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From: China Tibet Online 2012-02-17 10:25:00
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Tibet is the exact opposite of what Western media depicts: Finnish scholar

"What I saw in Tibet was the exact opposite of what I had read in the Western media." So says the Finnish scholar Eirik Granqvist in his recent article published by China Daily, China's leading English newspaper.

Mr. Eirik Granqvist has lived in China for one and half years, and visited southwest China's Tibet and neighboring Qinghai Province. Be scared at first to land on a “totalitarian state” limned by Western media, he then turns to realize that "I could not have been more wrong. People, including policemen, were friendly and ready to help."

Also his travelling experience in the remote highland is a strong evidence to prove that "all this Western talk about China 'suffocating Tibetan language and culture' is nothing but a lie."

"After delivering my lectures in Dalian, Liaoning province, and Shanghai, I spent one month traveling around China with my wife. I sought the help of a Chinese friend to book air tickets and get hotel reservations. Where would we go? I wanted to see her reaction when I said "Lhasa", capital of the Tibet autonomous region. "No problem," said my friend. I got the same answer when I told her that we also wanted to go to the Xinjiang Uygur and Inner Mongolia autonomous regions and Yunnan province."

"Lhasa was very clean and organized where one could get anything, including fresh grapes and other fruits. We hired a guide just during our visits to Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple. For the rest of our stay in Lhasa, we were alone and went wherever (and did whatever) we wanted to. People, of course, were curious, but in a friendly and natural sort of way. Few spoke English but talking with them was a great pleasure."

"We saw very few policemen and most of them were Tibetans. Thanks to our visit to Tibet, we realized that for ordinary people, religious practices are part of everyday life. All official signs in Lhasa are both in Tibetan and Chinese languages, with the former preceding the latter in most. In the parks in front of Potala Palace, Tibetans from the countryside were having picnics and enjoying their visit to Lhasa. So all this Western talk about China "suffocating Tibetan language and culture" is nothing but a lie."

"What I saw in Tibet was the exact opposite of what I had read in the Western media." The scholar writes in his article .

[editor : ]
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