By Keila Diehl
26 b/w pictures, 1 map In Echoes from Dharamsala, Keila Diehl makes use of song to appreciate the reviews of Tibetans residing in Dharamsala, a city within the Indian Himalayas that for greater than 40 years has been domestic to Tibet's government-in-exile. The Dalai Lama's presence lends Dharamsala's Tibetans a sense of being "in place," yet while they've got bodily and psychologically built Dharamsala as "not Tibet," as a short lived resting position to which many are not able or unwilling to develop into hooked up. no longer unusually, this group struggles with notions of domestic, displacement, ethnic id, and assimilation. Diehl's ethnography explores the contradictory realities of cultural homogenization, hybridity, and predicament approximately ethnic purity as they're negotiated within the daily lives of people. during this means, she complicates motives of tradition switch supplied by way of the preferred suggestion of "global flow." Diehl's available, soaking up narrative argues that the exiles' specialize in cultural maintenance, whereas the most important, has contributed to the advance of essentialist rules of what's actually "Tibetan." for this reason, "foreign" or "modern" practices that experience won deep relevance for Tibetan refugees were devalued. Diehl scrutinizes this stress in her dialogue of the refugees' enthusiasm for songs from blockbuster Hindi motion pictures, the recognition of Western rock and roll between Tibetan adolescence, and the emergence of a brand new style of contemporary Tibetan track. Diehl's perception into the soundscape of Dharamsala is enriched through her personal reports because the keyboard participant for a Tibetan refugee rock crew known as the Yak Band. Her groundbreaking learn unearths the significance of tune as a website the place reliable and private, outdated and new representations of Tibetan tradition meet and the place varied notions of "Tibetan-ness" are being imagined, played, and debated.
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Extra resources for Echoes from Dharamsala: Music in the Life of a Tibetan Refugee Community
At this point, the ethnographer is faced with a clear choice: either dismiss the natives as mystified and carry on or back up and critique the theories that refuse a home to their experiences. Or do a bit of both. This project’s aim was quickly altered, and a fruitful dialogue between theory and practice, home and the field, began. Introduction / 5 As a result of this dialogue, I have become aware of the distance between much scholarship on displacement and the people whose experiences actually inspired and generated the current trends.
Because I am concerned about Tibetan refugees, I care about the long-term effects of idealistic representations and expectations, however positive and practical these may seem at the present moment. Western and Tibetan accounts have together played an important role in the development of an ideal Tibet and, by transference, of an ideal Tibetan refugee. The following overview of representations is meant primarily to define important trends in research and publishing on Tibetans, to lay the groundwork for understanding the ways in which these trends inform the multiple and interwoven contemporary discourses about identity and representation that are both brought to bear on and produced by Tibetan refugees.
In this way, expressive performances can geographically “place” exiled Tibetan performers and audiences precisely by reminding them that they are not at home (which is both true and politically important to reiterate). At the same time, however, these individuals are participating in a moment in which sounds, images, and feelings fleetingly coalesce to create a place that feels like home, so that, potentially, “the expression of the desire for home becomes a substitute for home [and] embodies the emotion attendant upon the image” (Seidel 1986: 11).