Rewriting Shangri-La: Tibetan Youth, Migrations and by Heidi Swank

By Heidi Swank

In Rewriting Shangri-La: Migrations and daily Literacies between Tibetan adolescence in McLeod Ganj, India, Heidi Swank examines differing histories of migration and exile in the course of the lens of daily literacies. The formative years on whom this ethnography focuses stay in a group that has lengthy been romanticized by way of Tibetans and non-Tibetans alike, positioning those formative years to determine themselves as keepers of a contemporary day Shangri-la.
Through this ethnography - according to a decade of study - Heidi Swank means that via probably mundane writings (grocery lists, textual content messages, etc.) those formative years are transferring what Shangri-la capability by means of renogotiating very important features of existence during this Tibetan group to raised fit their lived - now not romanticized - stories as exiles in rural India.

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Additional info for Rewriting Shangri-La: Tibetan Youth, Migrations and Literacies in McLeod Ganj, India

Sample text

I have included Nyima in order to underscore the fuzziness and permeability of these youth communities. Nyima is a New Arrival; however, because he is related to a prominent McLeod Ganj family, he is able to move between the New Arrival and Born Refugee communities with varying successes. Overall, these youth highlight much of the variation present in among youth in McLeod Ganj. Born Refugees Among Tibetan exile youth in McLeod Ganj, Born Refugees make up the largest number of young people. Because these young people have wellestablished social networks, it isn’t uncommon for Born Refugees to make few, if any, foreign friends among the tourists, foreign volunteers, and expatriots in town.

For while Amerjit most likely does not read Tibetan, there are clues in this list that leave it easily interpreted. e. 0) among the Tibetan numerals and she places a summation line under the last item. It is easily inferred that these are numbers and, more exactly, they are amounts that Dikyi has figured she should be charged for the cigarettes. Although Amerjit does not know the total Dikyi has figured, he can easily discern that she has figured the total as a check on what he charges her. Moreover, because she uses Tibetan for these numbers, he also knows that this is information that she does not necessarily want him to have.

Figure 1-2: Dikyi’s Cigarette List 20 chapter one As we walk back to her store, she shows me the slip of paper. She tells me that the last column of Tibetan numbers refers to the total wholesale cost for each brand of cigarettes with the total for all the cigarettes at the bottom (in Tibetan numerals then repeated in words). She says that she uses this column to check Amerjit’s honesty. She writes down what he should charge her. She then compares it to what he asks for. She adds that Amerjit usually gives her a little discount, in effect actually losing money by doing Dikyi this favor.

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