Larung Gar

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The houses of the town on the hillside

Larung Gar (Tibetan: བླ་རུང་སྒར་Wylie: bla rung sgar, Chinese: 洛若乡, luoruoxiang) or the Larung Valley is a town in Sêrtar County of Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, in Sichuan, China.[1] The population of over 40,000 comprises primarily monks and nuns making it possibly the largest religious institute in the world, and is based around the Serthar Institute founded by Jigme Phuntsok.[1]

In June 2016, Chinese authorities ordered a reduction of the resident population to no more than 3,500 Tibetan nuns and 1,500 Tibetan monks, which was implemented by housing demolition. On the other hand, the government gave no restrictions on the growth of Han Chinese migrants in the area.[2]

Ngarig Buddhist Institute[edit]

The institute seen from the North

The Larung Five Sciences Buddhist Academy is a Buddhist academy located in the Larung Gar.

It was founded in 1980 in the uninhabited valley by Jigme Phuntsok,[3] a lama of the Nyingma tradition. The academy has grown substantially since: as of 2015, it is home to over 40,000 monks and nuns.[4] Nuns and monks are segregated by age and sex. Housing for monks and nuns are divided by a winding road that divides the city. The Chinese government has prohibited the use of television and other communication equipment in the area.[4]

Horxi Samyang Lonpê Buddhist Institute[edit]

The Larung Horxi Samyang Lonpê Buddhist Institute (Tibetan: བླ་རུང་ཧོར་ཤིལ་འཇམ་དབྱངས་བློ་འཕེལ་ནང་བསྟན་སློབ་གླིང་།, ZYPY: Larung Horxi Jamyang Lonpê nangdän lobling, Chinese: 喇榮霍西文殊增慧佛學院; pinyin: Larong Huoxi wenshu zenghui foxueyuan) is a Buddhist institute 20 kilometers from the Ngarig Buddhist Institute at Larung, 40 kilometers from the central town of Sêrtar County. It's not located in Larung Valley but has been renamed to its current name by Cüchim Lozhö (ཚུལ་ཁྲིམས་བློ་གྲོས།), Känbo of the Ngarig Buddhist Institute.

Demolition[edit]

In 2016, reports emerged from Tibet that there was mass demolition drive by the People's Republic of China and huge violation of human rights of ethnic Tibetans and even the cancellation of the annual Larung gar festival of Tibetans.[5] It follows an order last month by the local authorities to cut the number of Larung Gar residents by half to 5,000 and a reward offer to ethnic dwellers if they move.[6][7] On 6 December 2016, Tibetan Government-in-Exile urged UN to intervene on the issue.[8] On 15 December 2016, European Parliament passed a resolution against Chinese autocracies and condemned dismantling of Larung Gar.[9][10] However, a report in August 2017 found that the demolitions are still being continued, not due to overpopulation since the area is expansive, but because of a government program to turn the sacred site as a 'tourist attraction'. Thousands of Tibetans have already been displaced, while a Han Chinese migration program to the area continues to soar.[11] The report also found that the Tibetans whose houses were destroyed were forced to sign documents that legally bound them in renounce their land rights in Larung Gar. Afterwards, they were 'sent away via buses' without notice on where they will be relocated.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Amanda Williams (27 June 2013). ""Little boxes on the hillside... home to 40,000 Buddhist monks: The stunning makeshift town that has sprung up around a Tibetan monastery"". The Daily Mail Online. Retrieved 2017-08-04. 
  2. ^ "Larung Gar: China 'destroys buildings' at Tibetan Buddhist academy". BBC News. 2016-07-22. Retrieved 2016-12-16. 
  3. ^ Edward Wong (2016-11-28). "China Takes a Chain Saw to a Center of Tibetan Buddhism". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-12-15. 
  4. ^ a b Daily Mail: "The largest Buddhist settlement in the world: Inside the village where 40,000 monks and nuns are segregated and televisions are banned... but iPhones are allowed" Becky Pemberton, 19 April 2015
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-12-03. Retrieved 2016-12-20. 
  6. ^ "China Offers Cash Rewards For Departures From Larung Gar". Radio Free Asia. Retrieved 4 August 2017. 
  7. ^ "Larung Gar: China 'destroys buildings' at Tibetan Buddhist academy". BBC. 22 July 2016. Retrieved 4 August 2017. 
  8. ^ "Tibetan govt. calls on UN for immediate action to save Larung Gar". The Tibet Post. Retrieved 2017-08-04. 
  9. ^ "UNPO Welcomes EU Resolution on Ilham Tohti and the Larung Gar Tibetan Buddhist Academy". Unpo.org. Retrieved 4 August 2017. 
  10. ^ "Human rights: Buddhism in Tibet, Rohingya in Myanmar, mass graves in Iraq - News - European Parliament". Europarl.europa.eu. Retrieved 4 August 2017. 
  11. ^ https://nextshark.com/larung-gar-china-is-demolishing-the-worlds-largest-tibetan-buddhist-institution-displacing-thousands-of-monks/
  12. ^ https://thediplomat.com/2017/08/china-tears-down-the-tibetan-city-in-the-sky/

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 32°08′08″N 100°27′23″E / 32.1356°N 100.4565°E / 32.1356; 100.4565