Featured weekly article: Reinterpreting the Past or Asserting the Future? National History and Nations in Peril – The Case of the Tibetan Nation

Reinterpreting the Past or Asserting the Future? National History and Nations in Peril – The Case of the Tibetan Nation

By Anne-Sophie Bentz

Volume 6, Issue 2, pages 56-70

 

Abstract

In this paper, I will explore the idea that the importance of the past tends to become overwhelming when the nation is in peril. The Tibetan nation is one of those nations which is, or thinks it is, in peril; hence, I contend, its constant need to assert its existence. I intend to examine how the history of Tibet has been transformed into a national history by discussing key historical events and relating them to the Tibetan interpretation as it developed in exile, particularly in India. With this I hope to shed a new light on how national history, or, more precisely the (re)construction of a national history, can become instrumental in asserting a threatened nation’s existence and how this can affect the very content of the nation’s history.

 

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