Tweeting in Tibetan and What the Buddha Would Think

The Buddha

I confess that I have been bitten by the Twitter bug. It is not as bad as the Swine Flu or even the seasonal flu.  There is no shot to be taken, except for the pot shots that one could take on others.

I succumbed to it some months back and began tweeting about this and that. In the process, I had an epiphanic moment during which I realized that if I had to venture into this somewhat egoistical adventure I might make it useful to myself. It was thus that I changed from tweeting in English to doing so in Tibetan so as  to encourage myself to practice the language better.

I don’t know whether I am the first one in tweeting in Tibetan (see my ego here), but the experience has been worthwhile.  Tibetan is a formal language, at least to me, and trying to express my informal trivial experiences in 140 words or less has been interesting, to say the least. I even have the chance to see how Tweeter computes 140 words in Tibetan. They seem to look at every consonant and vowel as a word.

Those of you who can read and write in Tibetan, please take a look at my tweeting and let me know what you think.

Being a Buddhist it was natural for me to wonder what would the Buddha think about tweeting. Lo and behold, someone has already blogged on this on the Huffington Post.

This individual quotes some words that are ascribed to the Buddha. Whether or not he said these is something that I cannot confirm but I tend to subscribe to some of them that I have copied below.

“Never allow yourself to envy others. For you will lose sight of the truth that way.”

“Better than a thousand senseless verses is one that brings the hearer peace.”

“The one who talks of the path but never walks it is like a cowman counting cattle of others but who has none of his own.”

“The conquest of oneself is better than the conquest of all others.”

Be that as it may, I wonder how involved are the Tibetans in Tibet. I have heard of tweeting in Chinese, which has been having some impact in the Chinese society. Could there be Tibetans in Tibet or China who tweet in Tibetan? Do you know of any?


11 thoughts on “Tweeting in Tibetan and What the Buddha Would Think

  1. Tweeting in Tibetan will be very useful for most Tibetans and it could be one way to preserve our unique language. But the Tibetan script is not easy to read, it seems some work needs to be done to rectify this problem.

    1. Tsering la,

      Yes, Tibetan on the computer is somewhat complicated. However, since the introduction of Unicode, using Tibetan on the internet has become comparatively easier. I think the more people start using Tibetan for everyday needs the better there will be the hope of a more user-friendly version coming out.

  2. Except today, not a single day in my past 17 years in exile I was convinced that any Tibetan writers who write in English really care about the fate of written Tibetan language.

    Bhuchun la, I hope ICT will spend more money on promoting the online use of Tibetan language. It’s very moving to see you start tweeting in Tibetan. The font size is too small and how can I enlarge it? I have got same problem using Tibetan on Skype – the Tibetan font appeared to be too small to read.

    1. Yudug la,

      Many thanks for your sentiments. The main reason why I try to blog and tweet in Tibetan is to encourage myself and others to make the Tibetan language relevant to our day-to-day existence in this globalised world.

      As for the font size, I have noticed that when I type on the Mac the size is bigger whereas when I do so on a PC it is smaller. WordPress does not seem to have the ability to enlarge the font. If there are geeks out there who can help me, please do.

  3. Bhuchung la, thanks for your reply. I went to see your Tibetan blog and posted a comment asking to recommend me any sources where I can learn more about you. I came to exile in early 90s from Amdo and all I only know that you are a graduate of Delhi University and worked for Indian Express before working on Tibetan Bulletin. I like to know more about you.

    1. Yudug la, That is basically it. I grew up in Bylakuppe and started working in Delhi and Dharamsala after my schooling, before my move here.

      As for your earlier query about skype, I believe the Beta version that is out there accomodates Tibetan language better.

    1. Many thanks for your comments. If you tweet in Tibetan, let me know. We can all make tweeting in Tibetan hip and popular.

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