On 10 December 1989 the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to someone who described himself as a “simple monk from Tibet” and described the prize as a “recognition of the true values of altruism, love, compassion and nonviolence”. We all know that ‘someone’ was the Dalai Lama.
During his acceptance speech in Oslo, the Dalai Lama announced he was accepting the prize “on behalf of the six million Tibetan people, my brave countrymen and women inside Tibet, who have suffered and continue to suffer so much.” He went on to describe the situation in Tibet and assert his belief that one day Tibet will be free: “They confront a calculated and systematic strategy aimed at the destruction of their national and cultural identities. The prize reaffirms our conviction that with truth, courage and determination as our weapons, Tibet will be liberated.”
The award of the Nobel Peace Prize was an important event and one which, at the time, helped to draw international attention to the Chinese repression in Tibet and the Tibetan people’s commitment to non-violent resistance. It is something that Tibetans in exile have commemorated annually ever since.
As part of the 2016 commemoration, the Tibetan Community UK organised a poetry competition for Tibetan children, who were invited to compose poems inspired by the Dalai Lama. Free Tibet is delighted to be able to share those poems with you now.
A cupola casting a beam of purity
Faith rewarding in all its obscurity
Through the murky mass of common life
Through the obstacles that lay in rife
‘What is the point in life?’, one ruminated.
‘Is there an answer to why we were created?’
We look for an answer in only the world that we know:
But the answer is always matched with misgiving.
So then one takes gaze
To another world in the next phase
Of our life
One cannot choose one’s roots
But that says nothing for their attributes
And as one blossoms into their lotus
One will only notice
The stunning pulchritude
With serenity and intelligence
Of the Buddhist way of benevolence
The life we are currently getting through
Will, if lived correctly, lead us to
-By Namgyal Samuels
We may be young, but we will bloom like flower
We may be small but we will build a tower.
We may be invaded but we have hope.
This hope will guide us through thick and thin
Only to find the power within.
Tibet’s trust and loyalty
We have with us will forever live as we know.
The rage inside will never give in.
Red robes, his hands together for the world.
His compassion deep down in our hearts,
Our hope still not gone.
For the day, we will rise,
For the day, we will have freedom,
His Holiness will be by our side.
Through thick and thin his voice will not fade.
Our culture as strong as ever,
We will never forget.
-By Tenzin-Choenyi Tshering
His Holiness lifts my spirit.
His words of wisdom,
Are as powerful as his Kingdom.
He’s core of our culture.
He brings joy to our lives.
He inspires many people with intriguing speeches.
He brings hope to all Tibetans.
He brought peace to our country in time of need.
He is the 14th Dalai Lama.
We cherish and respect his Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.
Love and faith to our spiritual leader.
Together all of us human beings have kindness in our hearts.
Everybody helps others and not only in our prayers.
A good heart means a good path in life.
The Dalai Lama has a friendly and gentle personality.
We shall follow his path and become great people.
Happiness is not something ready made,
It comes from our own actions.
To be kind, honest and have positive thought,
We must forgive those who harm us and treat everyone equally like we want to be treated.
Help people who are suffering.
Never think of yourself as perfect.
Thank you his Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama for guiding our paths in life.
We admire you as our special leader. We worship you. We love you!
We pray Long Live His Holiness the Dalai Lama!
-By Tenzin Dadon Phunstok
In my opinion Kundun is a very lovely leader of Tibet.
Especially, Kundun is very kind!
The Dalai Lama is a religious God.
To me when I look at Kundun he’s a very warm person.
1940 was a new chapter for Tibet and its history.
Dalai Lama taught us,
Fear is powerless.
And we shall let go of all desires.
If nobody taught all of this.
The Dalai Lama wouldn’t be passionate or truthful of what we do.
We are Tibetans and we
Should be Proud.
Through love I find peace,
Through peace I find passion,
Through passion my chains are broken.
I am now FREE.
-By Pema Daddul
The Dalai Lama is an important person to all Tibetans.
When China took over Tibet it was a big problem because the Dalai Lama couldn’t get out of the fight.
When the fight stop The Dalai Lama manage to get out. But on the way the Dalai Lama got tired and tired.
-By Tenzin Yandhen
Eleanor is Director of Free Tibet and also of our research partner Tibet Watch. She joined the movement professionally in April 2013, having previously been Director of Casework for legal charity Amicus, where her work focused on the death penalty in the US. With a law degree and an MA in human rights, Eleanor has worked for many other campaigns and projects, including One For Ten, PeaceBrigades International, the Burma Human Rights Documentation Unit and the British Institute of International & Comparative Law. She has been a supporter of Free Tibet since her student days and has supported the Tibetan cause for over 20 years. Read updates from her on Twitter and each month on our blog.