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China / Tibet: Different names of geographical places and knowledge of the administrative units
1 China / Tibet: Different geographic locations and knowledge of the administrative units Information Adrian Schuster Bern, December 2, 2015
2 1 Introduction The Swiss Refugee Aid received various questions about the current situation, everyday life and the environment of the local population in Tibet. This information deals with questions about the different geographic locations, the administrative units of Tibet and the knowledge of the local population. This information is based on expert information 1 and on our own research. 2 Difficulties regarding generally valid statements. Generalizations not possible. According to various experts on Tibet, information on various issues relating to the everyday life of the Tibetan population can usually not be given in a generalized form. According to the assessment made by Geoff Barstow 2 from Otterbein University in Westerville USA on March 31, 2015, the situation in the various areas can vary greatly. 3 Answering questions about everyday life and the various aspects of the life of Tibetans within the Tibet Autonomous Region (AGT) and in the areas outside the AGT is therefore extremely complex. This information was provided by a contact person 4 with expert knowledge on Eastern Tibet on April 28, 2015 due to the diverse regional differences and the differences between rural and urban areas. According to the contact person, it is not possible to generalize and transfer individual findings that apply to a specific region to other regions and provinces in the Tibet Autonomous Region or to the outside Tibetan areas. 5 Anne Carolyn Klein, professor in the Department of Religion at Rice University in Virginia also emphasized in a publication from 2008 that the great diversity in Tibet makes it impossible to generalize the whole of Tibet. 1 According to the COI standards, the SFH uses publicly accessible sources. If no information can be found in the time-limited research, experts are called in. The SFH documents its sources in a transparent and verifiable manner. For reasons of source protection, contact persons can be anonymized. 2 Dr. Geoff Barstow is a recognized academic specialist and has researched and published on Tibet for years. He holds an assistant professorship in religion at Otterbein University in Westerville USA with a specialization in Tibetan and Chinese religion. Dr. Barstow has many years of local experience in Tibet and Nepal. He emphasized to the Swiss Refugee Aid SFH that his answers were mainly based on his work on site in the Kham region (Eastern Tibet, mostly in the Sichuan province and parts of Qinghai, Gansu and Yunnan). Since the situation in different areas is very different from one another, his answers are only applicable to the Kham area. 3 -Answer from Dr. Geoff Barstow from March 31st The contact person has researched, published and worked on site on Tibet for years. The contact person mainly refers to the areas of Tibet in Amdo and Kham, which are outside the AGT. The answers also refer mainly to the social and economic context in rural areas. 5 Interview with a contact person with expert knowledge on Tibet from April 28th China / Tibet n der Orte / Admin. Units information December 2015 Page 1 of 11
3 do. According to Klein, due to the impassable terrain and limited transport options, it can be assumed that the respective population of a single valley has its own customs. Villages are sometimes far from each other and can only be reached by traveling for days or weeks on foot or by horse. Therefore it can be assumed that the population in the different areas would handle everyday activities in different ways. In her publication, Klein also refers in particular to the everyday lives of Tibetan women. 6 Geoff Child, Professor at the Department of Anthropology at Washington University, also stated in a publication on everyday life in Tibet from 2004 that it was “nonsense” to make general statements about “Tibetan culture” based on knowledge gained from a single region or locality. to make as a whole. Tibetans are an extremely diverse group whose social practices and cultural ideas differ from region to region, from valley to valley and sometimes even from village to village. 7 Central government directives are often implemented differently by local authorities. According to various sources, it must also be taken into account that instructions from the Chinese central government are often implemented differently in the provinces, districts and counties. It can therefore be assumed that there may be local deviations. 8 3 Administrative units 9 Chinese administrative levels. There are five hierarchical administrative levels in China: Province, Prefecture, County, Township, and Village. There are, in turn, different units within these levels. At the provincial level, a distinction is made between autonomous regions (zizhi qu), provinces (sheng) and municipalities directly under the central government (zhixia shi). Within the prefectural level, a distinction is made between prefectures (diqu), autonomous prefectures (zihi zou), municipalities and other administrative units at this level. At the county level, a distinction is made between counties (xian), districts (shixia qu), autonomous counties (zizhi xian) and other units. At the township level there are towns (zhen), townships (xiang) and other units. At the village level there are neighborhood committees (jumin weiyuan hui), communities (shequ), villages (cun) and gacha. 10 Tibet Autonomous Region (AGT), Tibetan Autonomous Prefectures and Counties. According to the 2010 population census, around 6.2 million ethnic Tibetans lived in China. Around 2.7 million lived in the 6 Anne Carolyne Klein, Meeting the Great Bliss Queen, Buddhists, Feminists and the Art of the Self, 2008, S Geoff H. Childs, Tibetan Diary: From Birth to Death and Beyond in a Himalayan Valley of Nepal, 2004, S Interview with an expert contact person on Eastern Tibet, April 28, 2015; Landinfo, China, passports and supporting documents, unofficial translation of an analysis of Landinfo Norway by the Federal Office for Migration FOM, Switzerland, April 8, 2011, p. 5: 9 See the appendix for various overview maps. 10 Rongxing Guo, Understanding the Chinese Economies, 2013: p. 13. China / Tibet n der Orte / Admin. Units information December 2015 Page 2 of 11
4 men area Tibet (AGT) 11, which covers the western part of the Tibetan plateau. 12 This area is officially referred to as the Xizang Autonomous Region in Chinese. 13 Most of the other 3.5 million Tibetans live in the eastern part of the plateau, in so-called Tibetan autonomous prefectures and counties. These are located in the provinces of Qinghai, Sichuan, Gansu and Yunnan. 14 Ü-Tsang 15, Amdo and Kham. Tibetans generally divide the Tibetan plateau into the regions of Ü-Tsang (roughly the area of the AGT), Amdo (northeastern part of the plateau, part of the provinces of Qinghai and Gansu), and Kham (southeastern part of the plateau, part of the Sichuan provinces and Yunnan). 16 prefectures and counties in the AGT. The Tibet Autonomous Region consists of six prefectures and the Lhasa Municipality. As a further administrative sub-unit, these are divided into a total of 73 counties. 17 As a further sub-unit there are 140 towns (towns) and 543 municipalities (townships). 18 Tibetan Autonomous Prefectures and Counties outside the AGT. There are six Tibetan Autonomous Prefectures in Qinghai Province: Guoluo, Haibei, Hainan, Haixi 19, Huangnan, Yushu. 20 In the province of Sichuan there are the two Tibetan autonomous prefectures Aba 21 (Ngawa) and Garze / Ganzi as well as the Tibetan autonomous county Muli / Mili. 22 Finally, there is the Tibetan 11 English: Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) in Gansu Province. 12 Zhiyue Bo, China's Elite Politics, Governance and Democratization, May 14, 2014, p. 202; Human Rights Watch (HRW), "They Say We Should Be Grateful"; Mass Rehousing and Relocation Programs in Tibetan Areas of China, June 2013, p. 34:; Central Tibet Administration (CTA), Tibet at a Glance, website, undated (accessed October 16, 2015): 13 In the Tibetan language, the area is referred to as Bö or Bod Chen. Andreas von Hessberg, Waltraud Schulze, Tibet: With Lhasa, Mount Everest, Kailash and Eastern Tibet, 2014: S Zhiyue Bo, China's Elite Politics, May 14, 2014, p. 202; HRW, "They Say We Should Be Grateful," June 2013, p. 34; CTA, Tibet at a Glance, website, undated (accessed October 16, 2015). 15 Sometimes also called Tsang-Ü. 16 HRW, “They Say We Should Be Grateful”, June 2013, p. 34; Wang Shiyong, Tibetan Market Participation in China, 2009, p. 12: 17 See list of all counties in the appendix. Gerard Postiglione, Ben Jiao, and Li Xiaoliang, Education Change and Development in Nomadic Communities of the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR); in: International Journal of Chinese Education 1, 2012, p. 89:; China Tibet Online, About Tibet, Administrative Division, December 16, 2010: Gerard A. Postiglione, Ben Jiao, and Melvyn C. Goldstein, Education in the Tibetan Autonomous Region; in: Janette Ryan (Ed.), Education Reform in China: Changing Concepts, Contexts and Practices, 2011, S China Tibet Online, About Tibet, Administrative Division, December 16 Haixi is both Tibetan and Mongolian autonomous prefecture. 20 The People's Republic of China, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Administrative Division of Tibetan Areas, undated (accessed October 21, 2015): Zhiyue Bo, China's Elite Politics, May 14, 2014, p. 202; CTA, Tibet at a Glance, website, undated (accessed October 16, 2015; China Tibet Online, Tibetan autonomous prefectures (counties) in other provinces, December 16, 2010: 21 Aba is both Tibetan and Qiang autonomous prefecture. 22 Muli is located in Liangshan Prefecture. Zhiyue Bo, China's Elite Politics, May 14, 2014, p. 202; CTA, Tibet at a Glance, website, undated (accessed October 16, China / Tibet n der Orte / Admin. Units Information December 2015 page 3 of 11
5 Gannan Autonomous Prefecture and the Tibetan Autonomous County Tianzhu 23. The Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture Deqen (Dechen / Diqing) is located in the province of Yunnan. According to various sources, geographical locations such as towns, passes, rivers, lakes and mountains in the AGT as well as in the Tibetan region outside the AGT often have both Tibetan and Chinese n.25 The contact person with expert knowledge on Eastern Tibet pointed out on April 28, 2015 points out that the Tibetan and Chinese names of geographical locations are not always congruent, neither territorially nor conceptually. 26 According to the publication by McCue in 2002, administrative centers in particular have different names and some places also have older names, some of which are no longer in use but are still used by older people. There are also variations of the common n of important passes, rivers, mountains and valleys, especially in Eastern Tibet. The population in one valley often designates a pass with a different n than the population in the valley on the other side of the same pass. 27 Claude André 28, the director of the Institut de cartographie du Tibet (Tibet Map Institute), also stated on October 23, 2015 that localities sometimes have two different n, depending on which side you enter a village from. According to the director, place names are sometimes pronounced very differently by the Tibetan population 29, which generally makes it extremely difficult to localize a place without any doubt on the basis of oral information. The pronunciation of certain Tibetan place names is often only understood by the local population. 30 Not all localities recorded on maps. Nor can it be assumed that all of the localities are recorded on existing maps. According to the director of the Institut de cartographie du Tibet (Tibet Map Institute) 23 ibid. 24 ibid; China Tibet Online, Tibetan autonomous prefectures (counties) in other provinces, December 16 National Geographic, Tibet s Disputed s, June 14, 2011: Jamin York, The Land of Snows, Travel Information, Tibetan Place s, November 28, 2008: -place-names.html .; Nicolas Tournadre, The Dynamics of Tibetan-Chinese Bilinguism, in: China Perspectives, January-February, 2003: Gary McCue, Trekking in Tibet, A Travelers Guide, 2002, S Interview with a contact with expert knowledge on Eastern Tibet from April 28th Gary McCue, Trekking in Tibet, A Travelers Guide, 2002, S Claude André is director of the Institut de cartographie du Tibet (Tibet Map Institute) in Èze, France. He is a recognized expert in the cartography of Tibet and has worked in this area for decades. Claude André has a great deal of expertise and experience in the complexities of capturing and creating precise maps and place names of Tibet. 29 For various Tibetan languages and dialects, see also Swiss Refugee Aid, China / Tibet: Languages and Knowledge of the Chinese Language, December 9th For identification, the region, the prefecture, the district, the nearest monastery, the To know valley and other details. China / Tibet n der Orte / Admin. Units information December 2015 Page 4 of 11
6 it should be noted that localities are sometimes extremely small. A village often only consists of four houses and the most important larger town in the vicinity only has ten to 15 houses. In addition, many Tibetans, even professional chauffeurs, cannot read maps based on the experience of the director. Knowledge of the local population with regard to administrative units. According to Geoff Barstow on March 31, 2015, it is possible that there are Tibetans who have never sent a letter and therefore do not know whoever is in their own place. 32 According to the information from April 28, 2015 by another contact person with expert knowledge on Eastern Tibet, not every Tibetan knows the person in their own place. This knowledge may also decrease with the spread of cell phones. 33 Knowledge of administrative units. Contacted sources gave the Swiss Refugee Aid SFH different information regarding the knowledge of the local population about administrative units. Geoff Barstow stated on March 31, 2015 that it is possible that a Tibetan does not know the official Chinese name of the administrative unit of his or her place of residence. 34 According to two sources, many Tibetans, especially those who do not have a school education, know their village, region and other places only by the Tibetan names. 35 The contact person with expert knowledge on Eastern Tibet reported on April 28, 2015 that the Chinese administrative terms (xiang, xian, zhou) had become part of the Tibetan vocabulary in many places. According to the same source, it is possible for people who have gone to school to know the division into administrative units. According to the contact person's assessment, it is possible, for example, that people from rural areas also know their village, municipality, district and province, but not necessarily other places. According to the contact person, however, it cannot be assumed that a Tibetan person knows all districts and counties of Tibet (AGT and regions outside the AGT). It is also likely that Tibetans would be more likely to know their Tibetan terms. 36 It is possible that a person barely moved outside the area of their own municipality. According to a Tibet expert, it is possible that certain people in Tibet will only move within a very short time during their entire life. Answer from Claude André, Director of the Tibet Map Institute, October 23rd Answer from Dr. Geoff Barstow on March 31st Interview with a contact person with expert knowledge on Eastern Tibet on April 28th Answer from Dr. Geoff Barstow of March 31, ibid; Interview with a contact person with expert knowledge on Eastern Tibet from April 28th Interview with a contact person with expert knowledge on Eastern Tibet from April 28th China / Tibet n der Orte / Admin. Units information December 2015 Page 5 of 11
7 move zen. According to the information provided by Geoff Barstow on March 31, 2015, it is possible that Tibetan people from rural areas have hardly ever left the area of their own community. In particular, this could apply to women. According to Geoff Barstow, it can be assumed that most people have already visited a local city in the vicinity, but have not necessarily traveled further than this distance Appendix 6.1 Maps Figure 1: General map of Tibet (green line shows the boundaries of the autonomous region of Tibet (AGT) Answer from Dr. Geoff Barstow on March 31, "The blue map area is the area of the Tibetan civilization extention. The green area is the limit of the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) that represents the Tibetan Province of the Popular Republic of China. »Tibet Map Institute, General Map of Tibet, website, undated (accessed October 16, 2015): China / Tibet n der Orte / Admin.Units information December 2015 Page 6 of 11
8 Figure 2: Prefectures in the AGT Tibetan and Chinese n of the counties in the AGT Lhasa Municipality on the map of the Tibet Map Institute 41 Wylie) Lhasa Lhasa lha-sa Lhundrup Lhünzhub lhun-grub Tibet Map Institute, The seven Tibetan Prefectures, website, undated ( Accessed October 16, 2015): 40 Ibid. 41 Tibet Map Institute, Tibet Counties Map, website, undated (accessed on October 16, 2015): China / Tibet n der Orte / Admin. Units information December 2015 page 7 of 11
9 Damshung Damxung 'dam-gzung Chusul Qüxü chu-shur Tolung Dechen Doilung dêqên stod-lung-bde-chen Medrogungkar Maizho kunggar mal-gro-gung-dkar Taktse Dagze stag-rtse Nyemo Nyêmo snye-mo Lhoka prefecture map Institute 42 Wylie) Lhokha Shannan lho-kha Nedong Nêdong sne-gdong Zangri Sangri zangs-ri Chusum Qusum chu-gsum Gyatsa Gyaca rgya-tshva Lhuntse Lhünzê lhun-rtse Tsona Cona mtshag Gong snaraggar. Comadai L-kongsho gong-dkar Dhranang Chanang gra-nang Chonggye Qonggyai 'phyons-rgyas Nakartse Nagarzê sna-dkar-rtse Chamdo prefecture on map Ibid. China / Tibet n der Orte / Admin. Units information December 2015 Page 8 of 11
10 Wylie) Chamdo Qamdo cha-mdo Drayab Chagyab brag-g-yab Dzogang Zogang mdzo-sgang Lhorong Lhorong lho-rong Pelbar Banbar dpal-'bar Riwoche Riwoqê ri-bo-che Gonjo Konjo go-'jo Jomda Jomda mjo-mda ' Markham Markam smar-khams Tengchen Dênqên steng-cheng Shigatse Prefecture on the map of the Tibet Map Institute 44 Wylie) Shigatse Xigazê gzis-ka-rtse Panam Bainang pa-snam / rnam Droma Yadong dro-ma Gampa Kamba gam-pa Tingkye Dinggye mtsho Sa 'gya sa-kya Ngamring Ngamring ngam-ring Tingri Tingri ding-ri Nyalam Nyalam gnya' lam Drongpa Zhongpa 'brong-pa Kyirong Gyirong skyid-grong Ibid. 44 Ibid. China / Tibet n der Orte / Admin. Units information December 2015 Page 9 of 11
11 Namling Namling rnam-gling Shetongmon Xaitongmoin bzhod-mthon-smon Rinpung Rinbung rin-spungs Gyantse Gyangzê rgyal-rtse Saga Saga sa-dga 'Khangmar Kangmar khang-dmar Lhartse Lhazê lha-rtse on map of the Tibetan Prefecture Map) Nakchu Map 45 Nakchu Nagqu nag-chu Nyenrong Ngainrong snyan-rong suction suction suction Dz Lhari Lhari lha-ri Shentsa Xainza shan-rtsa Palgon Bangoin dpal-mgon Amdo Amdo a-mdo Drachen Baqên sbra-chen Driru Biru 'bri-ruonyi Shouanghuis Ngari Prefecture on the map of the Tibet Map Institute 46 Wylie) Ngari Ngari mna-ris Ibid. 46 Ibid. China / Tibet n der Orte / Admin. Units information December 2015 Page 10 of 11
12 Ruthog Rutog ru-thog Gergye Gêgyai dge-rgyas Gertse Gêrze sger-rtse Burang Burang spu-hreng Tsochen Coqên mtsho-chen Gar Gar sgar Tsamda Zamda rtsa-mda 'Nyingtri Prefecture on the map of the Tibet Map Institute 47 Wylie) Nyingtri Nyingchi Nyingchi khri Gya- Kongpo mda Gongbo 'Gyamda kong-po-rgya-mda Pome Bomê spo-mes Nang Namshan snang-dz Menling Mainling sman-gling Metog Mêdog me-tog Dzayul Zayü rdza-yul SFH publications on China / Tibet and other countries of origin of refugees can be found at Swiss Refugee Aid SFH is committed to ensuring that Switzerland complies with the right to protection from persecution enshrined in the Geneva Refugee Convention. The SFH is the politically and denominationally independent national umbrella organization of refugee aid organizations. It finances its work through federal mandates and through voluntary support from private individuals, foundations, cantons and municipalities. The SFH newsletter informs you about current publications. Registration under 47 ibid. China / Tibet n der Orte / Admin. Units information December 2015 Page 11 of 11
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