The troubles of refugees in various parts of Asia have been capturing the headlines recently, but in the Himalayan mountain kingdom of Nepal about 100,000 Tibetan exiles have been eking out a precarious existence for almost 20 years, largely forgotten by the outside world.
GV EXT. Tibetan settlement in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal.
SV's Exiled Tibetans.(3 shots.)
SV TILT UP Tibetan woman weaving.
SV Picture of Dalai Lama.
GV Tibetan tea ceremony.
SV's Tibetan women making carpets (4 shots).
SV Boys shaking finished carpets. (2 shots).
In India,Tibetan refugees live in the Himalayan regions in conditions as bad as and sometimes worse than their fellows in Nepal. Spurned by Hindus as lower than "untouchables" in the caste system, they do whatever back-breaking work they an find. It is not uncommon to come across Tibetan women breaking up rocks on road-making projects. Large numbers of Tibetans have been moved to settlements hundreds of miles away from other groups, but a fortunate few -- about 600 -- have moved to Canada and a new life in the West. Tibetan Buddhism is the world's only surviving oral tradition, and is in grave danger of extinction. Few foreigners have the degree of dedication and skill necessary to achieve the highest levels of attainment.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The troubles of refugees in various parts of Asia have been capturing the headlines recently, but in the Himalayan mountain kingdom of Nepal about 100,000 Tibetan exiles have been eking out a precarious existence for almost 20 years, largely forgotten by the outside world.
SYNOPSIS: All but a small minority of rich Tibetans live in settlements which can only be described as squalid. By nature cheerful and accepting of whatever circumstances they find themselves in, the Tibetans in Nepal have made the best of an unhappy fate. Most fled from Tibet following the Chinese takeover in 1951, others were born here and have never seen their native land.
But they are steadfast in maintaining their cultural and religious traditions. Recently the Dalai Lama and other religious leaders have had the pleasure of seeing Tibetan Buddhism take root and flourish in many countries throughout the world. But despite efforts by several international agencies most of the refugees are stuck where they are, with minimal prospects of an improvement in their living conditions. The reason for this? No-body wants to offend the Chinese, with their powerful economic and political leverage.