Self-Immolation in Tibet





Self-Immolation in Tibet

Culture has always imposed a considerable influence on the people occupying a particular communal or social context. In fact, most of the traditions and practices that are carried out across the globe similarly arise from the influence of cultural mores and norms that are usually regarded as highly significant. However, not all cultural traditions and practices elicit optimistic and positive perspectives irrespective of the most profound connotations and meanings that they embody. In some areas of asia such as Pakistan and Indonesia, conventions such as honor killing have always been applied in an effort to maintain the ethnic ‘sanctity’ and religiosity of the settings in question. Such an oxymoron provides a wider platform for discussing the events that are currently taking place in Tibet as an outcome of the influences above. According to Zhiyong (para. 1), incidences of self-immolation have been recurrent among Tibetan monks partly due to the ethnic reservations they possess concerning the Han majority who are perceived as devils. Hence, in an effort to sustain their purity, some of the monks engage in the act of ‘self-burning’ as a way of escaping from life under a malevolent law (Zhiyong para. 1). More shockingly, it is evident that nearly 100 monks, as well as ordinary persons, have engaged in the act of self-immolations further pushing the Chinese government to focus on restricting the recurrence of this act (Zhiyong para. 2). While the maintenance of ethnic sanctity may constitute a reason for the actions in question, blame for the recurrence of self-immolations should be centered on the government’s significant policy failure in the land of Tibet over the last six decades. Even though the act of self-immolation is cruel in its own nature, it has rapidly become a form of self-expression for the cultural assimilation, political repression, economic marginalization, social discrimination, as well as environmental devastation that the Tibetans are forced to encounter on a routine basis.

Work Cited

Zhiyong, Xu. “Tibet is Burning”. The New York Times, 12 Dec. 2012, Accessed 9 Aug. 2016.

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