Yudrug’s New Generation

Today is the fifty-first anniversary of the March 10th, 1959 uprising by Tibetans in Lhasa against China’s military occupation that allowed the Dalai Lama to escape capture and flee into exile. It’s appropriate, then, to share this post from High Peaks, Pure Earth, one of the best English language blogs covering what is happening inside Tibet via the Tibetan blogosphere. High Peaks, Pure Earth has a post up on the Tibetan hip-hop group Yudrug. The go by the English name Green Dragon, too, but Yudrug really means a type of horse popular in the part of Tibet where they are from. High Peaks, Pure Earth write:

The group however do appear to be very professional, as can be seen in their meticulously edited video and good sound quality. In the past, they have given due credit to the song composers, even crediting well-known Nepal based exile Tibetan singer Tsering Gyurmey for a cover of his song “Dream” that they recorded.

This bold new style of musical expression heard in “New Generation” has been quite controversial in Tibetan cyberspace with Tibetan bloggers praising Yudrug for their outspoken lyrics but some also criticising Yudrug for adopting a style that is seen as “too western”. Whatever your musical taste may be, the song is undeniably powerful and energetic with a rousing chorus:

The new generation has a resource called youth
The new generation has a pride called confidence
The new generation has an appearance called playfulness
The new generation has a temptation called freedom

I first watched the video for this song a few weeks ago with some Tibetan friends in New York. While it was incredible both from its level of polish, it was also remarkable to hear parts of it translated. It was defiant and proud and unapologetically Tibetan. Now, I see the full lyrics translated. They close with these lines:

Our story has not ended here
It’s just the beginning
We never fall asleep but are awake forever

Get used to dreaming
Get used to unlawful damage and uprisings
Get used to this way of living
Get used to moving forward

It is impossible to not see this short song, this music video as a tremendous body blow to the hopes of the Chinese government that the Tibetan desire for freedom may one day die with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

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