Every day China is in the news. Yet Tibet (TAR and cultural Tibetan areas), which makes up approximately ¼ of China’s landmass, is rarely covered. Put down your newspapers, turn off your podcasts, and pick up Barbara Demick’s latest book titled Eat the Buddha. Then, join The University of Washington's East Asia Resource Center Program Leader Tese Wintz Neighbor and Seattle World Affairs Council Global Classroom Director Ryan Hauck for a Book Club focusing on issues facing Tibet today.
As in her earlier book about life in North Korea, Demick captures crushing historical events through the stories of individuals. According to The Guardian, Eat the Buddha is a deeply textured, densely reported and compelling exploration of Ngaba, Sichuan, a “nothing little town that had just gotten its first traffic light” but that became, horrifyingly, “the undisputed world capital of self-immolations.”…The richness of this book lies in its nuance as much as its extraordinary detail. Ngaba’s residents are ambivalent towards the self-immolators: “I feel like there has to be a better way to express oneself,” the brother of one says. Many of those Demick interviews appreciate the material benefits the party has bought. But Han Chinese newcomers are doing better; inequalities rankle. And economics alone cannot compensate for the loss of culture and community, and the indignities of being treated as second class and suspect. A wealthy entrepreneur unable to obtain a passport tells her: “I have everything I might possibly want in life but my freedom.”
Join us as we grapple together with the complex issues of economic gain vs. cultural loss, the Dalai Lama’s teachings on non-violence vs. self-immolations, education reform vs. watering of language and culture, Xi Jinping’s political tightening, etc.
This program is co-sponsored by the East Asia Resource Center at the University of Washington and the Seattle World Affairs Council, Global Classroom, and funded by a Freeman Foundation grant in support of the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA). It is open and FREE to current K-12 in-service and current teachers of all grades and subjects.
Date and Time
Group 1: Monday, March 28, 2022; 4:30 PM to 6:45 PM (Pacific Time).
Group 2: Tuesday, March 29, 2022; 4:30 PM to 6:45 PM (Pacific Time).
Participants can decide at registration which session to attend. This book club will be held over Zoom.
- A physical or digital copy of the book (we will send it to participants through the seller Bookshop)
- Online Resource packet
- Four free Washington State OSPI clock hours
This program is open to in-service, current K-12 teachers of all subjects and grades. The priority deadline for registering for this program is February 17th, 2022. Space is limited, so make sure you register as soon as possible to save your spot. Please feel free to reach out to email@example.com if you have any questions. We look forward to seeing you!