At the same time this book represents my very personal attitude towards Tibetan children. Over a period of five years I gathered wide experience of working with these children in different places including India, Nepal and Switzerland. This led to strong personal sharing of their fates and contributed at the same time to my own development. The focus of my work is on the Tibetan Children's Village in Dharamsala, where for four years I accompanied a group of Children, Meeting and Working with them every year.
The collection of paintings and stories in this volume was assembled through conversations with the children (the communication was carried out in English). Moreover, in Dharamsala it was possible to engage in a deep exchange of ideas with the local Tibetan experts in education.
A particularly important experience was the opportunity to present numerous pictures and stories to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama in person. His deep empathy with the thoughts and feelings of each child and his heartfelt sympathy with the idea of this project were of great significance to me. Inspired by the abundance of creative thoughts of the children, His Holiness the Dalai Lama spontaneously wrote a poem himself in the end of our meeting! The content of this poem touches miraculously upon the underlying aim of this book, which attempts carefully and sensitively to get closer to the inner world and thoughts of the Tibetan children who expressed themselves often symbolically in paintings and writings in so many diverse ways.
After an introduction into the present day situation of the Tibetan refugees and the Tibetan mode of education in exile, a short description of the methodological approach is given. It is followed by a presentation of individual encounters and the creative work with the children. Then the emphasis is placed on the works of the children, which are arranged into various categories. In some works they express their personal feelings (love, homesickness, jealousy, etc.); in other they present their thoughts in the form of fairy-tales and dreams. The subjects of religion and love of nature play an important role, as do various aspects of social life, which sometimes also touch upon political issues. The poems at the end are mostly chosen from works by older pupils. The texts inspired by one particular picture are of special value, as it was drawn specially for this project with great empathy and interest by Ven. Thupten Ngodub, Medium of the State Oracle of his Holiness, the Dalai Lama ("Nechung Oracle").
Back of the Book
In this book, Dr. Gabriele Rabkin has collected stories and paintings done by Tibetan children of the Tibetan diaspora that depict vividly many of their concerns, hopes and aspirations. I feel optimistic that despite acquiring languages, customs and ambitions that may diverge from Tibetan tradition, most of the children who have expressed themselves are motivated by the traditional Tibetan values of compassion and concern for others that are a source of hope and success
From the foreword by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.
From the Jacket
Being "far away from home" is a fate that Tibetan refugee children share with many other refugee children in other parts of the world. In this book Tibetan creative work helps us to understand what is special about their fate and how they live in exile.
Over a period of five years the author gathered wide experience of working with these children in different places including India, Nepal and Switzerland. The focus of the work is on the Tibetan children's Village in Dharamasala. In Dharamsala it was possible to engage in a deep exchange of ideas with the local Tibetan experts in education.
A particularly important experience was the opportunity to present numerous and stories to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. His deep empathy great significance to the author. His Holiness spontaneously wrote a poem himself in the end of the audience
About the Author
Dr. Gabriele Rabkin is a professional psychologist and educator at the Institute for In Service Teacher Training in Hamburg, Germany. She works in national and international challenging projects about children and adults.
F. e. She was the leader of the project "Ways to writing and culture" (Hamburg part of UNESCO Institute and the institute for In Service Teacher Training under the title " Family Literacy", which is especially devoted to the cooperation with migrant parents in the field of school education.
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