Monday, June 20, 2005

Tibetan Village Project

tibet :: culture :: society :: internet

A good friend of mine, Tamdin Wangdu, started and currently manages a
non-profit called the
Tibetan Village
. I have talked with Tibetan friends and Westerners (Injees)
about a concept that is tangentially related: the preservation of
Tibetan culture in the West by means of establishing a functional,
thriving, "organic" Tibetan village. The architecture we are planning
is 100% authentic traditional. Tibetan monks and laity are providing
time, drawings, ideas, planning, and resources. It's getting exciting.

Tremendous resources would have to be poured into this. We're looking
at all kinds of options, from forming several companies that would
employ members of the village and whose profits would be put into
village infrastructure and support, to artisans and farmers.

The village would be comprised of Tibetans and Injees, both. Monks and
laity. Babies growing up, learning Tibetan and English fluently; the
culture and history of Tibet and the West being taught simultaneously.
The idea being that Tibetans would evolve from
refugees to a people with a new home, an old, preserved culture, and a
new integration.

But a group of people living together tends to have limited wide-spread
impact. We want this to be something that can be easily duplicated; we
want this idea to catch hold in the hearts and minds of others. We are
therefore going to publish ALL documents related to this project and
organize them for easy navigation and quick access of particulars.

This is a start... but we need to actively encourage and participate in
the wide-spread preservation of Tibetan culture. The first idea I had
regarding this was rather silly (but I still like it): to provide
streaming images and an application that could make these streamed
images the desktop background image on Mac OS X, Linux/*BSD, or even
*shudders* Windows workstations. Similarly for screensavers. The
streamed images would be taken from massive Tibetan digital archives
that detail every aspect of Tibetan life and culture.

The second idea I had is 100% inspired by BBC Radio Scotland. And yes,
we Scots are refugees ourselves -- just ask us! (Especially the
MacGregors...). BBC Radio Scotland is an amazing online resource for
both real-time and pre-recorded Scottish programs. Very well organized,
very simple to navigate, and a wide selection of modern Scottish
culture. It provides a perfect template or starting point for doing
this with any culture.

Imagine a Tibetan village in rural, mountain America. A village where
several clever and community-owned companies employ villagers; where
there is a focus on sustainability and cooperation; where there is a
very good broadband connection, with regular shows broadcast on the
internet live and archived for later listening. Shows of traditional
Tibetan music, world, national, local, and village news in Tibetan;
Tibetan news in Tibetan and English; shows discussing the cutting edge
politics, political research, self-governance, sustainable living, and
the Tibetan Village project; history shows; fictional story shows
presenting Tibetan folklore; various dharma talks and instruction by
monks and nuns; Tibetan language classes that are broadcast, as well as
English-for-Tibetans classes. Every member of the village would be
actively involved in preserving culture and spreading it; greatly
decreasing any possibility of the current trend: its complete

The list could go on and on...

And this is technically and exciting project: I see visions of twisted
python streaming media code :-) Twisted Oog Radio player anyone? Raise
your hand if you're sick of RealMedia and WMP? Yes... this could be
very cool.


I didn't make it to pycon this year, and I just found some good links
on streaming media with twisted, including a presentation at PyCon2005: ([Twisted-Python] streaming producer)
([Twisted-Python] First public release of Flumotion Streaming

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