The Oracle in Exile: Pema Choedon's talk on the Nechung Oracle and identity construction in the Tibetan Diaspora
Nowadays, Tibetans in the diaspora are increasingly conscious of what they consider as their ‘culture,’ and certain cultural elements are therefore crucial in their identity formation.
Today the Gnas chung rgyal po, known among Tibetans as “the state oracle of Tibet,” is one of their most important cultural traditions. Nevertheless, it has become the object of controversy, and some factions are wholly opposed to the oracular practice. In my presentation, I will discuss questions concerning the contemporary relevance of this institution:
1. Why is the Nechung Oracle still so important for Tibetans in the 21st century?
2. Why are some Tibetans against the practice?
3. And in what way is the Nechung Oracle one of the Tibetan identity markers within the diaspora communities?