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The Complicated but True Story of New Refugees


516GbWFFiGLWhen Tibetan refugees arrive in India, our struggles aren’t over. We still have to find a way to live, starting completely over, in an environment that is not always welcoming. Some locals resent us, and some established Tibetans look down on us. The stories of new arrivals are rarely heard because they are complicated and messy, it’s no simple Shangri-la easily pitched to Western sponsors. That’s why I deeply appreciate that the author of Dharamsala Days/Dharamsala Nights has produced a work highlighting newcomers experiences. It may be controversial for some people for shining a light on the messy complication, but the lives it documents are real, important pieces of Tibetan history.




  1. Gede Prama says:

    visit your blog, read an interesting article. thank you friends for sharing and greetings compassion 🙂

  2. Joe Mickey says:

    Perhaps you can explain how this Author, working only by a pen name has the credentials to know and report on the inner workings of the Dalai Lama. I cannot seem to find this out anywhere. Thank you, Joe Mickey

    • kunsangdolma says:

      Before I can answer that, what exactly are you referring to? I can’t think of anywhere the book claims to know and report on the inner workings of the Dalai Lama. The only thing I can imagine you could possibly be talking about is that she speculates His Holiness’s advisers may not raise certain issues with him. But that is clearly presented as the guess it is, there’s no usual claims behind it that I remember.

      Personally, I deeply appreciate this book. It is the first time I know of when someone cared enough about the unique problems faced by new refugees to share our story, and to treat our experiences as an important part of the bigger picture of Tibetan culture. There are parts of the book that put exile society in a positive light as well as parts that are negative. I’m glad she tells the whole story, we are complicated human beings, and I don’t find it helpful or respectful when Tibetan society is reduced to anything less.

      • Joe Mickey says:

        This first lapse in credibility by an anonymous author is claiming to know the inner workings of the Office of the Dalai Lama and suggesting he is uninformed or manipulated by his advisors That would be on page 5, at this link where she or he claims to answer anticipated questions about the Dalai Lama’s role http://www.amazon.com/Dharamsala-Days-Nights-Unexpected-Refugees/dp/0992132002/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1394808725&sr=8-1&keywords=Dharamsala+days+and+dharamsala+nights

        Here is the thing, every single day professional journalists protect sources put their names, faces and even blood and lives on the line to tell stories. When you read Andrew Jacobs, you know the reputation of this NY Times reporter who has reported human rights from inside China for years. You know who you are reading you know their record and they take their lumps for their mistakes. They also have to meet a professional criteria overseen by professional editors and publishers that demand that the material be substantiated.

        Take the case of Malala, at 15 years of age, takes a bullet to the face and comes back with a professionally produced book, sources protected and it carries her name and her face.

        If this book is the level of self-published-vanity publishing from Westerners that is all that is required to define Tibetan culture, its a reduction of the truth, but please using the above link, what credentials can you provide on the author to support his or her claims to know these details.

        As an aside: Also, because its not hard to find because of sloppy work, a close relative of the author, posted a 5-star review of the book on Amazon and mounted a bogus defense, until I contacted her and asked that she be honest enough for full disclosure and suddenly the reviews and all the comments at amazon and facebook disappeared. Another lapse in judgement to allow this by the author. This author is hiding, but not anonymous and is easily discovered and named.

        For any truths contained here, Tibetans deserve higher quality work than this.

      • kunsangdolma says:

        I do see where it says the Dalai Lama’s advisers don’t seem to fully understand newcomer problems, but I’m just not seeing why that is a problem for you. In my own experience as a newcomer refugee, Dharamsala Days/Dharamsala Nights comes across as a remarkably accurate depiction of our experience.

  3. Joe Mickey says:

    kunsangdolma, unfortunately yours characterization is not the full quote from the book. And my issue is trying to understand the credentials of the author who in reporting anything in this book. In this example, she lays a blame on the staff of the dalai lama as keeping him either uninformed or misinformed and my question is to the credentials of the penned named author that they would have access to report as fact that his staff does not provide him with information. Please reread my full statement. This is a difficult book to recommend because of the pen name. There is no way to know the methods of gathering and substantiating or confirming information presented by the author and his or her representation of the inner workings of the Dalai Lama’s is simply an example of material the author claims as fact . Thank you for the conversation.

    In the end, after working with Tibetans for nearly 15 years, I have thousands of contacts both with Tibetans and with Tibetan supporters, organizations and scholars in a large collection of Asia and Tibet studies departments in colleges and universities across the country. I came across this book through an email asking what I knew and I was hoping the Author would help me out here. With answers to a few simple questions about the Authors methods and credentials, I could know what caveats and qualifications I could perhaps recommend this book to a great many people. It may well be a legitimate look at important issues, I am simply trying to ascertain to what professional research and journalistic standards it was produced from that I can give a proper recommendation or not .

    Thank you again
    Joe Mickey
    The Tibetan Photo Project

  4. Superb blog! Do you have any helpful hints
    for aspiring writers? I’m hoping to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
    Would you recommend starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a
    paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m totally overwhelmed ..

    Any tips? Thanks!

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