The people of the three provinces feel a strong sense of unity as Tibetans, and we in exile offer them our support.
In recent years widespread popular protests have erupted across the Tibetan plateau and China has flooded Tibet with security forces, virtually sealing it off from the world. In spite of this stranglehold a new generation of Tibetans has embraced nonviolent resistance tactics that defy Beijing’s authority, strengthen Tibetan unity and identity, and inspire hope.
Tibetans in Tibet and in exile are reasserting their cultural identity and amplifying the voices of courageous singers, writers and bloggers who are devoting their work to the enduring spirit of Tibetan resistance.
Two songs that exemplify the resurgence in calls for unity among people from all three provinces of Tibet – U-Tsang, Kham and Amdo – are “Mentally Return” by Yadong, Kunga, Tsewang and Gangshung (2006) and “The Sound of Unity” by Sherten (2010).
High Peaks Pure Earth, which has translated the lyrics and subtitled the videos, wrote:
“Both songs share the same topic of unity amongst Tibetans but are markedly different in style. “Mentally Return” is the more cautious of the two… and the lyrics are arguably even more powerful and poetic in their subtlety. The metaphor of the Tibetan circle dance is used to indicate unity and Tibet is also called both the fatherland and the mother – a place of comfort with the feeling of home. Sherten’s 2010 song “The Sound of Unity” directly addresses “Tibetans” and boldly uses politically loaded phrases and words such as “three provinces”, “nation” and “freedom” – all studiously avoided by “Mentally Return” but implied nonetheless. Whereas “Mentally Return” inferred a unity that was related to an inner geography, “The Sound of Unity” literally calls on Tibetans traditionally of all three provinces Amdo, Kham and U-Tsang to unite and to draw strength from each other.”