and Thubten Norbu
Norbu's 1996 Welcoming Speech to His Holiness the Dalai Lama
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President of the Tibetan Cultural Center,
Thubten Jigme Norbu, Taktser Tulku, was born in 1922 in the mountain
village of Tengster in the province of Amdo. As a young child,
he was recognized as a reincarnated lama. When he was eight years
old, he began his training as a monk in Kumbum Monastery.
In 1939 because of the discovery and
recognition of his young brother as the new Dalai Lama, his family
moved to the capital of Lhasa where Norbu eventually joined them
to recommence his studies at the great Drepung Monastery.
After ten years of study and travel,
he returned to Kumbum in 1949 to become Abbot. His life, however,
and that of his people were being steadily overwhelmed by the
political changes forced upon their country by China. Refusing
to cooperate with the Chinese, Norbu traveled to Lhasa to warn
his brother of the impending danger of the Chinese invasion.
Forced into exile in 1950, he eventually
settled in America where he married the younger sister of Sakya
Dagchen, the head of the Sakyapa sect. Soon after, Norbu became
assistant curator of the Tibetan collection at the Museum of
Natural History in New York City. In 1965, Norbu and his wife,
Kunyang, and their three young boys moved to Bloomington, Indiana
where he became Professor of Uralic and Altaic Studies at Indiana
University. He retired from teaching in 1987.
During his 46 years in exile, Norbu has
worked devotedly for the Tibetan cause, travelling and talking
throughout the USA and the world on behalf of his people, making
clear their undeniable right of self-determination as a nation.
In 1996, Rinpoche led the 45-day day
trek from the Chinese Embassy in Washington D.C. to the United
Nations in New York City, protesting Chinese human rights violations
and demanding full independence for the sovereign nation of Tibet.
In 1997, he led a walk from Toronto to
New York City with members of the International Tibet Independence
Movement. This freedom march began on Tibetan Uprising Day--March
10. It ended on Flag Dag--June 14 when the walkers reached the
United Nations Building.
SPEAK UP FOR FREEDOM FOR TIBET!
Thubten J. Norbu
and Monks speak up for Tibet