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HH Dalai Lama's brother on film

this may interest some of you,in solidarity with our tibetan brothers
and sisters, metta, dawn star

wtn-editors@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
> ------------------- World Tibet Network News -------------------------------
>   Published by:     The Canada-Tibet Committee

> 4. Film hits too close to home for Dalai Lama's brother (BHT)
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Bloomington Herald Times
> October 5, 1997
> He sat back in His theater seat, nearly a half-hour before show time and
> laughed genuinely when asked whether he felt a sense of anticipation before
> seeing the film, "Seven Years in Tibet." "Oh, yes," retired Indiana
> University professor Thubten J. Norbu said warmly. "Yes. Yes. The good old
> days, you know." He continued to laugh, heartily, perhaps at His
> appropriation of a common American cliche, or maybe at the irony in His
> words. A pregnant pause followed, the laughter subsided and the smile
> drained from His face. "But you know," the 75-year-old Tibetan said, "I
> think it will be sad, too. Maybe very sad, I don't know." As it turned out,
> the film brought giddy chuckles and heaving, air-gulping sighs of emotion
> out of Norbu, the elder brother of the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet and close
> friend to the real-life protagonist of the movie, Heinrich Harrer.
> To borrow another cliche: The film hit a little too close to home when
> Chinese machine gun fire began riddling Tibetan flesh. Conscious of the
> important political implications of "Seven Years in Tibet," Tri-Star
> Pictures worked with several Tibetan groups in the United States to provide
> pre-release screenings of the film before its general release this week.
> The showing last Thursday night in Indianapolis was arranged through the
> Indiana-based International Tibet Independence Movement. As good fortune
> would have it, the Indianapolis showing was the first in the country, and
> it drew a full-house crowd to the northside theater where it was screened.
> The film is based on the autobiographical book by Harrer, an Austrian
> Olympian and expert mountain climber, who participated in a 1939 Himalayan
> climb that first failed to reach its summit and then resulted in the team's
> capture by British forces in India once World War II had been declared.
> Harrer and countryman Peter Aufschnaiter escape but are forced to undertake
> a near-impossible route to freedom across the Himalayan mountains through
> Tibet, an isolated country where Westerners were rarely seen. Eventually
> they reach the sacred city of Lhasa. The movie tells the tale of Harrer's
> relationship with the young Dalai Lama and the political upheaval that
> ensues when China invades the peace-loving country in 1950. With Brad Pitt
> portraying the intelligent, handsome and headstrong Harrer, "Seven Years in
> Tibet" tells the story gracefully, powerfully and accurately. At one point,
> for example, the young Dalai Lama receives a music box as a gift, and even
> though He is to the Tibetan people the reincarnation of the Buddhist God of
> Compassion, the boy can't keep his hands off of the wonderful contraption,
> giggling and sticking out His tongue like any delighted child.
> Norbu leaned over from His seat in the movie theater Thursday and
> whispered: "It happened exactly like that!" After the film, He confirmed,
> "It was very nicely done. Not too Hollywood." Settings, such as the
> depiction of the grand Winter Palace at Lhasa were extraordinarily
> realistic, He said. No film can come close to acting out everything in any
> book of any length, however, and there is much in Harrer's original story
> that doesn't appear in "Seven Years in Tibet." Norbu declined to authorize
> His own characterization in the film because the producers would not
> provide Him with a script or any reasonable indication of how He would be
> portrayed. And so for better or worse, The Dalai Lama's brothers aren't
> mentioned, although their sister, Jetsun Pema, portrays their mother in her
> first acting role. In reality, Norbu and His brother, Lobsang Samnden,
> befriended the yellow-haired Austrian and took Harrer to their parents,
> which resulted in the young Dalai Lama's request to meet this
> strange-looking - to Tibetan eyes - foreigner.
> Norbu got to know Harrer very well, and like His younger brother, learned
> much about the greater world from the Austrian expatriate. "We made food
> and ate together, laughed together, we played games," Norbu recalled. "He
> was a very nice young man - he really was." In turn, Harrer taught Norbu
> and the Tibetans various Western activities, such as ice-skating and some
> rudimentary exercises. "He showed us how to do push-ups," Norbu recalled
> with a chuckle. "No one in Tibet had ever seen a push-up." The Tibetans
> also turned to Harrer for other help with the few Western items that made
> their way into the country. He read to them from Life and other magazines
> that had somehow found their way into Tibet. "We were always asking him for
> help with a broken watch or a clock or something like that. We'd say `Can
> you fix this?' and he usually could," Norbu said. "He always tried to
> help." Later, Harrer assisted Norbu to the extent that he is listed as the
> co-author of the former Buddhist Abbot and retired IU [Indiana University]
> professor's autobiography, "Tibet Is My Country."
> While the Norbu family of Monroe County knew that the film "Seven Years In
> Tibet" was being made, they and a great many others were taken aback this
> summer when the German magazine Stern revealed that Harrer had been a
> member of the Nazi Party before that fateful 1939 expedition and the
> personal transformation that Harrer underwent afterward. "Only recently did
> I know that," Norbu said last week. "I know him and talked to him many
> times, so many times. He was like a family member, you know?" The
> revelation disturbs Norbu, but not greatly. "It was, what 50 years ago?" He
> asked. "It was before the war, you know. He was a young man. I have never
> known him to be anything but a kind man."
> Norbu did not even know about the Nazi connection when He visited with
> Harrer this summer on a trip that also took him to Dharmsala, India, where
> The Dalai Lama remains the spiritual and political leader of the Tibetan
> people in exile. "Any time I see Heinrich, I enjoy it. He speaks such good
> Tibetan," Norbu said. "You know, I asked him, can you come to Bloomington
> when the movie comes out Oct. 10 and he said, no, thank you for your
> invitation. I thought he just didn't want to come but he told me the State
> Department wouldn't let him come because he was connected to the Nazi
> Party. "He was very emotional when he talked about such a thing,"  Norbu
> went on. "I said, `You were such a young man. The time is different. The
> circumstances are different. You are 85. I am 75. It was so long ago.'" The
> revelation, long a secret, pains the aging Austrian greatly, Norbu said. "I
> also feel sad," He admitted. "When he went to Tibet, it changed him. And it
> changed him forever. He is a good man. "I also told him, it is very unfair,
> because what China is doing in Tibet is worse than what the Nazis did in
> Europe. How can they punish you when people continue to die in Tibet, every
> day?"
> 6. Voice of America seeks Tibetan language broadcasters
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> The Voice of America is actively seeking applications for work in Tibetan
> language broadcating.  Applicants should be fluent in Tibetan.
> Other desirable qualifications include:  fluency in Chinese, fluency in
> English, a good speaking voice, higher education, journalistic experience,
> knowledge of Tibetan affairs, and word-processing and Internet skills.
> Personal qualities that would be a plus include:  perseverance, attention
> to detail, disciplined work habits, initiative, flexibility, calmness under
> pressure, creativity, and a sense of humor.
> Work will include reporting, researching, and composing stories using a
> variety of written and oral sources.   Work will also include voicing,
> recording, and editing material, and producing stories for broadcast  to
> Tibetan-speaking regions of Asia.
> Work will be assigned to individuals acting as independent contractors,
> not as VOA employees.  Most work will be in the Washington, DC area.
> Those interested should have a U.S. work permit or be a U.S. citizen.
> To apply, contact:
> John Buescher   202-619-3604 or Tinley Nyandak  202-619-1467
> or fax:  202-619-1840
> or write:
> VOA Tibetan Broadcast Service
> 330 Independence Avenue, S.W. Washington, D.C.  20547 USA
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 6. Europe could be seeing yak on the menu if export plans go ahead (Xinhua)
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Xinhua is the official news agency of the People's Republic of China
> Lhasa, 7th October: Tibetan yaks are providing a new source of income
> for herders in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region.
> The Guangxi Beihai International Economic Development Ltd Co recently
> signed a contract with four Tibetan companies to jointly develop the
> yak industry.
> In addition, new rapid growth, slaughtering and cold storage
> technology have entered Tibet from other parts of the country.
> Tibetans, who refer to yaks as "Treasures of the Plateau" , never
> fully realized the potential economic value of the animal.
> "Large numbers of yaks formerly died during the harsh cold winters in
> Tibet. Treasures turned to waste," according to Professor Zhang,
> director of the International Yak Information Centre.
> Tibetan yaks will enter both the domestic and international markets.
> Tibet plans to establish a yak industry stock company in the near
> future to develop the international market.
> The "mad cow" epidemic in Britain, which alarmed European beef
> lovers, has presented an excellent opportunity for Tibetan yaks to
> enter the world market.
> A symposium on the yak industry development will be held in Tibet
> next spring, according to the Tibetan Agriculture and Animal
> Husbandry Department.
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> end WTN  97/10/07   22.00 GMT