Description - Echoes from Dharamsala by Keila Diehl
In this work, Keila Diehl uses music to understand the experiences of Tibetans living in Dharamsala, a town in the Indian Himalayas that for more than 40 years has been home to Tibet's government-in-exile. The Dalai Lama's presence lends Dharamsala's Tibetans a feeling of being "in place", but at the same time they have physically and psychologically constructed Dharamsala as "not Tibet", as a temporary resting place to which many are unable or unwilling to become attached. Not surprisingly, this community struggles with notions of home, displacement, ethnic identity and assimilation. Diehl's ethnography explores the contradictory realities of cultural homogenization, hybridity and concern about ethnic purity as they are negotiated in the everyday lives of individuals. In this way, she complicates explanations of culture change provided by the popular idea of "global flow". Diehl's narrative argues that the exiles' focus on cultural preservation, while crucial, has contributed to the development of essentialist ideas of what is truly "Tibetan". As a result, "foreign" or "modern" practices that have gained deep relevance for Tibetan refugees have been devalued.
Diehl scrutinizes thi
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(229mm x 152mm x 22mm)
University of California Press
Publisher: University of California Press
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Author Biography - Keila Diehl
Keila Diehl is a Fellow in the Humanities at Stanford University.