Overview for Tibet: The Roof of the World Between Past and Present
Superb mountains glinting with ice, high altitude deserts sprinkled with yaks and nomads, majestic ruined monasteries, infinite distances and bridges suspended over swirling rivers introduce the reader to the â€œcountry girdled by walls of snow-covered mountainsâ€ to use the definition of the Tibetans themselves. To western eyes, Tibet often seems a sort of superbly isolated fortress, untouched by time, withdrawn behind the Himalayas â€“ a marvelous, mythical, static, almost immutable country. In reality, it has always been a setting for change, earthquakes, wars, invasions and domination until recent times when it was shaken by political upheavals that catapulted it onto the international stage of the 20th century, a pawn in the games played by the major world powers. The author is a dedicated scholar of Tibet, who has spent years in this setting carrying out humanitarian projects; she leads the reader through the maze of geographical and geological, mythical and historical, social and religious events to reach the experience of everyday life in Tibet. The world of the Tibetans is still very much alive with an infinite number of contradictions: where the local cadres attempt to reconcile new social realities with ancient traditions, oracles still relay the voices of the mountain deities and Buddhist monks strenuously defend their religion in a moving blend of tradition and modernity. The text is the vehicle that guides the reader through a set of splendid photographs which together form an introuction to Tibet, to its world and its experiences, aimed at reader who wish to see beyond the old and new myths to the kaleidoscope of images that co-exist in the daily life of the Land of Snows.
Maria Antonia Sironi Diemberger (Author)
Maria Antonia Sironi Diemberger, is a geologist, writer and translator. Having toured the world as a mountaineer, she has participated with her daughter, Hildegard Diemberger, anthropologist and researcher at the University of Vienna, for fifteen years on field studies in Tibet and Nepal with the Italian Ev-K2-CNR project and with the University of Vienna. She acts as a consultant for television films. She is the founder and current president of the Voluntary Eco Himal Association which collaborates with local communities on humanitarian and cultural affairs.