Thursday, 26 April 2012

Ms.Elizabeth Williams Oerberg

Elizabeth Williams Oerberg

Excerpt from Ms.Elizabeth Williams Oerberg introduction.... Dated : 22-April-2012
The reason why speaking is important because in an academics , if you want to be an academics . You not only have to write you also have to speak , you have to give conferences and presentations. And most often when you trained(study) Bachelor , MA ,Mphil level then it mostly written but when you reach to PhD all of sudden you have to give papers to large audience and that can be quite intimidating , so being able to speak about your research is very important.

Her speech on her research “Ladakh Students in Delhi and the Role of religion plays in their lives"

What I like to talk about is findings of my research ..
What i expected before I came here that there were may be around forty-Fifty Ladakhi in Delhi and those students in Delhi and those student in Delhi they would be very much interested in cosmopolitan , global modern life style in Delhi and not very interested in Buddhism because I thought that Buddhism might be connect to more traditional as in not modern life style for the tradition back home. 
But when I came to Delhi there is more than fifty students the figures people say is 500-700 students here not the moreover I have met here , but I would say that the students that I have met they are very interested in Buddhism at this troubled me made me confused actually why are they so interested in Buddhism it didn't make sense to me and after thinking about it for a while I realized , because students are away from home , because students are in this big city Delhi amongst other students they meet student who ask them their classmates " they say are you Buddhist ? " and Ladakhi students who are Buddhist' there's Muslims students ofcourse but one who are Buddhist they say "yes i am Buddhist " then their classmates ask them what is Buddhism ?

And then only !! then our students first forced to stop and think actually think ! What is Buddhism , and then this kind of questioning and this idea 'yes i am Buddhist' but what does that mean drive students to learn more about Buddhism, to become more curious about once own religious background or culture or traditional background. So students want to learn more about Buddhism but the problem arises when being away from home being away from more traditional ways of learning about Buddhism such as watching your parents engaged in rituals or visiting the monasteries or going to listen to a Rinpoche so students have to find new way to learn about Buddhism while here in Delhi and in this way I think its very interesting because students than rely on new media , new technologies for learning about Buddhism they are reading books in English ,they are watching you-tube videos by HH Dalai Lama and they are attending different functions throughout Delhi some are help by Rinpoche's and lamas and some are help by other people , lay people, monastic people from different traditions in Buddhism as well. 
So it is interesting to see how students are very creative and inventive in finding ways to learn about Buddhism while being away form home being away from the traditional channels of learning about Buddhism. But not only because students are asking them are you Buddhist? , but Buddhism seems to act as a bridge between Ladakh and Delhi, So while being away from home being away from your parents .Buddhism is that bridge , not only it connects back home but its also a bridge which connects to global world

In Ladakh itself you can witness people from all over world becoming interested in buddhism travelling to Ladakh, lots to Mahabodhi Centre to learn about mediation or to engage in visiting monasteries ,actually it is not just my local culture tradition its a global phenomenon that growing and more and more people are interested in it. So students especially those who leave Ladakh actually i find they are most engaged in learning about Buddhism about fully understanding the Buddhism including Buddhist philosophy. 
This is interesting because learning about Buddhist philosophy is not a traditional practice usually the Buddhist philosophy is learned by monks , but students they are reading books by chandrakriti , chdrakashrita and all of these very very learned Buddhist philosopher , this is because of English language is becoming more accessible to read those books about philosophy.

And students when returning home sharing their knowledge with parents so rather than this traditional way of learning about Buddhism from one generation to next generation was happening how to do the rituals how to visit a monastery but than the other generation is going home and telling their parents about what the HH Dalai lama said in their teaching in Bodh Gaya or at the talk in Delhi University even sharing about their news and knowledge about the Buddhist philosophy. Like this platform here they are concerned! What about the future of Ladakh ? what about the future of our culture and traditions ? we must do something and I say this again and again to students who leave Ladakh they should do something for Ladakh !. So what I hear older generation talk about the students who live in Delhi they very concerned, very upset, quite worried about this younger generation . I like to say to them they shouldn't be worried because this generation is actually quite phenomenal in way they are spreading Buddhism or learning about Buddhism. Actively learning about Buddhism actively practising and trying to understand about Buddhism, Not only about Buddhism but Ladakh also!