1936 - 1937 Mission Diary

The official diary of the Gould mission to Lhasa sent by the British government. Read more about the mission diary.

February 5th, Friday.

Tering Raja has come up from Gyantse to visit his relations in Lhasa. Although the two places are only five or six days' journey apart, Jigme Dopon, the Raja's eldest son, has not seen his father for two years, so difficult is it or Lhasa officials to get any leave.

Tonight we had the last and perhaps he most enjoyable of our parties. Our guests were Tsarong, his wife and three children; Raja Tering, his son Jimmy and the latter's pretty wife, Daisy, who is a daughter of the Deli Rebdens who live at Tsarong's house; and the Deli Rebdens themselves. Then there were Ragashar and Kyipup whose wives are daughters of the Raja; Jigme and Mary; a nun daughter of the Raja; a young son who lives with the Tsarongs and innumerable children. During dinner, when we managed to fit about thirty people in our small upstairs room, balloons were produced, and proved an immediate success. Tsarong, who could be guaranteed to make any party, immediately seized one of the sausage shaped balloons and solemnly blew it up to a most prodigious size and proceeded to beat the ladies with it. After that the party became chaotic. Each guest had to run the gauntlet of the room to come up to Gould to receive more balloons.

The spirit of the party was wonderful. All our guests, young and old, entered fully into the fun, yet none of them went too far; not one of the children - and many of them were very small - was seen to cry, or become peevish or even to get unduly excited. Indeed it is amazing how well, Tibetan children behave, and with what excellent good sense. They are never seen to be reproved by their parents, or even told what to do, yet they always behave perfectly. After dinner we had a film show. The most popular feature was the colour film we had taken of the Terings on our way up to Lhasa, and of the Tsarong Iadies in their gala attire. Already there were requests for the 'Shepardar' (Rin-Tin-Tin) but just then, by a lucky coincidence (we thought), the projector ran a bearing, and the performance stopped. Apart from work on former Missions this machine has already projected some 1,50,000 feet of film since we came to Lhasa, and must have given an incalculable amount of pleasure.

As it was not yet late we rolled up the carpet and danced till midnight. Tibetans, except for those who have been to school in India, are not used to European dancing, but they are keen and quick to learn.

Author: Frederick Spencer Chapman [see handwritten annotations in Diary by Hugh Richardson in MS. Or. Richardson 2, Bodleian Libary, Department of Oriental Collections, University of Oxford]

Page Reference: Pt XIV p.1

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