Today I had lunch with some friends at this Shambhala Tibetan Restaurant ཤམ་བྷ་ལའི་བོད་ཟས། in the 武侯祠 district. We had tibetan tea and yogurt and groma གྲོ་མ་ (a beany kind of root, 人生果 in Chinese) and momos.
I’m staying at Holly’s Hostel, whose primary selling point is that it’s located right in the Tibetan district. So it was kind of infuriating to see scrawled on the “expression wall” on the third floor (where guests can write in crayon things like “I had a great time” or “greetings from Greece”)—written there at least three times, in English—the sentence “Tibet was, is, and will always be a part of China.” I actually saw this in Beijing on the back of someone’s shirt, where the front said “I HEART China”, where the heart was in the theme of the mainland Chinese flag (red background, yellow stars). Most of the time these shirts are otherwise innocuous, with, say, the Olympic logo on the back. I-heart-china shirts are very popular here. But the first one I saw was the one with the Tibet message on the back, which rather shocked me.