SkyscraperCity banner
1 - 20 of 95 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
137 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Tibetan students protest, say China is wiping out their culture.
(CNN) -- Thousands or hundreds of Tibetan students have taken to the streets in protest this week, depending on divergent accounts -- one from advocates for a free Tibet and another from the ruling Chinese government.

The students say their culture is being wiped out as China overhauls curriculum and limits the use of the Tibetan language in schools.
"The protest resulted from a new education policy which reduces Tibetan language teachings," an official identified only as Mr. Wang, speaking for the International Information Office of the Qinghai government, said Thursday.

The government said 800 students protested in western China on Tuesday. The activist group Free Tibet said 4,000 to 6,000 students protested. Independent verification is severely restricted by Chinese restrictions on media freedom.

"We want equality of culture," the students chanted in Tongren county in Huangnan Autonomous Prefecture.

"The protests were sparked by Chinese educational reforms in Rebkong, which stipulate that all subjects will be taught in Chinese and that all textbooks will be in Chinese, except for Tibetan language and English classes. These reforms have already been implemented in other areas across the Tibet Autonomous Region, including in primary schools," the group Free Tibet said. "The use of Tibetan is being systematically wiped out as part of China's strategy to cement its occupation of Tibet."

Police did not interfere with the protest, but officials warned that "ringleaders" would be expelled if the demonstration continued, the activist group said.

"The new education policy is made according to relevant national regulation," Wang said. "Huangnan Prefecture held a conference after the protest happened, and formed a working team headed by a deputy director of provincial education department. The working team went to Huangnan, explained the new education policy to the students. The students ended the demonstration shortly afterward."

"Right now, the provincial government is communicating with the local schools, and the working team is communicating with local students as well," he added. "If the suggestions of protesting students are reasonable, it's likely that the government will take their suggestions."

In a news release, the Free Tibet group quoted an unidentified former middle school teacher in Rebkong as saying: "The Chinese are enforcing reforms which remind me of the Cultural Revolution. This reform is not only a threat to our mother tongue, but is in direct violation of the Chinese constitution, which is meant to protect our rights. For Tibetans, the Chinese constitution is meaningless."

Secondary education is taught only in Mandarin and university entrance exams are in Chinese, keeping Tibetans disadvantaged and poor, Free Tibet said.

Many Tibetans want independence from China. The Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader, has said he does not advocate violence or a separate and independent Tibet. He has said he wants a genuine autonomy that preserves the cultural heritage of Tibet. The Chinese government accuses him of inciting Tibetan activists to violent protest.

Tibetans say China invaded their country in 1950. Beijing says the remote Tibetan plateau has historically been part of China.
http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/asiapcf/10/21/tibet.student.protest/index.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,703 Posts
Based on my observation, it has something to do with Xinjiang Uighur.

Remember Urumqi Riot last year?

They said it happen because of inequality, where most of companies in China choose Han Chinese over Uighur. The reason is because Uighur people can't speak mandarin.

China unlike other countries. In China all minority didn't pushed to learn mandarin, that explain everything.

Starting this year, like other countries, every minority group will learn Mandarin along with their local language and English, including in Xinjiang and Tibet. To bring economy, job and opportunity equality to all minority groups.

Well, Uighur people welcoming this idea. But Tibetan interpreted it with different view......
 

·
pooh bear
Joined
·
7,545 Posts
I haven't seen any evidence that they'll reduce the role of Tibetan language in schools, it's all been rumors and hearsay and a joke of an article.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
828 Posts
I haven't seen any evidence that they'll reduce the role of Tibetan language in schools, it's all been rumors and hearsay and a joke of an article.
Citing CNN on such issues is little more than a joke. Is more or less making Coca Cola CEO write an article on Pepsi.....Incredible there still are people who give CNN any credibility...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,452 Posts
This is a joke. As usual.

Firstly, the validity of the news is not confirmed. The only picture I've seen they used is just showing kids(elementary level or junior high at most, wow, how rebelling they are if the story is true) walking after school. Who knows what source these reports are based on.

Secondly, when not enough courses in Mandarin Chinese were offered in minority schools, many scholars of minority ethnics have been complaining all the time, that the government was setting a language barrier so it is harder for citizens of minority ethnics to find a decent job. Now the report claims some are saying more courses in Chinese will wipe their culture. Seems there is no way to please them all. Maybe these people could follow what the United States has been doing: use a single language at schools, and all other languages are only optional. "If you don't speak English, get out of America!" savvy?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,452 Posts
Based on my observation, it has something to do with Xinjiang Uighur.

Remember Urumqi Riot last year?

They said it happen because of inequality, where most of companies in China choose Han Chinese over Uighur. The reason is because Uighur people can't speak mandarin.
it was a terrorist attack. all the inequality thing is just a beautification of the ugly nature IMO.

But Tibetan interpreted it with different view......
you really believe that is what the local people are thinking? nah, all the stories came from outside of China.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,901 Posts
I don't know why it's so far fetched to think Tibetans would protest against language policy, when Cantonese did the same thing this summer.

Language policy is the fastest way to assimilate and unite a country. Place like the UK, France and Japan all had/have language policies that have almost eradicated the local languages making everyone having a more national identity. Basically this is what China is doing in Tibet too, and even in other areas of Han China (promoting Mandarin over dialects).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,452 Posts
Language policy is the fastest way to assimilate and unite a country. Place like the UK, France and Japan all had/have language policies that have almost eradicated the local languages making everyone having a more national identity. Basically this is what China is doing in Tibet too, and even in other areas of Han China (promoting Mandarin over dialects).
The protest allegedly happened in Qinghai Province (it is a Tibetan school but not in Tibet), but the policy is for all minority groups. I agree with what you said, it is quite a normal thing and I don't know why some are making a fuss out of nothing. Keep in mind that there are no vocabulary for many scientific terminologies in Tibetan language, how are they going to learn the basic science if according to some they don't want to learn Chinese? Don't tell me they don't need it...

The Chinese Korean are the most active group to ask for more lessons in Mandarin on their curriculum, I think at least they are happy with the policy now.
 

·
Not Cwite There
Joined
·
9,181 Posts
I don't know why it's so far fetched to think Tibetans would protest against language policy, when Cantonese did the same thing this summer.

Language policy is the fastest way to assimilate and unite a country. Place like the UK, France and Japan all had/have language policies that have almost eradicated the local languages making everyone having a more national identity. Basically this is what China is doing in Tibet too, and even in other areas of Han China (promoting Mandarin over dialects).
Interesting point that. Sections of the Shanghainese are privately quite vocal against the current policy that the Shanghai dielect shouldn't be spoken / used in schools. Because of this policy the young generation speak piss-poor Shanghai dialect these days.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
428 Posts
I am always a firm supporter of unified language. Unified market and unified language are the two competitive advantages of large nations. USA has greatly enjoyed this advantage. Albeit unified written language, diverse spoken dialects have caused numerous problems in communication among Chinese.
 

·
City Reformist
Joined
·
5,263 Posts
This is just hubris. Nothing. Take a look at Merkel, said that multicultural does not work in German. And you would swear and vomit after watching how the American abuse and torture Iraqis, the country that they occupy because of oil!? The US better stop bitching. It's really disgusting hypocrite. I hope Jeremy will protest and post about that torture to the White House.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25,152 Posts
Teaching in Tibetan Language Stressed

In Tibet, most classes in primary schools are taught in Tibetan. However, it still needs a while (for instance, in training of qualified teachers, and compilation and translation of textbooks) to teach mathematics, physics and chemistry in Tibetan in schools at and above the junior middle school level.

Therefore, these schools currently conduct their teaching activities in four formats: first, offering Tibetan and Chinese language courses, with all other courses being taught in Tibetan; second, teaching some classes in Chinese and others in Tibetan; third, offering Tibetan language class, with all other classes taught in Chinese; and fourth, teaching the entire curriculum in Chinese.

According to the requirements of the regional government, graduates of senior middle schools should be familiar with both Tibetan and Chinese languages. Foreign language classes are offered in schools above junior middle school level that have proper conditions.

The Tibetan middle schools and Tibetan classes in certain provinces and municipalities directly under the Central Government all offer Tibetan language classes for junior middle school curriculum, taught by Tibetan teachers designated by the autonomous region. They independently plan their courses according to the national teaching program for regular middle schools and allowing for the actual conditions of Tibetan students.

http://info.tibet.cn/en/newfeature/faf2003/t20050525_32579.htm

AFAIK, you can still find a high percentage of schooled ethnic Tibetans who aren't fluent in Mandarin or any other Han language, and many can't even speak a word of Mandarin. I wonder what percentage of American or Australian natives can't speak English nowadays, and how many newspapers, books and tv and radio stations are published in the native languages.

Even my country, where bilinguism is strongly encouraged and regional separatists are super powerful, 100% of Catalans and Basques speak Spanish perfectly and study Spanish at schools. You can't work for any public organism (including hospitals, police, etc) if you can't speak the local language though.
 

·
Not Cwite There
Joined
·
9,181 Posts
I am always a firm supporter of unified language. Unified market and unified language are the two competitive advantages of large nations. USA has greatly enjoyed this advantage. Albeit unified written language, diverse spoken dialects have caused numerous problems in communication among Chinese.
I'd disagree with that - I think life should be much more than markets, money or any other measurable variable - multiple languages as a culture brings much culture and heritage.

USA and Britain are in fact a minority that habour a population of monolinguists. All over Europe it's very common for people to speak two or three languages.

Keeping local languages/dialects doesn't at all mean sacrificing the official unified language - multiple languages can coexist peacefully alongside each other.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
428 Posts
^^

I seriously doubt how much a Shanghainese can enjoy a cantonese song or opera.

EU can build unified market, unified monetary system, but EU can't build unified language unless Roman Empire is reborn. Any official EU document requires translations into 25 languages. What a waste of human resources! I see this as a major competitive disadvantage of EU comparing to USA and China.

The reasons why people do not want to give up dialects are 1) the strong habit of speaking dialects, 2) the unwillingness or incapability of learning Mandarin, and 3) the pride for the dialect (This false sense of superioty is particularly common among Shanghainese).

Anything that can be expressed in Greek can be expressed in Roman. Maybe I should make a modification to the proverb: Anything that can be expressed in dialects can be expressed in Mandarin.

Language diversity is not a goal that a government should pursue, but a problem that a government should eliminate. On the other hand, language is a communication tool. Acquiring more widely spoken languages is smart, but acquiring more narrowly spoken languages is stupid. Human brain has limited capacity and learning useless or less useful languages is a waste of brain capacity.

方言是交通和通讯不发达的产物, 是人间矛盾的祸根之一, 是国家分裂的借口, 是拉帮结派的动力, 是歧视异乡人的根据, 是交流沟通的障碍, 是工作效率的杀手, 是有限资源的浪费者, 是南方人高考拼音得低分和打字缓慢的原因 ...

消灭方言乃是交通,广播, 和通讯发展大形势之所趋,不可阻挡!
 

·
Not Cwite There
Joined
·
9,181 Posts
^^

I seriously doubt how much a Shanghainese can enjoy a cantonese song or opera.
Why does it matter?

EU can build unified market, unified monetary system, but EU can't build unified language unless Roman Empire is reborn. Any official EU document requires translations into 25 languages. What a waste of human resources! I see this as a major competitive disadvantage of EU comparing to USA and China.
EU has many obstacles true. However I think that if the EU succeeds in competing with the USA and China on a level playing field, it'll be the strongest of the lot, because the EU is founded on the princinple of diversity, understanding and cohesion, and not assimilation.

The reasons why people do not want to give up dialects are 1) habit, and 2) unwillingness or incapability of learning Mandarin, and 3) a false sense of superiority for the dialect (particularly in Shanghainese)
People in the south tend to be a bit snobbish, that I give ya, but IMO,they should be rightly proud of their cultural heritage, just as northerners should be proud of theirs. The current political climate suggesting that Beijing based culture should be the dominant culture of China and hence superior to all others is very arbitrary and utterly unfair. More understanding and integration would happen if all cultures and dialects were on a level playing field.

Anything that can be expressed in Greek can be expressed in Roman. Maybe I should make a modification to the proverb: Anything that can be expressed in dialects can be expressed in Mandarin.

Language diversity is not a goal that a government should pursue, but a problem that a government should eliminate. On the other hand, language is a communication tool. Acquiring more widely spoken languages is smart, but acquiring more narrowly spoken languages is stupid. Human brain has limited capacity and learning useless or less useful languages is a waste of brain capacity.
I think reality proves the opposite.

Simple fact is that people are proud and will be protective of their culture, and the idea that anyone can persuade others to give up on their culture is very unrealistic - people will fight tooth and nail to keep their identity. The only way to promote better integration IMO, is not assimilation, but pluralism - keep your identity, and I'll respect yours. Over time this pluralism will become a culture in itself.

Language shouldn't just be Life loses its magic when there aren't things that take time and effort to explore. Wouldn't life be utterly boring if everything were a clean sheet of paper?

方言是交通和通讯不发达的产物, 是人间矛盾的祸根之一, 是国家分裂的借口, 是拉帮结派的动力, 是歧视异乡人的根据, 是交流沟通的障碍, 是工作效率的杀手, 是有限资源的浪费者, 是南方人高考拼音得低分和打字缓慢的原因 ...

消灭方言乃是大形势之所趋,不可阻挡!
99%的中国人能说一口很流利的普通话。精通多种语言是人的本性,经过现代正规教育不可能出现普通话水平低下的现象。会方言,保护方言;遗传地方特色,完全没必要与国家分裂画上等号。暑假我在上海花旗银行实习,那几个人普通话上海华英语伦着说,根本没有妨碍工作效率。中国是一个很广泛的概念,是由多种不同的,历史悠久的文化组成的。消灭方言等于颠覆5000年的文化,这比太平天国、文化大革命的破坏性还要高。
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
20 Posts
I seriously doubt how much a Shanghainese can enjoy a cantonese song or opera.
Your point being? Cantonese do enjoy Cantonese opera and Shanghainese enjoy Shanghainese songs.

EU can build unified market, unified monetary system, but EU can't build unified language unless Roman Empire is reborn. Any official EU document requires translations into 25 languages. What a waste of human resources! I see this as a major competitive disadvantage of EU comparing to USA and China.
I see that as a strength as most Europeans grow up with more than one language which broadens ones understanding of difference and it's easier to tolerate difference when you can understand the language as language is the bearer of culture.

The reasons why people do not want to give up dialects are 1) the strong habit of speaking dialects, 2) the unwillingness or incapability of learning Mandarin, and 3) the pride for the dialect (This false sense of superioty is particularly common among Shanghainese).
Cultural identity is what defines your own identity. Taking this away means taking your identity away and people will fight to the last man to keep their identity.

Anything that can be expressed in Greek can be expressed in Roman. Maybe I should make a modification to the proverb: Anything that can be expressed in dialects can be expressed in Mandarin.
That is not true otherwise languages wouldn't need to borrow vocabularies from other languages.

Language diversity is not a goal that a government should pursue, but a problem that a government should eliminate. On the other hand, language is a communication tool. Acquiring more widely spoken languages is smart, but acquiring more narrowly spoken languages is stupid. Human brain has limited capacity and learning useless or less useful languages is a waste of brain capacity.
Would you drop your mothertongue?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
428 Posts
Would you drop your mothertongue?
I would be glad to drop my mother tongue if I find out that it is a useless language. In fact, I did.

Language is a communication tool and a base for building human mind, nothing more than that. I surely know many people (probably a vast majority of people) try to associate ethnic pride, culture pride, identity, etc. to the language and resist to adopt the more widely used language. In my view, it is just a reflection of narrow-mindedness of these people.
 
1 - 20 of 95 Posts
Top