President of the Tibetan Cultural
Center, Thubten Jigme Norbu, Taktser Tulku, was born in 1922
in the mountain village of Tengster in the province of Amdo.
As a young child, he was recognized as a reincarnated lama. When
he was eight years old, he began his training as a monk in Kumbum
In 1939 because of the discovery
and recognition of his young brother as the new Dalai Lama, his
family moved to the capital of Lhasa where Norbu eventually joined
them to recommence his studies at the great Drepung Monastery.
After ten years of study and
travel, he returned to Kumbum in 1949 to become Abbot. His life,
however, and that of his people were being steadily overwhelmed
by the political changes forced upon their country by China.
Refusing to cooperate with the Chinese, Norbu traveled to Lhasa
to warn his brother of the impending danger of the Chinese invasion.
Forced into exile in 1950,
he eventually settled in America where he married the younger
sister of Sakya Dagchen, the head of the Sakyapa sect. Soon after,
Norbu became assistant curator of the Tibetan collection at the
Museum of Natural History in New York City. In 1965, Norbu and
his wife, Kunyang, and their three young boys moved to Bloomington,
Indiana where he became Professor of Uralic and Altaic Studies
at Indiana University. He retired from teaching in 1987.
During his 46 years in exile,
Norbu has worked devotedly for the Tibetan cause, travelling
and talking throughout the USA and the world on behalf of his
people, making clear their undeniable right of self-determination
as a nation.
In 1996, Rinpoche led the 45-day
day trek from the Chinese Embassy in Washington D.C. to the United
Nations in New York City, protesting Chinese human rights violations
and demanding full independence for the sovereign nation of Tibet.
In 1997, he led a walk from
Toronto to New York City with members of the International Tibet
Independence Movement. This freedom march began on Tibetan Uprising
Day--March 10. It ended on Flag Dag--June 14 when the walkers
reached the United Nations Building.
SPEAK UP FOR FREEDOM FOR TIBET!
Thubten J. Norbu
and Monks speak up for Tibet