Episode 3 is finally out. Sorry for the long delay but I was waylaid by family matters for quite a while, among other things.
Okay here's the rundown of the latest:
In the 7th century, the Tang court in China sent Princess Wencheng off on a long journey to marry the king of Tibet. The princess brought statues, books, instruments and scholars and became influential in converting Tibet to Buddhism. But her full impact and legacy has been contested by central authorities in China and Lhasa for over a thousand years (is this the world's longest propaganda battle?).
A few years back, I set off on my own less historic travels to Tibet and in the wooded eastern regions (shown in the picture) I discovered a highly localized and utterly captivating version of the princess story. This story centered around her illicit love affair with a Tibetan minister and the birth of a stillborn child whose remains, like the cross of Jesus by various European churches, are claimed by multiple temples across the east. On the island of Bakha the child is even said to have been reincarnated to found a powerful line of local Buddhist masters.
My guest for the show is anthropologist Cameron David Warner. He's a collector, so-to-speak, of Princess Wencheng stories and has a way of using these stories to make the complexities of Tibetan Buddhism and history seem entirely relatable.
You can find the show on iTunes, Google Play Music and Stitcher or here at the link:www.traveltapethepodcast.com
Hope you enjoy.