By Qingzi Fan
What is the cost of a free government-sponsored education? Tibetan children, Tashi and YuJu were chosen to study in Mainland China joining thousands of Tibetan kids in the boarding schools for only Tibetans. These boarding schools prepare them to return to Tibet as China’s new elite, but the “first class” education comes with a deep loss of identity, language and culture.
Lillie Rebecca McDonough
Shanghai Gong Kang Middle School, Marcia Rock, NYU NewsDoc faculty and all my NewsDoc 2016 families
YuJu, Tashi, Liu Zong, Yiting Wong, YuJu’s mother, YuJu’s grandfather, Tashi’s mother, Tashi’s father
I was born and raised in China. When I was younger, I had the opportunities to travel outside the country and when I was traveling, I couldn’t help but notice that a lot of the western media coverage about Chinese issues were a lot different from what I was told in China. Tibet-China relationship is one of those issues. Later on, after I went to college, I had the chance to travel to Tibet and really immersed myself into the local community. I started to know the Tibetans that are currently living in the Tibetan Plateau and made friends with a few Tibetans in my college in Shanghai. Through one of them, I found out the policy that selects the brightest Tibetan students and lets them study in Mainland China for almost a decade. It was a mind-blowing moment for me, because the policy has been going on for over 30 years, and I had no idea it existed.
ONE WAY HOME brings about a conversation on what’s going on with the young Tibetans who are living in the plateau and Mainland China. For many reasons, we barely hear their voices from western media. As a Chinese filmmaker, I want to give a voice to these kids, who choose to live thousands of miles away from home, who though miss their family and hometown still embark on a tough journey, a journey leading to a brighter future.