make a charitable donation.


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