You han people!

4 Feb

We visited the Yonghe lamasery just before the spring festival.  The complex was very grand and the statues very impressive but what really caught my attention was the many burly young men in brown traditional costumes whose sole duty seems to be  shouting now and then at tourists wielding cameras not to take pictures. The funny thing is I didn’t remember reading on any of the tourist websites warnings against taking pictures. The only warning I see are posted only at the entrances to the museums.

Anyway. At one of the halls, I caught a lama muttering,”You han people!” at a tour guide before walking away. She went, ” I already informed them not to take pictures. What else can I do?” Then realizing the implication of his words, she added,” What do you mean You han people? What kind of a monk are you?” But I think it was more for the benefit for her fellow chinese as the lama has gone away.

It was at that point I realized that 1)the lamas are not chinese. 2)there’s a simmering tension beneath the peace and harmony

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