"Or if we go into the mountains of Tibet, where I'm doing a lot of research recently, you'll see... [the] crude face of political domination. You know, genocide, the physical extinction of a people is universally condemned, but ethnocide, the destruction of people's way of life, is not only not condemned, it's universally, in many quarters, celebrated as part of a development strategy. And you cannot understand the pain of Tibet until you move through it at the ground level. I once travelled 6,000 miles from Chengdu in Western China overland through southeastern Tibet to Lhasa with a young colleague, and it was only when I got to Lhasa that I understood the face behind the statistics you hear about: 6,000 sacred monuments torn apart to dust and ashes, 1.2 million people killed by the cadres during the Cultural Revolution. This young man's father had been a scribe to the Panchen Lama. That meant he was instantly killed at the time of the Chinese invasion. His uncle fled with His Holiness in the Diaspora that took the people to Nepal. His mother was incarcerated for the crime of being wealthy. He was smuggled into the jail at the age of two to hide beneath her skirt tails because she couldn't bear to be without him. The sister who had done that brave deed was put into an education camp. One day she inadvertently stepped on an armband of Mao, and for that transgression, she was given seven years of hard labor. The pain of Tibet can be impossible to bear, but the redemptive spirit of the people is something to behold."
- Wade Davis, excerpt from the 2003 TED Talk Dreams from Endangered Cultures