Over the last few months I have had the great fortune to visit three absolutely fascinating nations: Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet ... the kingdoms of the Himalayas. The idea was to gather enough material to prepare my second book, "Himalaya" which will go on sale late next year.
It has been a journey full of emotions, most of them positive. But I knew that one of the destinations would play like no other my heartstrings; I speak of Tibet: the roof of the world.
I undertook this last visit with the hope that, beyond the horrors that the country has lived for years as a result of the frantic and unjustified invasion by the Chinese government, would be able to find small signs of kindness, nobility and the value of a nation trying to stand despite the terrible oppression suffered by the neighboring country. And so it has been; is not easy to witness such a violation of human rights ... over a million Tibetans killed, imprisoned and tortured many others so brutal, hundreds of monasteries destroyed, thousands of kilometers of majestic nature suffering the devastating consequences of an Chinese expansion totally disproportionate, countless endangered species .... and the worst: an ancient culture full of wonders that goes off in silence. But there it was, solid and indestructible, the heart of a society, that thanks to its faith in the teachings of Buddha and its great strength of spirit, is still beating, until today and forever, with strength and pride.
More and more Tibetans fleeing the fierce oppression have left home to seek refuge in India or Nepal, where they can express their religious beliefs and stay true to their culture with full liberty. It is a complicated task to find traces of this culture among debris and overpopulation that leave behind the continuing waves of Chinese who come to Tibet in search of a better future. But they are still there, in the old district of Lhasa, the Forbidden City for many years, or the fabulous Jokhang Monastery and many others who have survived a mass destruction; and in the souls of millions of people who will never give up their roots or their peculiar and wonderful idiosyncrasies.
As on many other occasions, my outrage at such acts of injustice is only reflected in these lines. This treatment does not, in any case, try to avoid looking straight at the crude and unjust reality, but rather to give way to a continuous search for the beautiful part that lives in the human soul. I find grand the ability of man to overcome again and again in the most difficult moments; the magnificent landscapes full of life and the countless expressions of kindness, joy and optimism that I find along the way in places as punished by adversity, make me feel that not everything is lost, that in this broken world there will always be room for magic and beauty to blossom.