Bettering Tibet

Chronicling events unfolding in the holy land of Tibetan Buddhism

The largest Buddhist academy in the world lies deep in the mountains of the Chinese province of Sichuan. Larung Gar is a holy place of Tibetan Buddhism, where some 10,000 monks and nuns train. It is here that the Chinese government's antipoverty program has set an infrastructure "betterment" project in motion, aiming to turn the area into a tourist destination. The government has also implemented its decision for the Tibetan people: the collective resettlement of nomads, education in the Chinese language, and patriotic indoctrination. After three years, the lives of a people who have retained their culture and religious tradition for well over a millennium have seen drastic changes. This carefully documented, on-the-ground report provides the world's first window on these developments.