Tibetan diaspora

The Tibetan diaspora is a term used to refer to the communities of Tibetan people living outside their original homeland of Tibet. Tibetan emigration has three separate stages. The first stage was in 1959 following the 14th Dalai Lama’s escape to Dharamshala in India, in fear of persecution from the People’s Liberation Army. The second stage occurred in the 1980s, when China opened Tibet to foreigners. The third stage began in 1996 and continues today although with less frequency. Not all emigration from Tibet is permanent; today some parents in Tibet send their children to communities in the diaspora to receive a traditional Tibetan education. The 2009 census registered about 128,000 Tibetans in exile, with the most numerous part of the community living in India, Nepal, and Bhutan. However, in 2005 and 2009 there were estimates of up to 150,000 living in exile.

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