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Dalai Lama, My Son by Diki Tsering

Dalai Lama, My Son (2000)

by Diki Tsering

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127194,816 (3.96)3
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The memoirs of the ordinary Tibetan housewife who became the Dalai Lama's mom. Diki Tsering was illiterate, but her niece tape-recorded interviews with her before her death in 1980 and those interviews became this book. I most enjoyed the first half, where Tsering talks about her childhood and early adulthood in Tibet before the Chinese invasion. Life in that time and place was very simple and had a lot of beauty, but a lot of harshness too. Tsering writes about the bad treatment of women in Tibetan society -- a daughter-in-law was basically a slave, and widows were compelled to remarry whether they wanted to or not -- and about how, of her sixteen children, nine of them did not live past infancy. Yet she clearly enjoyed her early life, surrounded by a loving family, and knowing very well her place in the world. Deprived as her existence was, she seems to have enjoyed a sense of security that the modern person's world lacks.

I thought the second half of the book, about the Dalai Lama's rise to power and the family's escape to India, was much weaker. I don't know much about the Dalai Lama's life or the situation in Tibet and I couldn't understand a lot of what was going on. I think if I knew more I would have liked this part better. For this reason I would recommend this as only a supplement to learning about Tibet and the Dalai Lama.

Can you imagine the bragging rights this woman must have had? Other people's sons get good grades in school or are star soccer players; her son was GOD. ( )
  meggyweg | Apr 17, 2009 |
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I had a strange, almost unreal life, now that I try to recollect my history.
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Book description
Overal ter wereld komen nu grote groepen mensen samen
om Zijne Heiligheid de Dalai Lama te horen spreken. Tientallen
jaren daarvoor zat er een vrouw bij een grote warme kachel,
de belangrijkste plek in haar eenvoudige Tibetaanse huis je,
in het besef dat zij een bijzondere, gezegende zoon op de wereld
had gezet. DE DALAI LAMA, MIJN ZOON ishetverhaal van
deze opmerkelijke vrouw, die in haar eigen woorden vertelt
hoe het was orn een zoon te hebben die overal werd ontvangen
als levende Boeddha, hoe hij geestelijk en lichamelijk groeide
en hoe hij uiteindelijk een van de meest gerespecteerde
mensen ter wereld werd.
Diki Tserïng, die nu bekendstaat als 'de grootmoeder van
Tibet', werd geboren in een boerenfamilie in 1901, het ijzer-os jaar. Ze trouwde op haar zestiende. IIIDE DALAI
LAMA, MIJN ZOON vertelt ze haar eigen uitzonderlijke levensgeschiedenis en die van haar zoon in zijn jonge jartf^ schrijft over de ontwikkelingvan de persoonlijkheid van Zijne
Heiligheid en over zijn boeddhistische opvoeding, over alje
mensen dïe naar haar dorp kwamen om de nieuwe Dalai Lama
te ontmoeten, over de verhuizing naar Lhasa en de jaren die
— haar familie daar doorbracht, totdat de Chinezen Tibet
.anenvielen. Ze beschrijft hoe haar familie uiteindelijk
vluchtteen in ballingschap ging. Door een beeld te schetsen
van de bakermat van de Dalai Lama, geeft dit schitterend verzorgde boek, dat familieportretten en een landkaart van Tiber bevat, een persoonlijk gezicht aan de geschiedenis van
de Tibctanen, de magie van hun cultuur, de roi van de Tibetaanse vrouwen de eeuwenoude Tibetaanse idealen vaa mededogen, geloof en gelijkgestemdheid.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0670889059, Hardcover)

The Dalai Lama's mother was illiterate but was a natural storyteller. When her granddaughter asked her to talk about her life, the stories began to roll out. She told of her wedding at the age of 16, her state of virtual servitude as a married woman, murderous ghosts, and her two dead sons left for the birds. Then, after a three-year drought and other strange events preceding the birth of her fifth child, the lamas came from Lhasa, and her Cinderella future was cinched. With her son the Dalai Lama ensconced in his palace, this nondescript peasant woman whose 16 children yielded three incarnate lamas, strolled her garden estate and hobnobbed with the aristocracy. And yet the intrigue, the perils of domestic and international politics, would soon take her husband's life, drive her remaining children into exile, and have her yearning for the quiet drudgery of her former life. Diki Tsering speaks with the unadorned simplicity of an ordinary country girl about a life that was anything but ordinary. --Brian Bruya

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:07 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

In this fascinating memoir the Dalai Lama's mother tells a compelling woman's story. With vivid and intimate details, she recounts her life's humble beginning, the customs and rituals of old Tibet, the births of her sixteen children (only seven of whom survived), learning her son's remarkable destiny, the family's arduous move to Lhasa before the Chinese invasion of Tibet, and their escape and eventual exile. Rich in historic and cultural details, this moving memoir personalizes the history of the Tibetan people--the magic of their culture, the role of their women, and their ancient ideals of compassion, faith, and equanimity.… (more)

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