Zap zap jé

Tibetan Snow Lion

Tibetan Snow Lion (གངས་སེང་གེ་)

While Tsering Woeser isn’t attending the Frankfurt Bookfair, her book – published by Lungta in German this month – is there: “You have the Guns, I have a Pen”. It’s a keyboard, in fact. She started documenting the Tibetan riots of March 2008 as a blog. In Taiwan, this book was published by Fair Morning Publishing in March this year, under the Chinese title “Year of the Rat, Snow Lion’s Roar” (鼠年雪狮吼), or “The Snow-Lion Roaring in the Year of the Mouse”. The Taiwanese publisher’s website also describes Woeser’s blogging routine, and the routine of those who read, hate and vandalize it:

“On May 28 [2008], the “Red Hacker Alliance” – 红客联盟 (hong ke or red guest instead of the conventional hei ke or black guest) attacked her blog and replaced it with the PR-Chinese flag and national anthem and posted personal attacks and intimidations.”

The China Digital Times recorded this and other “ID hijackings” in 2008 as they happened.

Wang Lixiong (王力雄), Han-Chinese and married to Woeser, told an audience including the Dalai Lama in a theater in Washington D.C.’s Chinatown earlier this month that

“.. loving China does not amount to loving the government. Daring to criticize the government is done for the good of China, but a government that cannot accept criticism can only bring harm to China.”

Some time earlier, in September, while her husband was already travelling in the US, Woeser had been told by the state security that

“If you go on like this, you will run into a wall. When the time comes, nobody will help you. That applies for you, that also applies for Wang Lixiong. He’s now in America, but when he’s back, we’ll call on him as usual.”

Zap zap jé is Tibetan and apparently means “I beg you, be careful”. In a normal country, people like Wang and Woeser would be full members of a civil society. Nobody would spend a thought on how to harass them. Only few of their statements would make it into the headlines, because they are hard to disagree with.

But then, what’s normal in the PRC?

“Ihr habt die Gewehre, ich einen Stift”, 看不见的西藏, Oct 15 2009
Snow Lion, Wikipedia, last ed. Oct 12; 16:05

11 Responses to “Zap zap jé”

  1. Another solid entry; thanks much for the heads up on this important story. I am just now figuring out the meaning of your earlier work, then, the tea visits…


  2. Forgot to mention that your illustration is particularly good today


  3. It’s actually half-stolen from reality, i.e., Wikipedia, or the Potala Palace.


  4. Hi, thanks for your frequent postings about Woeser. Woeser’s articles, essays and blogposts are frequently translated into English and posted on ‘High Peaks Pure Earth’:


  5. And thanks for the translations on High Peaks Pure Earth!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: