联想到刺刀不是没来由的，长长的江苏路上最为重要的单位之一，正是早已盘踞半个世纪的西藏军区，刺刀的寒光令平民百姓望而生畏，而我人生的最初四年，却是 在那里面度过的，因为我是一个金珠玛米(藏语，解放军)的女儿，生于文革。在我父亲那时候所拍的照片中，有一张是荷枪实弹的军人在街上游行。那天是个阳光 灿烂的日子，阳光下，一片密密麻麻的刺刀比一旁稀疏的树木更多，更像密集的丛林；然而，树木不会如刺刀一般闪耀着令人心惊的寒光。那片闪耀着寒光的刺刀扛 在一个个正举着毛主席语录本并高呼口号的年轻军人肩上，虽然是黑白照片，但可以想象得到无数本红色的小宝书与闪耀着寒光的刺刀所构成的是怎样的一个情景， 使得远处的布达拉宫也自身难保。
如今，虽然这条街上云集的有如同中国城市的各个组成部分，党政机关、行政单位、学校医院、报社工厂、旅馆饭馆，以及占地广阔、戒备森严的那个军队大院，但 最有名的是它被叫做“电脑一条街”，可想而知有多少与电脑相关的店面——差点忘记，这里曾经还被叫做“党政军妓一条街”，街道两边尽是一间间色情小屋，天 一黑就闪烁着粉红色的灯光，大概因为那样的称呼实在有损党和政府的形象，色情小屋遂被电脑小店取代了。
我也曾抱着电脑去其中的某个店里修过，还去刻录过属于“反动宣传品”的电影和歌曲。有一部是好莱坞拍的故事片《西藏七年》，换了一个类似港台枪战片的火爆 片名流入拉萨的影碟市场。说实话，影片中有些片断漫画化了，比如下巴上长着一颗痣、貌似或影射毛泽东的解放军军官，冲着年轻的达赖喇嘛一脚践踏神圣的坛城 模型，虽然中共的所作所为的确如此，但这样过度艺术化的表现还是夸张了，显然并不了解先礼后兵、先屈后伸、先恭后踞的中国文化。
江苏路，这是一个犹如刺刀一般具有杀伤力的名字，但不太记得这条街是什么时候与江苏连接在一起的，大概有十多年了。了解“西藏问题”的人会知道这意味着拉 萨的对口“援藏”地区是江苏省。所谓“援藏”实质上就是类似诸侯割据，中国各省份将西藏自治区如切蛋糕似的分成无数块，各自承包，趁着“西部大开发”以自 肥尔。且欲盖弥彰地，为了在当地永远地刻下自己的丰功伟绩，纷纷给建筑物、街道等起名或改名，什么广州路、上海广场、泰州广场、山东大厦诸如此类，以飞快 的速度覆盖了西藏自治区的地图。
对口“援藏”拉萨的，除了江苏省还有北京市。不过早在文革之前，拉萨城里就已经有了北京路，是从藏人口中的“德吉囊嘎”改过去的，原来的意思是幸福路。至 于文革，更是改名成风，帕廓（环绕大昭寺的转经路）改为立新大街、朵森格（石狮子）改为新华路、宇妥（绿松石屋顶）改为人民路等等。连山也被改了名字，夹 波日（指药王山）成了胜利峰。而法王之宫——罗布林卡被改为人民公园、布达拉宫差点被改为东方红宫。显而易见，拉萨已经陷入一大堆与自己的历史、传统和文 化完全无关的新名词之中，来自外地的“解放者”喧宾夺主地给这个与己无关的古城，建构了并不新颖且霸气十足的革命地名学。
至于今天的更名或起名比文革时代更胜一筹，它干脆是以中国各地的地名来命名图伯特（西藏）的地标，不再是充满意识形态含义的名字。根本上，这究竟是出于什 么目的或盘算呢？是为了让原住民的藏人们从陌生的地名中感受到帝国的威力，在不得不习惯的过程中失去对本土的记忆与传承，还是为了让越来越多的移民生活在 以他们故乡的地名所构成的帝国版图的想象之中？一个个中国各地的名字，为的是把图伯特完全地“中国化”，让图伯特逐渐地消失在“中国”的符号之中，说到 底，这完全是一种殖民行为。
原有的、本来的、属于自己的地名被改变，真的是一件很可怕的事情，是一种抹煞记忆的阴谋，是一把割断与过去联系的剪刀，是一夜之间就已面目全非的悲剧。每 次从汉地回到拉萨，我好似不是回到藏人的地盘，而是穿梭于汉人的街道之中。那些路的名字大多是汉地的地名，那些商店的名字也基本是汉地商店的名字，迎面看 见的、错臂而过的、回头瞥见的，都是再也熟悉不过的汉人的模样，就像是我根本就没有离开汉地一步，无论走多远、多久，依然还被困在他牢牢攥住的手心里。
从前这里叫做“江玛林卡”（长满可以做扫帚的野草丛林），有树木有沙滩有拉萨河静静流过，小桥的两头挂满了重重经幡。它又被戏谑为“古玛林卡”，意思是小 偷藏身的园林。1994年，经由一位在西藏最具盛名的汉人画家推介，来自澳门的开发商与当局合作，将这片野生园林改建成了赌场，之后有内地富豪接手改建成 中和国际城，很快这里成了拉萨最大的、最公开的红灯区，云集上千名妓女。
网上有篇关于拉萨性工作者的调查报告，称在拉萨流传这么一句话：“没钱的逛二环路，中产阶级进天海夜市，高产阶级拜太阳岛”，并写到：“在拉萨的二环路， 三环路和四环路上散布着无数的来自于四川、重庆、湖北、湖南的少女、少妇，甚至包括许多中年妇女，在整个拉萨形成了一道独特的风景线……”[i]一个从深 圳去拉萨的汉人嫖客得意洋洋地在网上介绍嫖娼心得：“中和国际城是拉萨真正的红灯区，高中低档的都有，尼泊尔的，俄罗斯的也有，国外的贵，还丑，建议支持 国货，中和国际城到底有多少小姐，没数过，反正中和国际城方圆5公里最多的店子是卖肉的，哈哈。”[ii]
我曾去过一个叫做“人民公社”的饭馆，里面供毛泽东像，挂毛泽东语录，服务员一律穿别着毛泽东像章的军绿色服装，几分像红卫兵，几分像红色革命电影里的国 民党特工，几分像妖怪。披挂一条洁白哈达的毛像两边，挂着一副对联：“翻身不忘毛主席，致富不忘邓小平”，据悉开饭馆的老板就来自邓小平的家乡，看来的确 是富了他。
我还在“民族文化艺术宫”看过一场由官商联手推出的歌舞剧《喜玛拉雅》，演出人员基本上来自中国内地。表演的节目有杂技、魔术，夹杂着貌似印度舞、泰国 舞、阿拉伯肚皮舞实则乃一场场色情意味的艳舞，还夹杂着青藏铁路和火车、五星红旗和奥运火炬，就差要求全场起立高唱中国国歌了。尤其恶俗的是，还让一位自 称叫什么卓玛的“藏族少女”在台上招亲，被邀上台的男性汉人观众如果答应三个条件就可以当“古格国王”，如果不答应，“藏族少女”娇滴滴地宣布：“就惩罚 他磕长头”。
这真是一句非常糟糕的台词，一下子就让这个自称“领军西藏文化”的歌舞剧露馅了。磕长头意味着什么？哪些人会以三步一个等身长头的方式来丈量通往圣地拉萨 的迢迢长路？难道他们都是遭到惩罚的人吗？他们犯了什么样的罪过？对于藏人来说，磕长头的人都是了不起的朝圣者，他们以折损肉体的苦行表达了极其虔诚的信 仰之心，值得垂下头颅向其致敬。然而，在这出充斥着藏文化符号的大杂烩里，原本意味着无量功德的神圣行为却被视为“惩罚”，这即便是玩笑，也太过分了。而 真正的图伯特，在这样的玩笑中，分明是被贬低了，被辱没了，被亵渎了。
唯色(Woeser)：全名茨仁唯色（Tsering Woeser）。藏人。出生于文化大革命中的拉萨。曾在西藏东部康地及中国汉地生活、学习二十年。1988年毕业于西南民族学院汉语文系，就职甘孜报社任 记者兼编辑。1990年春天重返拉萨，至2004年6月，就职《西藏文学》杂志社任编辑。2003年因在中国出版的散文集《西藏笔记》，被当局认为有“政 治错误”而遭查禁，并被解除公职。现为独立作家，著有诗集、散文集、故事集及口述历史专集十本，合集三本，被翻译为英文、德文、法文、西班牙文、加泰罗尼 亚文、日文及藏文的译著十本。并获多个国际奖项。居北京、拉萨二地，自况为中国境内的流亡藏人。
The New Face of Lhasa
“Every day there’s something new in Lhasa,” many who have been to Lhasa will say. I would like to give two examples of the new face of Lhasa.
If you are in Lhasa facing east, Jiangsu Road will be on your right, slicing at an angle through Lhasa’s right flank like a bayonet.
This association with a bayonet is not gratuitous. One of the most important places on the long Jiangsu Road is the Tibet Military District, entrenched there for half a century. The icy gleam of the bayonets was an unnerving sight for the ordinary citizens of Lhasa. I spent the first four years of my life in there. I am the daughter of a soldier in the “jinzhumami” (金珠玛米), as we call the People’s Liberation Army, and was born during the Cultural Revolution. One of the pictures my father took at that time is of a group of heavily armed soldiers marching on the street. That was a sunny day, and in the sun was a field of densely packed bayonets, resembling a forest and outnumbering the scattering of trees on the side. Trees, however, do not glisten with the alarming icy gleam of a bayonet. The shining bayonets rested on the shoulders of the young soldiers as they held up Mao’s Little Red Book and chanted its slogans. Even though the photo is in black and white, one can picture the kind of scene that these countless Little Red Books and glittering bayonets created. Even the Potala Palace many miles away would be powerless to defend itself.
Today, Jiangsu Road is packed with the myriad things that make up your average Chinese city: Party offices, government buildings, administrative agencies, schools, hospitals, newspaper bureaus, factories, hotels, restaurants, and a heavily-guarded military district that occupies a huge swath of land. From its nickname, “Computer Street,” one can well imagine how many computer related stores there are here. I almost forgot—it was once called “Party, Government, Military, and Prostitutes Street.” Jiangsu Road used to be full of brothels, their pink lights flashing as soon as the sun went down. Perhaps because the name was damaging the Party and government’s image, the brothels were replaced with computer stores.
I, too, once took my computer to a shop there to be fixed, and have gone there to burn CDs of movies and songs that would be categorized as “reactionary propaganda.” One of them was the Hollywood film Seven Years in Tibet, which came into the Lhasa DVD market disguised as an action movie from Hong Kong or Taiwan. To be honest, some parts of the movie are cartoonish, like the PLA officer with a mole on his chin, an allusion to Mao Zedong, charging at a young Dalai Lama and running over a sacred sand mandala. Even though the Communist Party has done all the things depicted, the over-artistic presentation is still an exaggeration. They obviously did not understand the Chinese cultural values of diplomacy before force, submission before advance, and deference before conquest.
As a name, “Jiangsu” is lethal like a bayonet, yet I do not remember quite when the street became associated with Jiangsu Province—probably more than 10 years ago. Those who know about the “Tibetan problem” know that the street name indicates that Jiangsu Province is a designated provider of “Tibetan aid” to Lhasa. In reality, providing “Tibetan aid” is a way for provinces to mark their territory. Various Chinese provinces have divided Tibet like a cake into numerous pieces, with each province taking on a piece in order to enrich itself in the Western Development Plan. To permanently mark their glorious achievements in the region, these provinces assigned names to buildings and streets, or changed their names. Names such as Guangzhou Street, Shanghai Plaza, Taizhou Plaza, and Shandong Building quickly covered the map of the Tibetan Autonomous Region.
In addition to Jiangsu Province, Beijing is also a designated provider of “aid to Lhasa,” although Lhasa had a “Beijing Road” even before the Cultural Revolution. It replaced the road’s original Tibetan name “dejinanga 德吉囊嘎” (Happiness Road). Name changing became common practice during the Cultural Revolution: “Pakuo 帕廓” (the road leading to Jokhang Temple) became Lixin Avenue, “Duosenge 朵森格” (stone lion) became Xinhua Road, “Yutuo 宇妥” (Turquoise Roof) became People’s Road, etc. Even the mountains have new names: “Jiabori 夹波日” (Bhaisajyaguru Mountain) became Mount Victory. And His Holiness’ summer palace, Norbulingka, became People’s Garden, and Potala Palace was almost renamed the East is Red Palace. As one can see, Lhasa is submerged in a pile of new names that have nothing to do with its history, tradition, or culture. The outsider “liberators,” came and took over the old city of Tibet that had nothing to do with them, and have constructed a logic for reassigning revolutionary names that is unoriginal and completely domineering.
Nowadays, the naming and name-changing scheme is more aggressive than that during the Cultural Revolution. Instead of using names with ideological connotations, they simply started giving names of various places in China to the landmarks of Tibet. And what is their motive or goal? Is it to make the indigenous Tibetans feel the might of the empire through these unfamiliar names, and lose the memories and heritage of their native land in the course of becoming accustomed to them?
Or is it to enable the ever greater number of migrants to live in the imagined empire that is made up of the names of their hometowns? Every name taken from a part of China is an attempt to further Sinify Tibet, to let Tibet gradually disappear into the signs of China. All said, this is entirely an act of colonialism.
To have the original, existing geographical names that belong to you changed is a very terrifying thing. It is a conspiracy to obliterate memories, a pair of scissors that severs your connections to the past, a tragedy of overnight change beyond recognition. Every time I return to Lhasa from Han China, it feels like I am not returning to the territory of the Tibetans, but running back and forth through the streets of Han people. Most of the street names are names of places in Han China, and the shop names are basically names of shops in Han China. The people I see before me and bump into, and those I catch a glimpse of behind me, are all Han Chinese who could not be more familiar to me. It is as if I have never left Han China, as if I am trapped in its palms no matter how long or how far I travel.
I have always been quite interested in Sun Island, which is in north Lhasa. Sun Island is the most bizarre nook in Lhasa, and can be seen as a miniature of Lhasa today. I highly recommend it to tourists and foreign press doing reporting in the region.
Sun Island was once called “Jiangmalinka 江玛林卡” (a forest thick with reeds that could be used to make brooms). There are trees and sandy beaches, and the Lhasa River flows by serenely. Tibetan prayer flags hang on both ends of footbridges. Locals jokingly called the place “Gumalinka 古玛林卡”—a forest hideout for thieves. In 1994, on the recommendation of the most renowned Han painter in Tibet, a developer from Macau worked with the Lhasa government to transform this wild field into a casino. Afterwards, a Chinese magnate took over and built Zhonghe International Town, which quickly became Lhasa’s biggest and most public red light district, with as many as a thousand prostitutes.
A popular local saying cited by an online investigative report on sex workers in Lhasa goes, “The poor go to the Second Ring Road, the middle class to Tianhai Night Market, and the rich to Sun Island.” The report went on to say, “Countless numbers of young women from Sichuan, Chongqing, Hubei, and Hunan walk Lhasa’s Second, Third, and Fourth Ring Roads, as do a number of middle-aged women, forming a unique landscape in Lhasa.” A Shenzhen frequenter of Lhasa brothels gleefully shared his whoring knowledge online, “Zhonghe International City is the real red-light district of Lhasa—there are high school and low class girls, Nepali girls, Russians. The foreigners are expensive and ugly. I suggest you support domestic merchandise. I don’t know how many girls there are in Zhonghe International City—I have never counted them. Anyway, most of the shops within a five-kilometer radius of Zhonghe International City are in the flesh trade, haha.”
In Sun Island there are restaurants selling various regional delicacies, shops selling Tibetan Mastiffs (it has a huge photo of the 10th Panchen Lama on the wall, and a framed photo of Mao Zedong on the table), four-star hotels with Chinese, Tibetan, and Indian restaurants, sex shops, Lhasa People’s Culture and Art Museum, and temporary offices of the Lhasa municipal government.
I once went to a restaurant called “People’s Commune” that had portraits of Mao Zedong and his slogans hanging on the wall. The servers all wore green army garb with Mao buttons. They looked like part Red Guard, part Kuomintang special agents in Cultural Revolution era propaganda films, and part monster. A couplet hung on the wall on both sides of a Mao portrait draped in a spotless white Tibetan ceremonial scarf that said: “Don’t forget Chairman Mao when your fortune changes; don’t forget Deng Xiaoping when you get rich.” I have been told that the owner of the restaurant is from Deng Xiaoping’s hometown. He must have gotten rich.
I also saw a performance of the musical Himalaya at the Lhasa People’s Culture and Art Museum, which was a joint government-business venture. The performers were mostly from mainland China. The acts included acrobatics and magic mixed in with burlesque that looked like Indian dance, Thai dance, and Arabic belly dance. Also mixed in were the Qinghai-Tibet railway, Chinese flag, and Olympic torch. The only thing missing was a request that the whole audience stand up and sing the Chinese national anthem. Especially vulgar was when they asked a “Tibetan girl” named Something Dolma to the stage to find a husband. If the Han Chinese man from the audience invited to the stage agreed to three conditions, he would become the “King of Guge.” If not, the “Tibetan girl” would put on a saccharinely sweet voice and proclaim, “He must kowtow in punishment!”
That line was truly awful. It instantly gave away the real point of the musical that proclaims itself to be “representing Tibetan culture.” What was the significance of the kowtowing? What kind of people would make pilgrimages to Lhasa kneeling and kowtowing every three steps during their long journeys? Are they all being punished? What crime did they commit? To Tibetans, those who kowtow are remarkable pilgrims. They hurt themselves physically to express their extraordinary faith, and they deserve our bows in tribute. For this hodgepodge of Tibetan cultural symbols to portray something that is originally a sacred act of immeasurable virtue as “punishment”—even as a joke, is going too far. In this joke, the real Tibet is clearly being degraded, dishonored, and desecrated.
English translation by Human Rights in China.
Tsering Woeser, also known as Woeser, is a Tibetan born in Lhasa during the Cultural Revolution. She has lived and studied in Kham, eastern Tibet, and other places in China. After graduating from the Chinese language and literature department of the Southwest University for Nationalities in 1988, she worked as a reporter and editor for a newspaper in Kardzé (Ganzi). She returned to Lhasa in spring 1990 to work as an editor for the Tibet Literature magazine. In 2003, the authorities banned a collection of her essays, Notes on Tibet, for "political errors"; she was dismissed from her position in June 2004. She writes in Chinese and is the author of 10 books, including collections of poems, essays, stories and oral histories, and her works have been collected in three other volumes. Her books have been translated into English, German, French, Spanish, Catalan, Japanese and Tibetan. She is the recipient of many international awards. She currently lives in both Beijing and Lhasa, and considers herself a Tibetan exiled in China.
 “Yi ge xing gongzuozhe diaocha ziliao,” Dongfang Shehui Luntan, January 3, 2010, http://eastsw.5d6d.net/thread-22264-1-1.html
 “Zhongguo xiaojie cong Lasa fa gei laojia de diaobao: Ren sha, qiao duo, su lai! ZT,” Public BBS, http://www.publicbbs.com/BBSdetail.aspx?id=10728.
 Translator’s Note: Guge is an ancient kingdom of west Tibet.