Blue Lake: Tibetan Popular Music, Place And Fantasies Of The Nation

Anna Stirr
  • Brill
  • DOI: 10.1163/ej.9789004155220.i-458.83

Blue Lake: Tibetan Popular Music, Place, and Fantasies of the Nation

What is it about?

This article is about how Dondrub Gyal's poem Blue Lake, set to music by Chopathar, became a nationalist symbol for some Tibetans.

Why is it important?

It looks at the song in different versions, and examines perspectives from Tibetans living in various different places to see how they perceive the significance of the lyrics, music, and videos.


Anna Stirr (Author)
University of Hawaii System

This was my first publication. It started out as an entirely cultural studies piece, analyzing the song without relying on ethnography, just getting historical context and one individual perspective from interviews with Chopathar. Then, I felt it would be good to include the perspectives of some of my friends and their friends, so had them watch Dechen Wangmo's videos and talk about the song with me. It was not really ethnographic, since I was bringing them this video and asking what they thought about it, and I've always wished that I had had time to do something more methodologically rigorous with it.

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