What special meaning does Tibet hold for you?

What are the living treasures of Tibet that enrich our world?

 What does the world lose if the unique Tibetan culture
and way of life is lost?

Welcome to WhyTibet — the place to find out why Tibet matters to people
around the world. We invite you to watch, speak and share as though our own future depends on it. Because in a way it does: we all have a stake in the heritage of Tibet and how its ancient wisdom can benefit our modern world. And now, more than ever, the Tibetans need our help.

Why Now?

In recent years, the crisis in Tibet has moved to a new level. Our hearts have been seared by images of monks, nuns and lay Tibetans setting themselves on fire, calling out for freedom in Tibet; communities demonstrating for their rights, and the Chinese authorities’ brutal crackdowns, arbitrary arrests, and beating and shooting of unarmed protesters. These acts of courage and atrocity have been caught on video, and seen by the world.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama has spoken out about the desperate conditions Tibetans face under Beijing’s rule with repressive policies and practices that contain elements of cultural genocide. For Tibetans, their language, religious practices and traditional way of life – their cultural and spiritual identity – are under assault. Read more about the background of the crisis.

What Is Needed

We can do more than ache for the people of Tibet. We can speak out for them. We can speak out to the world, reminding everyone why Tibet matters. WhyTibet is part of the global effort to keep the world’s attention focused on Tibet – not just because of the latest tragic events, but because of the grave threat to the beauty and power of the land and the people who live there. To remind the world what makes Tibet unique and precious: that there is no other place on earth like Tibet, and no other other people like the Tibetan people.

Unless the Tibetan language, culture, religion and society can flourish freely in Tibet, the unique Tibetan national identity cannot survive and the living treasures of Tibet will be lost to us forever. To save Tibet for Tibetans and for humanity, there must be basic human rights and fundamental freedoms in Tibet. The Tibetan people must be able to exercise their United Nations-recognized right to self-determination, choose their own way of life, and decide their own future.

What You Can Do

By telling the world why Tibet matters, we can help the Tibetan people’s non-violent struggle for their rights and freedoms and save their priceless heritage.

Visit the WhyTibet YouTube channel and explore the videos in which people around the world say why Tibet matters to them and humanity. Each video is 60 seconds or less. Search the channel for specific topics or check out the playlists.

  1. Share WhyTibet (whytibet.org) with your friends and family.

  2. Encourage people to watch the videos that informed and touched you.

  3. Follow WhyTibet on Facebook and Twitter (@whytibet, #whytibet).

  4. Email info@whytibet.org for information about contributing your own video.

Find out more about the situation in Tibet today and get involved with organizations that champion Tibetan self-determination, like the Committee of 100 for Tibet, Tibet Justice Center, International Campaign for Tibet, or one of the many regional support groups in the International Tibet Network.

Narrated by Peter Coyote with music by Nawang Khechog