Controversial footage shows nuns in choreographed performance

Nuns made to perform, dancing - image from video

6th December 2016

Nuns dance to Chinese propaganda song; most likely forced to perform

Video footage has emerged on social media which shows twelve Tibetan nuns dancing on stage to a propaganda song called "The Song of the Emancipated Serfs".

The dance was filmed on 10 November 2016 in Kongpo Gyamda (Ch: Gongbujiangda) County in Nyingtri (Ch: Linzhi) Prefecture in the Tibet Autonomous Region. It is believed that the nuns are most likely among those recently removed from Larung Gar, the Buddhist institute in eastern Tibet currently undergoing mass forced evictions and demolitions. The banner on the stage reads "Graduation Art Show for the Law and Politics Training Course for Buddhist Monks and Nuns, Kongpo Gyamda County".

The video has caused outrage online as, according to Tibetan Buddhist teachings, monks and nuns are not permitted to sing or dance in their robes for entertainment (rather than for religious rituals). This, combined with the fact that they are dancing to a Chinese propaganda tune, seems to indicate that they have most likely been forced to participate. 

Tibetans online have expressed their shock over the footage, with one saying “Absolutely scandalous! This is the highest level of degradation of the status of nuns. They are the guardians and protectors of the Dharma. They are not objects of entertainment for Chinese officials for their propaganda and mass brainwashing. A disgrace, a poor sight to witness, deeply saddened.”

“They have been forced by the CCP and they have no choice. We can't accuse them and they are in pain when they perform. If you want to blame someone then blame the CCP ...” another commented.

This footage comes just days after another leaked video from Tibet showed a group of nuns (also likely from Larung Gar) being made to sing pro-China songs as part of a 'patriotic re-education' programme.