21st Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest People
Lost life

They fled Tibet 60 years ago in pursuit of their independence aspirations. They travel a million miles to find a place of their own, losing some of their family members along the way, while others bring their extended family with them. With the Dalai Lama, people have a platform from which to rebel against China and demand the destruction of their ancestral homeland. They develop their skills in the Tibetan refugee self-help center, where they not only educate themselves but also learn to knit and shape wood. As the years passed, they attained citizenship and had the opportunity to work in both the government and private sectors, but their ideal of freedom gradually faded. However, they were unable to forget about their native country. Because they never lost their land, as they age, their progeny have settled in numerous nations. Some remained in refugee centers and worked for ages, and some again came back after retirement because this is the only place in Earth where they talk in Tibetan and maintain their culture. Even though they now struggle to preserve their culture and language, they continue to try to pass along their previous way of life to the younger generation. Even if a prisoner loses the hope of freedom or becomes accustomed to life in jail, they will never forget the shape of freedom. Now they dye wool in the colors of their dreams, painting the country they have never seen. Everyone is currently on the verge of extinction; over time, they will all pass away while their dreams alone will endure. Perhaps this is the only way they will ever be free from suffering and shackles.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 07.2023
Date Uploaded: 11.2023
Photo Location: Darjeeling, India
Camera: Canon EOS 700D
Copyright: © Anindya Phani