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China Campaigns to Change Local Tibetan Dialects to ‘Improve Civility”


Tibet glaciers

Chinese officials have launched night classes in Driru County, Tibetan Autonomous Region of Nagchu Prefecture to teach Tibetans in what they call “improving their civility” where authorities instruct local Tibetans to not use certain expressions, such as Kho-re, a common greeting expression widely used in the traditional Tibet provinces of Kham and Amdo.

Lhukar Jam, Dharamsala based Tibetan activist who recently ran for Sikyong (head of the Central Tibetan Administration) candidacy, says word 'Kho-re' is expressed with sense of equality and directness, and that the Chinese government has no business in changing Tibetan languages used in different regions of Tibet. Jam added that making Tibetans from certain region of Tibet feel their language and way of life as less civilized represses their sense of pride and freedom.

Last year, authorities started teaching “honorific” languages commonly used in U-tsang region of Tibet at daycare centers in Nagchu where people traditionally did not use such languages.

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