Global Not Focus: A story of a Tibetan Taiwanese

 This week is about a Tibetan who lives in Nepal.

There are many Tibetans who lives in Nepal.  They are mainly from 2 sources. Some are the Tibetans who exile to Nepal and India after China’s occupation of Tibet. Some are Tibetans who originally live in the Nepal-Tibet border area, and put under to Nepal after the clearance of borderline. They’re culturally Tibetan, politically Nepali.

The former stay in Nepal as a refugee. Because of the influence of China recent years, they are constrained in every aspect. Fewer people could safely exile from the border, even arrive Nepal, there is a risk to be sent back. For most of the exiles, India is their better stop.

The later culturally the same as Tibetan in Tibet, even preserve more ancient Tibetan culture. In Tibetan Autonomous Region, Tibetan culture was facing the challenge of sinofication and modernization. The Tibetan in Nepal, on the other hand, because of living in remote Himalaya, geographically separated, and the Laissez-faire of Nepali government, they have more freedom, which helps to preserve their culture. But the contrary, those places have a lack of infrastructure, education resources…etc. These Tibetan are from Dolpo, Humla, Manaslu, Mustang….the remote mountain areas in Nepal. Every of them I want to visit.

But the Tibetan we talk about this time doesn’t belong to any case above.  He is not only a Tibetan but also a Taiwanese who lives in Nepal.


I don’t know much about this guy.
* I met him in my Japanese friend’s shop in Kathmandu. My friend said this guy comes every day to their shop, keep talking things all the time. He has Tibetan facial features like high cheekbones, big nose, wide forehead…with darker complexion and curly hair. But he told me he is Taiwanese, and talked in Mandarin with Taiwanese accent. He showed me his Taiwanese ID card.

* He called himself “Alu”, which means potato in Nepali and Hindi language, the staple food other than rice there. I guess because it’s easy to be remembered, or he doesn’t care about his real name

* His clothes were old, but look clean. He is sharp-eyed, often stares people with popped eyes. He is cynical, the hostility surrounds him can be obviously observed. Normally he is not so aggressive, he lives freely, doesn’t care the material world that much. He is not hypocritical, he sees and speaks the real world.

He loves music, always carry a Murchunga( also known as Jew harp), improvises whenever he wants. He said it’s his tool to hit on girls.

* Nepali people thought he doesn’t understand Nepali, Chinese thought he doesn’t understand Mandarin, Tibetan not sure he is Tibetan or not. Then when he hangs around, he understands Nepali business man’s deal behind tourists, the bias Chinese had toward Nepalis and the things people want to hide from the other group. If He heard any insult to him, never hesitate to have a real flight.

* Alu said he was picked up to Taiwan by the government of The Republic of China(ROC) when he was a child. They show his parent a magical machine, which deliver food by pressing a button, let them believe there is a better life in Taiwan. After he arrived, he realized it was actually a vending machine.

But the life in Taiwan wasn’t that good. The Tibetan children like him were sent to an institute like an orphanage, lacked resources and management. (He said the food was bad.) He and others joined a gang when they were only 12,13, doing some illegal things.

This is how his Taiwanese ID came from. As to the reason why ROC government do that, I guess it related to the political situation that time. Tibetan issue is one of the battlefields between ROC and PROC.

* When I met Alu, he just came back from Pokhara, a beautiful lakeside city in Nepal. He said was a Sadhu (Hindu ascetic) for months there. Sounds more like he played the role for reasons other than religious one. He said, during that time, he saw the ugly faces of the human being and the cruelty of humanity. He talks like a person without past and doesn’t care about future.
* He doesn’t talk about his family, but I remember he did has few siblings, seems not in Nepal, one is in Taiwan, one is in another foreign country, maybe America.
*He is the first and only one I met who is not a Tibetan Buddhist Tibetan. He believes in Hindu, Shiva is his god. He prays every midnight under the statue of Shiva near Durbar Square. He thinks Buddhism is hypocritical, the Shiva with rage and destructive power is the real god. 

* Because he understands the language, he knows everything here in Thamel, the center of tourist industry in Kathmandu. He said if he wants to do business here, he can easily become a millionaire. But he hates money, he thinks it’s the worst thing in the world, the origin of sin.

He takes Chinese who he met on the street, who is interested in doing business here to see the goods. He doesn’t take money after the deal is done since he hates money. But he won’t reject if the Chinese offer a feast or some drinks to thank him.

* He is good at deceiving people, I can never tell his real purpose. One time he said to a Chinese how he good at picking up western girls, and willing to teach him how to do that, even help him to get one. I was curious and joined. It was my first time in a bar, and I couldn’t get the logic at all, but seems picking up the girl is not really easy. At the end, I just paid for the drinks with that Chinese guy. Maybe the whole scenario was just for the free drinks XD

* Alu fights with locals a lot. He is not tall, but quite strong, especially his arm. He himself is proud of that. He is a frequent visitor to the police station. He was put in jail every time after fighting. Police know him well. I haven’t seen him after the earthquake 2 years ago, so as my Japanese friend. Recently my Japanese friend she asked the police about Alu. Police said he is still alive. Seems he still goes to police station regularly.

* His visa has already expired 3 years ago. It seems not easy for him to come back to Taiwan.