An interview with
Position & Affiliation: Professor Emeritus of History of Religions, University of Oslo
Date: May 11, 2017 in Oxford, United Kingdom
Interviewed by: Anna Sehnalova and Rachael Griffiths
Transcript by: Rachael Griffiths
› Part 2 (Video) [Coming soon]
Date: May 16, 2017 in Oxford, United Kingdom
Interviewed by: Anna Sehnalova and Rachael Griffiths
Cite this archive
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this interview are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Oral History of Tibetan Studies project.
List of Acronyms: PK= Per Kværne, IN= Interviewer
Family and background
IN: We would like to start from your childhood and from your early memories. How was it growing up as a child of a diplomat travelling around, growing up in different environments, languages, environments, cultures, if it might have influenced your career in your way, or your thinking? If you had any siblings? And how was your family life?
PK: Well, this is a good Tibetan tradition, isn’t it? You go back to the creation of the world and map out the four continents and zoom in on the auspicious one, the one in the south and so on.
Very briefly told, my father worked in the Norwegian Foreign Service from just after the Second World War. I was actually born during the war. I experienced five weeks of the war before the Germans capitulated in Norway on the 8th of May 1945, which was the very last place in Europe where they capitulated. Of course, the war went on but that was with Japan.
I understood later that it was a rather tense period because the Germans had four hundred thousand soldiers in Norway, out of a then population of slightly below four million. It was a huge occupation force and that was not because of incessant partisan activity and so on, but it was because at one point Hitler had the idea that the Allied invasion might come, or part of it would come, in Norway. So, the Germans built huge fortifications along the coast, and that’s how this became, I don’t know if it’s a well-known expression, Festung Norwegen, the Norwegian bulwark against invasion from the Allies. But as it happened, they surrendered without a shot being fired, and what is more, they surrendered to the Norwegian partisan army and not to the British, who were already in Oslo a couple of days before this actually happened.
So that was also quite important – that there was no transition period as such. But in the north, the Soviet army had driven out the Germans already in the late autumn of 1944. So, that part of Norway was under Soviet occupation, or not exactly occupation, but the Soviet army was there for a short period. Then it retired without any fuss or problem. So that’s also part of our history. We have always had good relations with Russia and later with the Soviet Union and again with Russia now.
Anyway, my father was in the Foreign Service, so he was sent off to Washington, DC, to the Norwegian embassy there in 1948. He went by aeroplane and – this is sort of getting a bit off the point but it’s quite interesting to think that he went by aeroplane because he was a diplomat and that meant flying from Oslo to Prestwick in Scotland, refuelling, flying to Keflavik, Iceland, refuelling, flying to Newfoundland, refuelling, and from there I think they flew either to New York or Washington, maybe New York, I’m not sure. Anyway, it took more than 24 hours. It was quite an expedition.
PK: We came over by boat, the rest of the family – my sister, myself, and my mother, and a Norwegian housemaid. We came on the Swedish American line because the Norwegian one wasn’t operating yet after the war, because the ships had been requisitioned for war service and they were in a pretty awful condition. So, I spent three years in Washington, D.C., and in my last year I went to school there.
Then a very brief period in Norway followed, just my sister, mother and I, and then back to Canada, as my father had been transferred to Montreal. We spent almost two years in Montreal, and I attended an English-medium school there.
IN: An international school?
PK: No. In Montreal, at that time at least, there were neighbourhoods that were English- speaking, and then the rest was French. But this was an English-medium school, it was just a local school, not an international school.
Then we spent almost three years in Norway. Then again, my father was posted as the Norwegian consul in Glasgow. That was 1955, and from 1955 to 1959, we lived there. That was a very important and formative period in my life. I had the advantage, of course, that having lived in America and in Canada, I spoke English quite well without really thinking about whether I was speaking English or not. So my sister and I, two years younger than me, we were both, I would say, bilingual. We always spoke Norwegian at home, but English otherwise, with friends, at school, and so on. My youngest sister was only two years old in 1955, so she did not go to school before our last year in Glasgow.
When we came to Scotland, I went to a private school, Jordan Hill College School, which hasn’t changed very much since then. I was back and had a look some years ago – the school uniform, everything, is exactly the same, although I imagine that the teachers no longer use the belt for keeping order amongst the rowdier elements in the class. The pupils there knew the belt. All the teachers carried it. There was a special pocket in their gown, which was just for fitting in this belt, which was produced somewhere in the Hebrides as a sort of cottage industry.
IN: From skin, leather?
PK: A leather belt, yes. Slightly forked at the end, so it would really smack you.
IN: Did you experience this?
PK: Yes, I did, yes. Diplomatic immunity didn’t operate. I thought it might, to my disappointment.
The very first thing the school did – they didn’t really realise that my sister and I spoke English. They knew we spoke some, but not much, maybe. So, they appointed a special teacher to coach us for the first few weeks, so we could sort of catch up. I remember it very well. She came to our house, and we sat down, and she started talking to me and I just responded, it was very easy. Although I’d never heard the actual Scottish, let’s call it accent, because it’s English with the Scottish accent. It’s not real Scots, of course, but it was absolutely fine. After about three minutes or so, this young lady said, Och, you’ve got such a lovely American accent, so I understood that I better put that away and try to talk like the other lads. And so I did. I went to school, a private school, and it was all very middle class, I would say. But it was a very, very important and nice experience to go to school there.
After that, we moved back to Norway and I entered, well, we call it ‘Gymnas’ in Norway, secondary school, it’s like the Lycée in France. I did that in Norway and I had the great advantage that at that time you had several options, you could do natural science, or you could do modern languages, or you could do Latin with modern languages. So, I took Latin with modern languages because obviously English was not a problem. I had had two years of French in Scotland. So, when I started with French in Norway, it was also very easy. And I had had two years of Latin. So when we started Latin, I also had an advantage. So I did quite well at school, but it wasn’t because I was frightfully clever. But I had this advantage of a head start.
The only thing I didn’t know when we came, was German and German was compulsory. Before the War, English was not the first foreign language in Norway, it was German, and my mother was very fluent in German. So during the last year in Scotland, when we knew we were going to move back, she taught me German. I got the grammar and the textbook sent over from Norway. And she actually did that, I must say. She also tried to teach me to play the piano but that was just a disaster, it didn’t work, I didn’t cooperate. But I did cooperate in the case of German because I knew I needed to know it, there was no way I could get around it.
When I started school, the others had had one year of German, but I had really been reading with my mother for a year, and I actually was ahead of them in German as well. So that worked very well. I must say, I admire her for that because it’s not, I mean, a mother teaching a 13-year-old son regular lessons and giving him extra homework and so on – it’s not a matter of course that it’s going to function.
So, I suppose the upshot of all this is that I grew up in an environment where knowing languages and using them, especially English, of course, was just a natural everyday thing. For example, when I was eight years old, we moved back for a while to Norway before Scotland, I started at that time, eight years old, my fourth school in the third country. So, I was quite used to moving around and starting in new places and so on. I didn’t experience that as a problem. We had a very stable home life, everything was in Norwegian and very predictable and so on, so it was okay.
Early interest in Tibet
So, how did I become interested in Tibet? That happened during this period. It actually happened in Scotland. We had a school library, and I got the idea, I don’t know exactly why, but probably, I realised later, I’ve always been interested in minorities or felt some sort of attraction towards people who are not the majority. So, I got the idea that I would see if they had a book on the Baltic countries, I thought that could be interesting. I remember, in fact, from America, at that time in Washington, DC, that the Soviet occupation of the Baltic countries was not recognised by America. So they kept up their embassies in Washington, DC, sort of exiled government embassies. I was aware of that.
I thought maybe the library had something on Baltic countries. Well, it didn’t, but they had Heinrich Harrer’s Seven Years in Tibet. So I thought, okay, I’ll read that. And I did. And I thought, it was quite interesting, it didn’t make a huge impression, but it’s quite exciting and well written, I must say. So in 1959, which was the last year of our stay in Scotland, I had read it. We were spending the Easter holidays in London, just as tourists coming down to see London, the whole family. And while we were there there was the uprising in Lhasa, March 10th, and it was all in the newspapers. So I read about it. I thought this is really terrible, intolerable. I was really upset. I was 3 years old, almost 14, when this happened in Lhasa.
Then for the next two weeks, there was the situation of the Dalai Lama escaping to India. But at the time nobody – although now we know the CIA knew – but at the time, apparently nobody knew where he was and what was going on. There were rumours he was heading for India, but nothing was really confirmed. And I was following this day by day and getting more and more absorbed by it, by this whole drama. And then he finally reached India and we returned to Glasgow. But this did capture my imagination somehow. More than that, I had a feeling of real outrage at what was going on. I think that one reason I felt that so strongly was that, and you can probably imagine this from your home, when I grew up, my parents and their friends and so on, one of the main topics of conversation until the 1960s, I would say, was the war. Everything that happened during the war and who did what, small things and big things, but the war was a topic.
It was quite easy, having this background in your head of a big power occupying your country and exploiting and oppressing and so on, to draw a parallel, very easy. And that’s really, I think, what happened. So when I went to school in Norway, we had to, in our last year at school, write a kind of dissertation. It could be between 50 to 80 pages. It was not a very small thing; it was something we had to research and show your sources and you had to type it nicely out and so on. And I wrote on the recent history of Tibet up to 1959.
IN: Which sources did you use?
PK: Well, I got hold of several books, actually. The first book I bought was by an Indian journalist, Frank Moraes. He was a well-known journalist, originally from Goa. He wrote this book about the uprising in Tibet and the Dalai Lama’s flight, I think one of the very first ones to be written. I bought it when I found it in a bookstore in Oslo. I think at the time I must have been 16 or 17 maybe.
Then I got hold of the two reports written by the International Commission of Jurists, which were published, one in 1959 and a more extensive one in 1960. They were based on historical accounts of Tibet, especially the second one, and on published excerpts from treaties like the Shimla treaty and all sorts of documents of that kind to show the position of Tibet in international law. Then the second volume in 1960 was based on interviews made by recently arrived Tibetans and the focus there was on human rights violations. It’s quite an important source for what went on in East Tibet especially, because a lot of people from East Tibet escaped to India and Nepal via Lhasa, and they were interviewed. This was published with really horrendous reports, in great detail, of arrests and tortures. It made a very deep impression on me, I must say.
One thing I did do before writing this final sort of mini-dissertation was I thought that I have to do something, I have to raise public awareness, so I wrote to all the secondary schools in and near Oslo. They all used to have debating societies. So, I typed out a letter on my father’s typewriter and sent off letters to all the schools in Oslo and in the surrounding area.
IN: How many schools were there?
PK: Quite a few, I can’t remember exactly, maybe 30 or something like that.
So, I sent off this letter and I said, as you may be aware the situation in Tibet is a matter of great concern from the point of view of all the human rights violations and the occupation of a country — et cetera, quite short, and — I’d be more than happy to come to your debating society and talk about this if you’re interested.
I got quite a lot of responses, I don’t know, at least 15, maybe 20, over the next year, more or less, but I didn’t say I was a school pupil myself, I just signed with my name. So they thought, as I was told when I turned up, that they expected an adult to turn up. But I did give this talk and it was quite well prepared. Nobody knew anything at all about this, of course, totally blank. So, there was nobody to contradict me either.
IN: Was it a topic that was discussed in Norwegian society?
PK: No, no. It was not a well-known issue at all. I mean, there would be a few people, some people would be aware of it, but it wasn’t widely known at all. There were no Tibetans in Norway at that time, not a single one. Also, just before I left, I finished school in 1963, and just before that I just happened again to be in the bookstore in Oslo, it’s quite amazing now, I found Heinrich Jäschke’s Tibetan Grammar. Then I was able to order the dictionary. So, I got Jäschke’s Grammar and Dictionary, and started learning Tibetan from that.
IN: You were still at high school?
PK: I was still at high school. I just did it in my spare time. So, I started with Jäschke’s Grammar, which is based on the model of Latin. And so it was quite straightforward. I learnt the script and to read the short excerpts, which he has at the back of the book, the sad story of the Brahmin.
Working with Tibetan students in Copenhagen
IN: Was it the first Oriental language that you studied?
PK: Yes. What happened then was that somebody pointed out to me because they knew I had this interest, someone in the family or a family friend, that in a recent magazine there’d been an article about a kind of private school or initiative in Denmark with an English teacher, a Danish couple, who had taken 20 Tibetan boys from India to Denmark. So, I read that, and I thought, this is very interesting. I was able to get in touch with this Danish couple, John and Britta Fenneberg; they were youngish middle-aged and pretty tough, and I said, I’m interested in Tibetans and Tibetan, could I come down for the summer and work there?
IN: That was all by letter?
PK: Yes, absolutely. So, they replied, Yes, by all means, please come. So, I went down to Copenhagen and by that time they had just received 40 girls, an additional 40 boys, a Tibetan nun, and a Tibetan married couple. So, there were two or three adults who had also come from India to provide some kind of adult presence.
Now, the idea was that they were going to get some kind of basic education at that time. This was in 1963 and the school system for Tibetans in India was not well developed yet. It was beginning, some beginnings had been made, but it was not like it later became. At the time it seemed like a good idea, you see. There were already Tibetans in Switzerland. They came very early, in the very early 1960s, the first ones. It was the Swiss Red Cross that organised that.
IN: These were children without parents?
PK: They could be with or without parents. At that time, because the big settlements hadn’t been organised yet, Tibetans tended to be employed, at least in north India, in roadbuilding. In fact, the big settlements, like Bylakuppe were just getting started, I think, around that time, but many of the other bigger settlements hadn’t been organised yet. So, either Tibetans were just living in regular refugee camps or they were employed as road workers in Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh and so on. They worked on the roads like Biharis do now.
There were some monks coming to the West at that time already, as the Rockefeller Foundation initiative enabled many universities in the West to invite Tibetan monks to help local scholars. Giuseppe Tucci recruited a few and David Snellgrove, of course, in London.
There was also a monk in Copenhagen who came out and visited the Tibetan school together with a Danish scholar, Eric Haarh. I met both of them because all these Tibetans were in a big country house outside Copenhagen, which originally had belonged to a very rich family. It was what you would call late Victorian style with quite an extensive park, a very beautiful place, but that had seen better days. Then something happened, I don’t know what, and then it was sold off and turned into a kind of retirement home for old ladies. And then that, too, was wound up. Then the Danish couple, the Fennebergs, were able to rent the place for very little, I think
IN: To the foundation?
PK: Not exactly. They collected money on their own, but not enough to keep it going. Anyway, at that moment, there were almost 100 Tibetans in this building. It was very crowded, and the funding was totally inadequate. Fenneberg had a small factory processing fish into fish paste and fish pudding, which is a favourite in that part of the world. So we had a lot of that.
Then he would do rounds in Copenhagen, in Denmark in the mornings they sell lunch packs with Danish sandwiches, which are very different from the English ones, because usually there’s just one layer of bread and then there’s a huge amount of roast beef or shrimps and mayonnaise. I mean it’s like a mountain, a real hill. People buy this and carry it with them, at least they did then, and there would be some unsold. So, he would go around the afternoon and collect all these unsold ones, which they couldn’t sell the next day. And so that was what we ate, that was our dinner. It was a bit chaotic.
There was an English teacher, Malcolm Dexter, who’d been teaching the older boys who had already come early on in 1961, and I’ll tell you why in a second. There was me and there were some other people there, but there was nothing really. There were classes. I think most of the Tibetan boys and girls had gone to some kind of school in India, they had a smattering of rudimentary English, very little, we didn’t have to start with the alphabet, but almost.
IN: How was it for the Tibetans staying in such a place?
PK: Very difficult to say. They must have been totally confused, flown over and just dropped in this place. All the girls were issued with standard chubas, which I think they’d brought from India. Like a kind of school uniform.
Actually, maybe you have come across Prince Peter of Greece as an anthropologist? The Danish and the Greek royal families are linked through marriage, and he was in the line of succession both to the Danish throne, not closely, number seven or something, and also in the Greek royal family succession, but not high enough up to actually ever have a chance of being placed on the throne. But he was part of the royalty and could do what he liked. He had married a Russian lady who came from a very, very rich family and who had escaped, I imagine, through China and Manchuria and was actually living, as far as I remember, from what I was told, in Hong Kong.
He didn’t stay in Hong Kong, he was travelling in the Himalayas and living in Kalimpong. He went Ladakh in the 1950s and then wrote an important book on polyandry, I think the first proper study of polyandry, and one of the first anthropological studies ever on Tibetan society. So, he was a professional in that sense. But, I mean, he was well off. He didn’t have to bother about getting university posts or anything like that. His book was actually partly on the polyandry amongst Tibetans and partly on polyandry amongst the Todas in the Nilgiri hills.
I met him a number of times later on. Because Prince Peter had this interest in Tibet and had been staying in Kalimpong, like so many other Western scholars in the 1950s, Rene de Nebesky-Wojkowitz and Alexander Macdonald were there and other people as well – because of that, he contacted his old friend, John Fenneberg, because they had been in the Danish Royal Guards together, so they were old friends from their military days, and he said, I will make sure that there’s no problem with the official side of it, but you have to organise something for the Tibetans. Fenneberg was a very idealistic person and said, Okay, we’ll do that. Then these boys arrived, I think in 1961, and no problem whatsoever because at that time, Prince Peter could just talk to somebody in the Foreign Ministry and they would say, Fine.
I’ve seen this happen in Norway. I write about it in the Anthology, when the present abbot of the Bön Monastery in India, the Menri Trizin, came to Norway, this is what happened. I was present in the office of the head of the Norwegian aid to the Tibetans, and I wished to take him to Norway because he was not safe in India. The chairman was a very well-known public figure, he worked in the Norwegian national radio, he was in charge of all the children’s programmes. So, he was always known as Onkel Lauritz. He was very popular, everybody knew him.
And he just called the foreign ministry, I was sitting in his office, and said, I’d like to talk to whoever’s in charge of the immigration desk - or something like that — good morning, good morning, this is Lauritz Johnson. As you may know, we’ve got Tibetans here in Norway now and actually now there’s a monk in India and there’s some interest in taking him to Norway, so will that be okay?
This is literally what he said. And at the other end of the telephone I heard, Yes, of course, no problem. Then the Abbot just went to the Norwegian embassy in Norway, where they had the message, gave him the visa, a one-year visa, and said, Have a nice time in Norway. It was as simple as that.
IN: He probably just had a refugee paper?
PK: He had some kind of document from the Indian side, but I don’t think they had ID cards or things like that yet. I’m not sure about that. What exactly they had from the Indian side, I don’t know. But it was so incredibly simple. Anyway, that’s more or less what happened.
The establishment of the “Help Tibet” association in Norway, memories of Prince Peter
So, this is to put you in mind of the situation that was then. Later, as I told you, I met Eric Haahr and I had a bit of contact with him, so I could say something about him, perhaps. But just to finish off this initial phase, it was clear that these Tibetans couldn’t stay in Denmark because Fenneberg was not able to organise the kind of real association which could take long-term responsibility and organise things properly. He just was not capable of that, in spite of all his good intentions.
So, he decided that the girls should go to Sweden, where there was an organisation with a kind of, not really prominent, but with the kind of Christian background called IM, which I think at that time actually meant, well, literally internal as opposed to foreign mission. They didn’t really do missionary work either, maybe they had done at one time. So, the girls were taken care of by that organisation. They all went to Sweden to be trained as nurses and so on, that was the idea. Fenneberg thought maybe the boys could come to Norway. He knew nobody in Norway except me, and I was an 18-year-old.
So then how did this work? There was a Norwegian journalist that was also aware of this story, and he had written something about the Tibetans in Denmark, he knew about it. I knew that he knew. So, I contacted him, he was a very nice person, and we met in his office, and he said, What can we do?
IN: What was his name?
PK: His name was Kåre Pettersen, he was a quite well-known journalist at that time.
Then he said, Well, the real person to talk to here is Onkel Lauritz, Lauritz Johnson. He had been very active in organising the Norwegian anti-apartheid movement but was out of it by that time. He was ready for something new, basically. So, we had a meeting with him because Pettersen knew him as a journalist, he’d been in contact with him. We had a meeting and Johnson said, Yes, this is interesting. Let’s invite Prince Peter up to Oslo and he can give a slide show in the University of Aula on his travels in Ladakh.
I used slideshows when teaching until five, six years ago. Only then did I start using PowerPoint because in the rare cases, when it works without any problem, it’s of course more convenient to bring, all the equipment is there and so on. Slide shows were a great thing. People who had travelled in out-of-the-way places giving public talks with slides, it was a great thing. I’m sure it was the same in Britain as well at the time.
So, he said, Yes, we should organise it and then then we’ll see. This will create public interest and we’ll see what can be done. They should bring up some of the Tibetan boys who can perform Tibetan dances. So, it was organised like that. This was in September 1963.
The University Aula in Oslo is quite big, it can seat, I don’t know, maybe altogether it can seat 600, 700 people. There was a crowd. It was packed to the last seat. Prince Peter giving a slideshow of Ladakh, the Himalayas, it was sensational. So, it was absolutely packed. Six Tibetan boys came. One of them had been in Denmark, he spoke Danish, and the others came in their grey, standard chubas. My mother put them all up in our house, on the floor on mattresses and things. This event went very well.
Prince Peter had come the day before. Lauritz Johnson was a quite charismatic figure at the time, he was in his early sixties, I would say, tall, silver- haired with a very sonorous, fine voice. His Norwegian was beautiful, you can imagine, a very conservative kind of speech, which is very good with the Danes because this kind of Norwegian, urban, conservative, which is basically Danish, except it’s pronounced in a totally different way. I remember we had a walk in the sculpture park, just near where I live now. We were also at a restaurant on the hill on the west side of Oslo with Prince Peter, the Tibetans, Lauritz Johnson, his wife, and one of his daughters, who was also working in the Norwegian television. Anyway, the idea was to decide that if all goes well, would we start something? We decided: yes, we will.
IN: The public that attended the event, were they mostly students at the university?
PK: No, the general public.
IN: They heard about it in the newspapers?
PK: From the newspapers, yes. I mean, people were really queuing up outside, hundreds.
IN: And it was free?
PK: Yes, it was free. As far as I can remember, it was free. Prince Peter didn’t take a fee, obviously. I don’t know exactly how the cost of hiring the University of Aula was covered but, at that time, it wouldn’t have been very much.
Then at the end, Lauritz Johnson entered the stage and said, Well, it has been decided we’re going to set up a committee in Norway to take Tibetan boys here and establish a school for them. So, if anyone is interested in helping, then please stay behind and we’ll quickly get in touch here and now, and then we’ll continue from there. He had already got a couple of his own friends to say they would join. So it wasn’t like nobody was part of it. I had said I would be the secretary and his wife said she’d be the cashier, and she was good at that. So, he already had some basic structure, but he needed more people, obviously.
Kåre Pettersen, the journalist, also joined, and then there were two people who stayed behind. One of them was a very interesting person. I think she passed away not that many years ago. At that time, she would have been in her early fifties, I would imagine. Her name was Patsy Brandt, she was English. Her husband was the managing director of one of the big paper factories in Norway at the time. So, she was an affluent person. And she definitely had a very good upbringing in England, there’s no doubt about that. She had spent some time, perhaps a few years, in India, where she had an uncle who was in the British army in India, and they had gone up along the Sutlej and into Tibet on horseback in the 1930s. It wasn’t a long trek, but maybe they spent 10 days inside Tibet or something like that.
IN: The borders were quite non-existent at that time?
PK: They did exist, but the main problem was really on the British side. They would stop people going into Tibet. In practice, if the British said this person is going on a private tour, the Tibetans wouldn’t object because, at that time in the 1930s, they were quite dependent on Britain for weapons. Britain was supplying them with arms, Britain was quite well represented and influential in Lhasa.
So anyway, she had actually been in Tibet. To cut a long story short, this committee was set up and in January 1964, 30 out of the 40 boys arrived by boat from Copenhagen and they were received on the pier. When you consider how refugees are treated and received nowadays, the difference is amazing. Norway is a country that has, maybe you also have in Czechia, lots of brass bands, every single school has got one and there are many others as well. Some of them are really very, very good, semi-professional, you might say. There was one of these really good brass bands standing on the pier playing to welcome them. Then they were taken by bus to the city hall where the lord mayor, with his gold chain, hosted them for breakfast.
Then they were taken by bus up to a small town north of Oslo called Gjövik, where we had a house ready for them, big enough, which belonged, by chance, to my gym teacher at school. He had bought this place for almost nothing because it was sort of inconveniently located at the time. It was built during the war by one of the Nazi collaborators who had lots of money, a businessman, and he built this huge, big log house in kind of semi-Viking style, you might say. So my teacher, bought it and he used to have summer courses and winter skiing courses and so on. He was fantastic at organising things like that, for pupils from his own school and other schools as well. It was almost like a kind of summer boarding school in summer.
He read about this initiative because it was in the newspapers, about it being set up. He contacted us and said, I have this house at Gjövik if you want to use it, if it’s suitable, I will not take any rent, just keep it up as it is so it doesn’t get more run down, that’s all. So we used it. By the way, this teacher of mine, he is 88 now, I think, and is as fit as a fiddle. He lives outside Oslo. We’re in quite frequent touch, we meet a couple of times every year, I go down to visit his place.
So that’s how the first Tibetans came to Norway.
I was the secretary of this organisation, which got funding from private sources and from the local communes in Norway. Some gave quite a bit, others gave very little, some gave nothing. But it worked quite well. We hired a number of teachers, among them an English teacher, Ian Watering. Patsy Brandt knew him and said, He’s the man you should ask. He was a young man. He came over, he was the English teacher, and generally in-house, he lived in the school. There was a head teacher and a Norwegian teacher who was in charge of the physical training, which we thought was quite important. And there were a couple of others who came in during daytime. It worked quite well.
There was a local committee, crucially, in this little town, led by the head of the local school department, who was also very, very supportive. So it worked very nicely and since I was a secretary, sometimes I went every week-end and stayed overnight to see how things were going and report back. So, of course, I was very eager to get to know the Tibetans. But I didn’t actually study Tibetan with them. These were 13‑, 14-year-old boys at the time. They had a very, very packed schedule every single day. But still, it was nice, this kind of atmosphere. They started the day with prayers every morning.
IN: Tibetan prayers?
PK: Tibetan prayers. There was an older Tibetan there, five or six years older. He came from England. He had come to England but was sort of headhunted and we invited him over to Norway. He was in charge and of teaching them Tibetan reading and writing, and so on. They knew a little, but had to learn more, because the whole idea was they would get their training here, then go back to India and contribute to building the community in India.
IN: Were they learning Norwegian?
PK: No. That was also on purpose. We didn’t want them to waste time on that. They were not going to be integrated into Norwegian society, they were here to get their school training and go back. That was the idea. Develop their exile community.
The altar is also quite a nice story because from one of the publications of the Tibet Society, in England, I found a picture of the young Dalai Lama. It’s quite a famous portrait. So, I had that photographed by a professional photographer, enlarged, and framed. I gave it to them when the Tibetan boys arrived, they were really very appreciative, and they put it on the wall. There was a table for their altar.
Before they arrived, I went to the Ethnographic Museum in Oslo. I didn’t know personally the director, Dr. Arne Martin Klausen, but made an appointment, and I said, We’re starting this school and we are making an altar. It is so important that the Tibetans keep their religion because it’s part of their culture, and we want them to have a proper altar, but they haven’t got anything.
The Ethnographic Museum has a collection of Tibetan bronzes. So I asked, Would it be possible to borrow some of these for their use? And he replied, Of course, there’s nothing better. I mean, these things should be used and not just kept in store.
So, we went down into the cellar, where there were all sorts of things; there were a few Tibetan bronzes on display, but the rest were on shelves down in the cellar. And he said, Well, what do you think?
I said, Well, we don’t need many, maybe three is fine. So, maybe this one and this one and this one. I think I got three or four, not tangkas, but bronzes and little cups for water offerings, and a few things like that. I understood that he would be willing to let me have something. So, I brought a bag and some towels to wrap them in. I wrapped them in my towel, put them in the bag, signed a paper, and off I went.
I placed them on the altar at the school. The Tibetans said, Oh, this is beautiful. There was a Tara, I remember, and maybe there was one of Tsongkhapa. I wouldn’t have chosen him today, but I think maybe there was. There was one which was a bit curious, I thought it looked interesting, but the Tibetans said, No, no, no, we don’t like this one. I think it was not exactly Bön, but I think maybe it might have been Chinese. It was wrong. Thinking back now, I think maybe it must have been some sort of arhat.
Anyway, they didn’t like it and didn’t want it, so I brought that one back to the museum. The rest were actually there for three years. Then they were returned to the museum. I mean, these things were possible at that time. Now, if you even suggested it, they’d just laugh their heads off. They wouldn’t really think you were serious.
Travelling and working in India
So, basically that’s how I got involved with Tibetan work and Tibetans generally. Then I decided I wanted to go to India. I went to India in 1966, through Hugh Richardson, with whom I was in touch through Prince Peter. I wrote to Richardson and said, I’m a Norwegian student and I’m doing Sanskrit at the University of Oslo, but I want to do Tibetan as well. I want to go to India to work with Tibetans, not to study. I didn’t say to study Tibetan, to work with Tibetans because that’s sort of in parentheses.
I can say that my motivation for getting involved with Tibetans is what I’ve told you now. It’s not that I’m attracted to Buddhism as a religion or a philosophy or whatever, and it’s not any kind of great, enormous admiration for Tibetan culture. It’s this feeling of outrage at the Chinese presence, and this is still my motivation, more than anything else.
So, I wanted to go to teach or to do something practical. Hugh Richardson said there was a new group of Tibetans arrived via Nepal and had been staying for some time at Rewalsar near Mandi in North India, they’re from Nangchen in Kham, and they’re a very compact group. They’ve been sent right down to Madhya Pradesh to a place called Mainpat, where there already was a settlement by this time, 1966. I was in touch with Hugh Richardson in late 1965. He said I could go there. He knew an Englishman, I don’t remember his name, who was involved with this group from Nangchen. He was a kind of hippie type and he had kind of joined up with them in Mandi. The Gyelpo (rgyal po) of this group, thought he was such a useful person, probably, that he offered him his daughter as a partner. He was living with this young Tibetan woman.
IN: Was he a Gyelpo?
PK: Well, he was referred to as Gyelpo. I don’t know if he was the Gyelpo of the whole of Nangchen, but he was definitely called Gyelpo.
These people had been fighting the Chinese for a long time and then they escaped into Nepal. And the story goes, I don’t know if it’s true or not, but when they got to Nepal they said, We’ve escaped, we’ve committed great sins by killing so many Chinese, innumerable Chinese. So now they’ve destroyed all their weapons. I was actually able to buy quite a few knives and swords that they had kept. At that time, I thought it was important to collect Tibetan objects. I don’t think that anymore, but that’s why I still have a few at home.
Anyway, they were living in tents. Then I got a telegram which somehow arrived, telegrams did arrive everywhere at the time as it was the only way you could communicate, from Oslo, from the Refugee Council, who was paying my travel expenses to India. Well, that’s also a long story, how I got involved with them, but anyway they said, Don’t stay here, you’ll be more useful if you go down to Dharwar in Karnataka and there’s a new school set up there by the Ockenden Venture, an English NGO — I don’t know if it exists anymore — the school has just been set up and you can teach there. So I did. I went down there and spent some months there before the schools closed down.
IN: You went [to India] via boat for three weeks?
PK: Not exactly. Coming out to India, I flew via Teheran, where I spent about a week living in a technical training school, which was run by the Jewish community in Teheran. Not all of them, but about 10 or so of the original 20 boys who had come to Denmark were sent there for technical training after Denmark. So these Tibetans were living in Teheran in a Jewish school, and there was a Norwegian Peace Corps worker there as well. I was living in the school with the Tibetan boys in their dormitory. They were financed by the Norwegian Refugee Council, so I had to write a report back and say how they were getting on, which I did.
From there, I flew to Cairo and spent a couple of days. Then I got the Norwegian freighter, where I got free passage from Port Said, through the canal and across the Indian Ocean after stopping in Aden, where I saw for the first time military in operation. Aden was British at the time but there was a lot of unrest and riots. I remember seeing British soldiers sitting in their jeeps, open jeeps with machine guns mounted on the back, just driving slowly through and keeping a watchful eye on the natives. So we went on shore, myself and a young Indian couple from Bombay. They had been to England for their honeymoon. This was the kind of ship that used to take not just freight, but also passengers. So, there were quite nice cabins, not many, four or five, but they would go from Europe to Australia and back.
They had stopped taking passengers, but they made an exception because Patsy Brandt knew the person who owned the shipping company. Wilhelmsen, one of the big ones in Norway. So we called at Aden. I remember passing Socotra and then arriving at Veraval, which is a small town in Gujerat. I went on shore there, that was my first meeting with India. I finally got to Bombay and then by train and bus to Mainpat. But then after 10 days there, I had to go down to Karnataka.
Then I spent four months in Karnataka, until the school was closed down, but I think it will take too long to relate everything about that. I spent altogether almost a year in India travelling around a bit. At that The Ockenden School is where I met the Menri Trizin, as he’s now known. At the time, he was really a simple monk. He was one of the three Bönpo monks, Samten Karmay and Tenzin Namdak being the others, who had been invited to England by Professor David Snellgrove. When he returned to India he was engaged as Tibetan headmaster with the school run by the Ockenden Venture in Dharwar in Karnataka, and that’s where I met him.
There was an English headmaster also, whose name was Malcolm Dexter, and he was the English teacher. He was maybe not a linguistic genius, but he certainly had a flair for languages. He spoke totally fluent Danish. So we would speak, he in Danish and I in Norwegian, and that’s how we would communicate, which was quite nice. We could say what we wanted. Nobody could understand it.
Anyway, the school got closed down and I spent the rest of the time in India travelling around. I went up to Manali, amongst other places, and met some of the old Bön monks like the Yungdrung Khenpo, who had escaped from Yungdrung Ling Monastery. The Menri Khenpo had also escaped, but he died quite young in India. The Menri Khenpo was very old, or at least seemed very old.
IN: How old was Sangye Tenzin at that time?
PK: He was born, I think, in 1929. So he would be 37 or so. He was really in his prime, and he spoke quite good English. We spent every single lunch break at the Ockenden School, which was located in a huge, rambling, old bungalow outside the town of Dharwar, with a huge mango grove surrounding it, reading the Zermik (gzer mig). I was able to read it. The Zermik is not particularly difficult grammatically, it’s not ornate or complex. I mean, there are lots of problems there, but I wasn’t aware of them at the time. We just read and I got used to reading semi-cursive and manuscript script.
IN: He must have been impressed by you.
PK: I don’t know, he didn’t say. I mean, I was just happy I got this chance to read Tibetan. I met Tenzin Namdak also at that time.
Then I returned to Norway. I returned by boat from India.
IN: What did this Indian trip and long stay there give you?
PK: Oh, it meant a lot because at the time I’d done my BA. In Norway at that time, you usually did three subjects in humanities for your BA. I did History of Religion, English, and Sanskrit. But Sanskrit was much more than just Sanskrit. When we get onto the academic side, there’s a lot I would like to say about my teacher and Nils Simonsson.
I should just point out, there’s an article which is published in a Polish journal on Tibetan Studies in Norway up to 1975. There you will get all the facts and figures, including the very first work, which was published in 1857 by a Norwegian scholar at the University of Oslo. In French, I’m happy to say, with the intriguing title “Trace de Bouddhisme en Norvège”, traces of Buddhism in Norway. At the time you would find traces of this and that, for example traces of the lost tribes of Israel, which were found all over the place – the Polynesians, the Mormons, etc.
So the article winds up with Simonsson in 1975, because that’s the year he left Oslo and took up the chair of Indian Studies at the University of Uppsala, in Sweden, which was his alma mater. He was very happy to go back. Although later, once he had gone back, he regretted it and said it was much better in Oslo. Maybe he didn’t regret it. Anyway, there’s a list of all the PhDs in which have been submitted in Norway up to 2014. It’s not completely up to date and, of course, there are a lot of MA dissertations too, which are not listed here. So anyway, there you can get some facts.
Going back to Norway, I had already decided I was going to do an MA in Sanskrit with Professor Simonsson. We had a close relationship, and I liked his scholarship very, very much. It was hugely influential on me, and he was an amazing polyglot. Anyway, I wanted to do Sanskrit and I was interested in Tibet, but I didn’t really see myself at that time becoming a Tibetologist, necessarily. I was able to read it reasonably well, but I never got a chance to learn to speak it while I was in India because Sangye Tenzin had been in England for three years, he spoke English. And otherwise, I was teaching. I was busy, they were busy. Then after that I was travelling. I wasn’t fixed in one place, and I was the middle of my studies, so I wasn’t roaming around and thinking I could stay for a year in Dharamsala and learn Tibetan, because I had to get back.
So that’s the main reason, really, why I didn’t ever learn to speak Tibetan. Sadly, I would say. Anyway, there it is. I had this chance at that time to travel around India, and I was right down to Cape Comorin, I was up in Manali, I was in Bihar, Bodhgaya, Nalanda. I didn’t go to Rajasthan, but I did later. I was in South India a lot, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Karnataka. I was very interested in art history and archaeology. I visited lots and lots of cave temples and different sites, especially in the south, which is very rich in archaeology, not like North India, where it’s very rare you find anything.
IN: It must have been very different travelling at that time?
PK: Yes, it was, of course. You see, at the time, train was the best. I did travel by air once, maybe we can talk about why later; I did actually fly from Belgaum to Bombay to Delhi on one occasion. So, there were air services, of course, but they were very exclusive, for really important officials and busy, busy businessmen. It wasn’t like now when everybody flies everywhere.
So it was by train. At the time, if you travelled first class, which I usually did, you could simply amble into the stationmaster’s office and say, Good evening, sir. I want to travel to Bangalore – wherever - would it be possible to arrange a berth. There’s a ping, and then somebody would come with this great big ledger, and they would leaf through it, or he would say, Yes, no problem.
Computers didn’t exist and there was a telegraph service up and down the line, but that was, I think, mainly reserved for technical things, important stuff. So all the stations, except the tiny ones, always kept two or three berths for last minute arrivals on first class. If you turned up, the chances were, unless they had already been taken by somebody, you would get one there and then.
So it worked like that. It was quite an amazing situation compared to now. Now I can sit in Oslo and buy my tickets in India, but this was much more fun, of course. It was kind of an adventure, to travel everywhere in this way, and sometimes on top of a bus, I’ve done that. Also by ox cart to get to Nalanda. The last leg of the journey I did on an ox cart that happened to be passing by.
IN: Were there any foreigners around?
PK: There were, but very few. On the other hand, there were still a few old-time Britishers around, who had been born in India and had nowhere else to go. They were just hanging on somehow.
And there were Indians. I remember the local bank, this is straying far from Tibet, but the way you brought money was traveller’s checks, so I had Thomas Cook’s traveller’s checks, and you had to go to a bank and cash them. I went to the State Bank of India in Dharwar, it’s a tiny little bungalow in a beautiful garden. I went in and I said, I’d like to cash some traveller’s checks. I mean, it must have been three years since the last time it happened. So they said, Oh, yes, yes, yes. In the meantime, would you please come? And they knocked at the door of the bank director’s office, a tiny office, and he says, Oh, yes. You are staying here? Please sit down, my chaprasi will bring tea — and so on.
While they were processing my traveller’s checks, we spent about an hour chatting. And on several occasions when I came back to cash more. He had all the time in the world, and he loved to talk and said, Oh, it was so much better during the British time. This was 1966, it was only 19 years after independence. He was a man in his late forties, he was an adult in 1947. He knew what he was talking about, from his point of view. It was nothing especially rare about people having experienced the British time: Oh, it was so much better, now India is such a mess — it went on like that and — we love British literature. David Copperfield. Lord Byron — et cetera. That was a kind of India that has gone. This kind of person you don’t find anymore, they’re gone.
Studying in Paris in 1969, the atmosphere post-1968
When I got back to Norway, I went on with my studies. I got a French government student’s scholarship because I knew about Professor R.A. Stein, and I wanted to study with him.
I was supposed to spend one year in France, from the autumn 1968 to the summer 1969, but then there was the uprising in May 1968, so all the universities were closed down in the whole of France until the end of the year. So, I could only go in January 1969 and stayed until July. Then I went back, and I finished my Master’s in Norway. But those six or seven months in France were definitely the most important, intellectually speaking, in my life, an opening-up.
IN: How do you remember your teachers there?
PK: At the time, once you were accepted as a student at l’École Pratique [des Hautes Études], where Charles [Ramble] is teaching now, then you could wander around and it was sort of à la carte. You had to ask the teacher to sit in, even if you were not actively engaged in that field, you had to ask for permission. If the teacher said, yes, that’s it. That was all. I really thought I needed to benefit from this to the maximum.
In Tibetan there was Stein, of course. And some people have been talking about Stein and saying he was a difficult person and so on. He was extremely kind to me, I must say, extraordinarily. I followed his courses and Ariane Macdonald’s, too. I met Sandy Macdonald also, but I didn’t follow his teaching, which was not at l’École Pratique, but at Nanterre.
IN: What did the classes look like?
PK: Well, most of them were in the Sorbonne, which now has been refurbished. There were these tiny little rooms, very high ceilings, but really tiny, narrow little table. People were sort of squeezed down. For the Tibetan classes it varied a little bit, but for Ariane Macdonald’s there might have been five or six people there, like Anne Chayet and Anne-Marie Blondeau, those two were classmates.
Mireille Helffer didn’t [attend], she was already independent and doing her own research. But I did meet her. Maybe she came to some classes, because I did meet her. For Tibetan Studies, that was it. I met Yonten Gyatso, who was the Tibetan teacher, and we spent time together. He was an Amdowa, an ex-monk, but eventually he married in France.
Anyway, I followed many other courses at the Collège de France, anyone could just come. I followed the courses Jean Filliozat, who was one of the great Indologists. I also followed other courses at the École française d’Extrême-Orient because Stein had some of these activities there. All these institutions are located in different places. You were travelling all over Paris, from one to the other, it was quite different from the kind of experience here where everything is basically within walking distance.
I followed Pierre Filliozat, Filliozat fils, the son of Jean Filliozat. And Colette Caillat for Pali and, for me very important, Charlotte Vaudeville for Kabir Studies. Kabir was very important in my thinking because I had read quite a bit of Kabir in Oslo with, not with Simonsson, but with another teacher, Knut Kristiansen. I was really interested in Kabir. I did quite a bit of Hindi at that time, before going to Paris.
Later when I started my PhD work, I thought I would write about Kabir. That was my idea. But then, thinking as a philologist and historian, I had to start with what goes before, find his origins and see what they could have been. And then I stumbled across these Caryāgīti, written in a language which is generally called Old Bengali. Then I started studying this text, and that was it. I never got beyond them as far as my thesis was concerned.
IN: So in Paris, it was mostly textual studies?
PK: It was textual studies, yes, practically only.
One thing I should mention, it’s a bit of a side-line, but I did read a lot of Avesta in Oslo with [Georg] Morgenstierne, who was a great scholar, maybe not famous as an Avesta scholar, but as an Iranian philologist, and especially for small, obscure East Iranian languages. He was the great, still is the great, pillar of scholarship in that field. I had read a lot of Avesta with him. There were two of us. The other person, Prods Skjærvø, became professor of Iranian Studies at Harvard eventually. So in Paris, I went to Emile Benveniste’s Avesta seminar – and once again, we were only two students.
Morgenstierne started off with Tibetan Studies. He did Tibetan Studies in Berlin during the war. He did his PhD in 1917 on a Tibetan text. But then by chance, he got into Iranian Studies. It wasn’t his plan. Then he got stuck in Iranian Studies and became the great scholars of Iranian Studies. But he kept an interest in Tibetan.
IN: How was the atmosphere at the university after the uprising [of 1968]?
PK: In Paris it was pretty tense. I mean, the spring 1969, already one year on, was still very tense. You had huge numbers of riot police positioned around, in front of the Panthéon and places like that. Just like they have today, the grey buses and full riot gear. It happened once, I remember, Rue St Jacques, which goes down parallel to the Sorbonne, down to the River Seine, roughly speaking. I was halfway up and then suddenly I saw people at the top running down and somebody shouted, Run, run, run!
The police were known to be extremely brutal. When they charged, they would really just knock anyone down. People were killed and they were quite liberal in their use of tear gas. Anyway, it wasn’t the police, it was just a false alarm, but that was the kind of atmosphere, I would say.
I was living in the international students’ hostels Compound, where all the students from different countries live in different houses. On one occasion, on the inner ring-road that goes past this compound, on the other side there were maybe 20, 30 anarchists with their black flags. That was a scare because if they turned up, then the police would come. Everybody felt that the left-wing students, they rioted, and they cut down all the trees on Boulevard Saint-Michel, for example, which was not forgiven easily by other people in Paris, but they needed them to make barricades. After that, of course, they put tarmac on the boulevard. Before that it was cobblestones, very handy if you want to fight with the police.
Anyway, people said they were really afraid of the anarchists because they were much more violent and unpredictable. They didn’t organise themselves or have any slogans, they were just out to create anarchy. That was the perception anyway. I’m sure the anarchists viewed it differently. It was a strong movement. I mean, in Spain, of course, during the Spanish Civil War, the anarchists were quite important groups. Anyway, that’s getting far from Tibetan Studies.
*** End of interview one. The second interview took place later the same day***
Studying at the University of Oslo, memories of Nils Simonsson
PK: As I said, I had no particular idea what I would study when I left school. So I did one year at a commercial college, where my father was teaching after he left the Foreign Service, because he didn’t want to be posted in different places in the world. That year at the commercial college was basically a waste of time, and it was while I was doing the secretarial work and helping with setting up this school for Tibetans.
By the way, all of them went back to India after three years. But then over the following years, some of them filtered back to Norway in various ways. There are still about 10 of them or so living in or near Oslo. The Tibetan community in Oslo is small but quite closely knit, quite active, and amazingly, as far as I know, without any major sort of feuds or disruptions. So it’s quite a pleasant, small community. And I must add, some of them we still call them the Gjövik boys, and now they’re in their mid-sixties, but they’re amongst my best friends in Oslo. Some, obviously, I have known for most of my life and for even more of theirs. So, it’s not so strange.
So anyway, I didn’t have any particular ideas about Tibetology or even Indian Studies, but I didn’t want to study social economy, which was my father’s field, nor law, which he also had a degree in. But I thought, okay, maybe I can do political science and then I could work with some sort of development agency in the Third World. That kind of terminology was current then.
Then it occurred to me that, I think maybe because of my background – you see, in Norway at that time, in 1963, 1964, if you said the word ‘development aid’, the only place you would automatically think of was India, because of the fishery development project in Kerala in the early 1950s. It was quite a big thing, for the time at least. So, everybody knew about the so-called ‘Kerala project’, and that was synonymous with development aid. So I thought, well, if I’m going to do development aid eventually and go to India, I’d better learn an Indian language.
So I went to a small institute in what was then called the Historical- Philosophical Faculty, now it’s called the Faculty of Humanities. There was small institute there called the Indo-Iranian Institute, which had one professor and one research assistant. That was the entire staff of the institute. But they had a wonderful, big library, which this research assistant kept in impeccable order, always.
So I went and talked to him, and I said, I’d like to study, and so on. And he said, Well, I’m starting a beginners’ course in Hindi in the autumn — this was just before summer — you can join that. And then he said, But you did Latin at school, maybe it would be useful, since you’re familiar with that kind of language, if you did Sanskrit as well. It will help you with the vocabulary — and so on. So he said, Go and talk to Professor Nils Simonsson, the professor of Indian language and literature next door, and ask if you can join his course.
I was actually doing English – that was going to be my main subject, one of the three subjects for BA. But I hadn’t decided on the subjects other than English, it was still open.
So I knocked on Nils Simonsson’s door and I explained my errand, and he said, Yes, you’re very welcome. So I started with Hindi and Sanskrit in the in the autumn besides English, of course. I must say that Simonsson’s approach to teaching a language like Sanskrit was incredible. Not that he made it easy, on the contrary the idea was you’d go straight into it. We started reading texts after a couple of weeks. But it was really a brilliant way, I thought anyway, I still think so. After two weeks, I knew, “This was it, I’m going to do Sanskrit”.
The institute had existed since the mid or late 1920s, if I remember correctly. But I was certainly the first one who eventually took a Master in Sanskrit. They had had a number of students over the years, but nobody took more than the BA level. So, it was a first.
Simonsson taught me his way of reading texts and commentaries at the same time, it was very useful. He would never read a Vedic text without also reading Sāyaṇa’s commentary on the side. You would read maybe some lines of the Brahma Sūtras and then you would read Shankara’s commentary and some sub-commentary to Shankara, this was his way of working.
The other teacher there was the so-called research assistant, but the position was eventually made permanent in his case. He was also very gifted in modern Indian languages, medieval and modern languages. So I did modern Hindi. It was a course designed for American Peace Corps workers. So I did that with a few others, and then we did many different varieties of older Hindi such as Braj and Awadhi, and we also read Pali. We did a little bit of Sinhalese, because he liked to compare these different languages, how they worked out, and he would make notes showing how the genitive particles would be different in all these different languages and so on.
Then I did Iranian Studies. I mean, Avesta, with Professor Georg Morgenstierne. We would go through Gathas or some other Avesta, short text, and then for every other word he would give us well thought-out, etymological comments based on all sorts of obscure languages, in the Pamirs and so on, which he had studied. It was, in one way, very pedagogical. But you had to be receptive to this way of thinking and not let it confuse you, but let it inspire you, which is why, when I went to Paris, I attended twice a week, two different seminars of Émile Benveniste, who was a great linguist and one of the greatest Iranian Avesta scholars ever. Émile Benveniste, one French girl, and me. That was it.
Anyway, I did quite a bit of Iranian Studies, but that was because I got this kind of background. I also did a little bit of Mongolian with the professor of linguistics in Oslo, Even Hovdhaugen.
Then Simonsson, to get back to him, was very excited when he heard that I was interested in Tibetan and had Jaeschke’s grammar and so on, because he had studied Tibetan after the war with Marcelle Lalou in Paris. He was trained in Stockholm, but went down to Paris for a year or six months or something. That’s the way it was done. As I said, you had this freedom.
IN: Who was his Sanskrit teacher?
PK: They had several people in Sweden who could teach Sanskrit at the time. We had an Italian man in our Sanskrit class, who had studied avant-garde theatre in Poland, which was apparently quite active there in the 1950s and 1960s, so his Polish was fluent. This delighted Simonsson because his Russian was fluent, because he had been a Russian interpreter. He just learnt Russian as part of his university studies. Then when the war came, there were some people who were interned in Sweden and who spoke Russian, Russians or Latvians or whatever, and they had to be interrogated. They needed people who could speak Russian. So that’s what he did during the war.
And then for fun, he subscribed to the daily issue of Helsingin Sanomat, which is the largest Finnish-language newspaper in Helsinki, and got it every day at home. He read it just for enjoyment, just because he loved languages. He was a good Tamil scholar. At one point after the BA, he said, Now you should decide, Tibetan’s fine, but you can’t go to Tibet. He himself had been to Tamil Nadu at one point, just for a short visit, but he had bought metres and metres of books in Tamil and brought them back to Oslo in the hope that somebody would want to study them.
You should do Tamil – and – they are such a beautiful people and it is such a pleasant place to be, why don’t you do Tamil instead? He would have been more than delighted to teach me the grammar and all that. But I said, No, no. By that time, I understood that I would do Sanskrit with Tibetan on the side.
So he allowed that. I could put quite a bit of Tibetan into my Sanskrit degree, which was actually officially not a degree in Sanskrit, but Indian language and literature. In practice, it was supposed to be Sanskrit. At the oral examination, I was examined in reading and translating ex tempore (at the time) with examiners in the Avesta, Mongolian, Pali, Tibetan, and Sanskrit.
IN: So it was five languages?
PK: More or less. And Hindi, including Braj. So, there was this kind of approach where, of course, you didn’t become a Mongolian scholar or a Pali scholar, but you learnt to handle the language, to be able to relate to a text, to understand the grammar, the structure, how to use a dictionary in that language, and have some reading experience. It was on that level, apart from Sanskrit, of course.
IN: Did you also study other aspects of Indian culture, like history?
PK: Well, I read. I was especially interested in art, Indian art, classical art. I did read quite a bit about that, but it wasn’t in the curriculum.
IN: So it was a linguistic training at the university?
PK: It was textual, yes. I would say, philological training, traditional, classical philological work. But with this special approach of reading the commentaries, which is of course extremely useful in Tibetan context.
So he accepted that for my Master’s. My Master’s dissertation was a study and a translation of a Bön text, what is basically a Dzogchen text. So there was no Sanskrit involved, but he said it didn’t matter, all this is derived from India, so it’s okay. Well, Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche would not agree, but that’s another matter. We didn’t know about him then. There was no question of Zhangzhung at all.
So, it was very liberal. Very, very open. There was no curriculum. There was nothing like that. I had to submit a certain number of pages for which I was accountable and would have to be able to comment on orally, and [there were] also written exams. We had long written exams, eight-hour exams; two exams, each lasting eight hours. Translation work with a dictionary. But for the oral exam you were not allowed to have a dictionary, you had to do the translation there and then.
I remember the Avesta text. I did reasonably well but there was a verb there which means ‘to say’ but I couldn’t recognise it. It was a text I had submitted, so I should know. But I didn’t, I had forgotten it and didn’t recognise it. Professor Morgenstierne was kind of surprised. I could understand his way of thinking, how is it possible not to know that this verb means ‘to say’?
In between that period, I spent a period in Paris, and then returned and finished my Master’s in Oslo. Then I got a job at the University of Bergen. While I was there, I wrote my doctoral thesis, which was submitted in Oslo because I wanted to get back to Oslo. I didn’t like Bergen.
IN: Did you write both your Master’s and doctoral thesis by yourself? or were you working with Bönpo scholars?
PK: For the Master’s, yes. There were some short biographies I read by myself. Then there was a systematic text, a sort of manual for the meditation teacher, and that I read with Sangye Tenzin. He was in Oslo at the time, for about a year and a half. I was actually able to bring him to Oslo. I was very fortunate. We worked together almost daily. In fact, he lived with my family where I also lived, for about six, seven, eight months. Then we got a small room in a friend’s house, very close to the university. He was paid by Simonsson, who got some money from the university for him to teach Tibetan there.
So actually, neither before nor since has Tibetan been specifically taught by a person doing nothing else at the university. I did teach Tibetan at some periods. I did teach literary Tibetan to students, but I did it as part of the way I defined my overall work. I just did it, and it was okay.
Doctoral defence, memories of David Snellgrove
For my doctoral defence, Simonsson and Morgenstierne were on my examination committee. There is a first opponent and a second opponent, we don’t use ‘examiner’, and it’s called disputation. Here it’s a viva, of course. It’s usually at the university and there will be a big audience with family, friends, students, teachers. At that time, when I did it, it would be in the newspaper, national newspapers would say that such and such gave a defence.
The defence and the opposition, it’s very medieval. This would usually go on for four or five hours and still does, usually with a lunch break. It’s the only relic we’ve still retained of academic ceremonial. The dean, or somebody the dean appoints, has to preside, there are even phrases in Latin, believe it or not, and there are processions in and out, people getting up and standing, and that kind of thing.
You are allowed to go and buy, according to which doctoral degree you take in Philosophy or Medicine or Law, a ring, which is the doctoral ring. Hanna Havnevik has also got the same doctoral ring. So, it’s kind of a relic of a time when being a Doctor of Philosophy was something quite exceptional. So mine came in 1974, but it was in the period of transition, you might say.
IN: I think one of your opponents was David Snellgrove?
PK: Yes. I knew Snellgrove already because I’d been over to see him while I was in France.
I met Samten [Karmay] in Norway while Sangye Tenzin was there, because they’re distant cousins and they knew each other, of course, from England and from Amdo as well. So Samten came over and visited. So I knew Samten. When I was in Paris, I went over to England to visit Samten, who was living somewhere quite close to London. He had something to do with SOAS. He was writing his thesis, which was published in 1972. He might have had some scholarship to do that, I’m not sure.
I met him and he introduced me sort of shyly, in a way, to a young lady with whom he was quite friendly, which was Heather [Stoddard]. Then he took me out to Snellgrove’s place. So, I met Snellgrove and I said, I’m going to work on Bön Dzogchen for my Master’s. I did, but I did just a tiny little pinpoint section of it. I was thinking far too broadly like I later did with Kabir.
He said, Well, I’ve got all these interesting texts, Zhangzhung Nyengyü (Zhang zhung snyan rgyud) and other texts, you can take them into London, you can photocopy them at SOAS and bring them back. So I did. I still have those photocopies of Snellgrove’s texts. Now they’re in the British Library, I think. So, that’s how I knew Snellgrove. Then we were a little bit, not much, but a little bit in touch. I did meet him in Paris as well.
IN: How was he as the opponent? Was he strict?
PK: We don’t have gowns, except the dean. We don’t use academic gowns. But he brought his. As he said, he thought it would give more glamour to the event. Since he was the first opponent, he stood at one end of the podium, I stood at the other, and then the dean sits in the middle and tries to follow what’s going on. And he said, Ah, so you have studied these songs in Old Bengali, the Charyagiti. Well, will you sing one to us, please?
IN: Did you?
PK: Well, the text does say that each song should be mentioned according to such and such a melody, but I had no idea. I don’t know if anybody had. It certainly didn’t interest me; I was interested in the text. I don’t think anybody really was aware then that these songs actually are still sung, but in Kathmandu, by some of the vajracharyas there. They actually do sing them, not all of them, but certain songs in some kind of Old Bengali language.
So I said, I can’t sing them, but I can recite it for you. So, I recited one of them metrically. He was happy with that. No, he wasn’t particularly strict. I mean, he had remarks and things, which was fine. It wasn’t very stressing; except I was young and awed. The other two professors, Morgenstierne and Simonsson, I knew well. So I was quite confident. Actually, Morgenstierne was just the third member, which means he was not an opponent, he was just present. He didn’t actually have to say anything.
There was no opposition, as we say, opposition ex auditorio (from the audience), which is possible in at least Norway and Denmark, because we copied the Danish system when we got our own university in the early nineteenth century. This means that after the first opposition, the dean says, we’re having a break, if anybody in the audience wishes to make an opposition ex auditorio, please inform me in the break and you will be given the chance to do so. I’ve seen this happen. It means somebody who has got some serious objection to the validity of the thesis, not just remarks, but something serious, which concludes that this thesis should not be accepted, they can come up, anyone can come up and do that. It happens occasionally.
In Norway, in recent history, it’s been in theology, as one can imagine. I’ve seen it happen in Copenhagen when I was the first opponent for Christian Lindtner, the Madhyamaka scholar. Another Danish colleague of his got up and said, I wish to. Then he had to be allowed to do that. He had a long harangue about why the thesis was unworthy of the doctoral degree, according to certain shortcomings, which he listed, and which were, actually, not irrelevant shortcomings. Some we were aware of, but we didn’t think the thesis should be rejected.
Then you have to adjourn, and the committee has to decide there and then if they will accept the opposition ex auditorio or not, whether to proceed or not. So, in that case, we decide to proceed. Then, of course, the opponent ex auditorio, who later became professor in Oslo in Persian, just marched out. I remember Christian Lindtner, who was a very irascible person, was also furious. He called off the lunch after the opposition, which was scandalous. One doesn’t do that because there should be a lunch or usually dinner, a big dinner, after the disputation.
Teaching at the University of Bergen
IN: When you were teaching in Bergen, you were teaching history of religions. Did you have to cover different religions?
PK: I gave short elementary introductory courses – also in Oslo, especially the first years — in Iranian religion, Chinese religion, Hinduism, of course – but I was more competent in doing that – the history of ideas, and so on. There was quite a broad spectrum of topics that you were expected to be able to handle, but not necessarily based on your own research. This was the elementary level, of course.
IN: So, in fact, you have shifted a bit. The education you received was very textual based and philological. And then you were teaching theoretical.
PK: I did also take history of religions as a subject. You read these classics or, if you don’t read them, you should at least know about them and know what they’re about. Also in anthropology, sociology of religion, and so on. So, I had to do a bit of preparation for that, but again on a very elementary level.
IN: Hanna Havnevik also writes that your PhD thesis was well received by Mircea Eliade, among others. Have you ever met him?
PK: No, but he got a copy, a review copy, or a complimentary copy. I can’t remember how it was phrased. Probably just a complimentary copy. He wrote a short review of it in the Chicago journal History of Religions. Also Giuseppe Tucci. He wrote two lines to thank me.
IN: Later Mircea Eliade asked you to write an entry for his Encyclopedia of Religions?
PK: Well yes, but he didn’t personally ask me. He was a general editor and I think that was mainly giving his name to this big multivolume thing. There was an editorial board, so it wasn’t Eliade himself. I did write a couple of entries there, yes.
Position at the University of Oslo
IN: Then you worked in Oslo as a very young professor. You stayed in this post until?
PK: From 1975 to 2007. So, 32 years. At the end of which I thought I’d done my duty.
I was entitled to take early retirement because I’d been working for so long. I could take it anyway, but I was entitled to get full pension as taking early retirement. So I thought I’d been teaching for 32 years and that was enough.
Then I took a break for some years before deciding to go back to Tibetan Studies. I mean, I hadn’t stopped entirely. I hadn’t stopped taking an interest, but I wasn’t reading very much at all and wrote nothing for some years, or next to nothing. So, it was a break, actually.
Interest in art, research on William McTaggart
I’ve always been interested in art, as you’ve understood, but then around 2000, roughly, I developed a stronger interest in in Western art. This was actually triggered by the fact that my father, when we lived in Scotland, became an avid collector of Scottish landscape art from the second half of nineteenth century. There was an auction house in Glasgow, Morrisson and McCleary, and he was really a good customer. He would buy something every second week. He’d come home with a painting or sometimes he had to buy three or four to get the one he wanted because they were put together in lots just to get rid of them. So they were unsalable paintings, some of which could only be sold for £2 or something. There were masses and masses. I think the final number with large and small paintings must have been close to 100 paintings, which he brought back home. Of course, some of them were rather expensive paintings by well-known artists.
When my parents passed away, we divided this collection in the family, my two sisters and myself. He had also given some to his grandchildren and so on. All of it, practically all of it, is in the family. So, when I inherited some of the paintings I got more interested. Not just being used to seeing them, but asking myself what is this actually, who is this artist? From that, I developed this general interest in Western art. Eventually, I wrote a book about the Scottish landscape painter, William McTaggart, which has been quite an adventure. I spent a lot of time in Scotland in the years before it was published in 2007, visiting libraries, galleries, private collectors.
Later, after the book, I went to the places McTaggart had been to and painted, to see the same exact place, to find out where he had been standing. I did publish this book, which was quite well received. I think they’ve sold about 1500 copies, which is not much. On the other hand, outside Scotland nobody knows about him, which is a pity because he’s actually a great artist. I think he’s one of the great European artists.
McTaggart did visit London occasionally to see the annual show at the Royal Academy. He did also contribute there for a few years and then he stopped. Many of his colleagues moved down to London, where they could make much more money because Scottish landscapes were very much in fashion. Wild and exotic, and misty, mountains, highland cattle, and so on. He didn’t paint that kind of painting, actually.
Many asked him, why didn’t you move to London like Peter Graham, John MacWhirter, and quite a few [others]. He is reputed to have answered, I’d rather be number one in my own country, than number two in another. He was actually number one in Scotland, so he stayed there, had 14 children, and generally contributed to Scottish culture, I would say.
So I know one of his great granddaughters very well, she lives in Woking. I’m very friendly with her family and often go to see them when I’m in England. Not this time, but we’re in touch all the time.
Position at the University of Oslo (part II)
IN: Did you establish Tibetan Studies at the University of Oslo?
PK: Well, I can’t say I established it. I taught it. I was able to sneak Tibetan topics into courses of Buddhism or if the course was about ritual, then I would use examples from Tibetan religion.
At a certain point, seconded by Hanna, who was then a young university lecturer, we really tried to convince the faculty to establish Tibetan as a field of study like Korean and so on. They completely refused. So I kept insisting, there were a couple of rounds of that. In the end, probably just to have some peace and quiet, they said, Okay, we’ll never, ever establish Tibetan Studies as such, but we will redefine your chair to be 50% History of Religions and 50% Tibetan Studies.
That was a personal thing. So when I retired that lapsed, of course. But it did give me the possibility of teaching Tibetan to MA students. Some of them actually wrote quite good dissertations, at least a couple, using Tibetan sources, reading texts, making sense of it and so on. So that wasn’t wasted.
IN: Which classes did you teach? You also taught history of religions?
PK: Yes, that’s where I had the greater number of students, of course. So that would be introductory classes to Buddhism, Indian religions, and things like that. I stopped doing Chinese religion, Iranian, and so on. That was the first few years. Then I could say I won’t do it, and that was easier as time went by.
The whole university system, as was the case in at least continental Europe, was reorganised in the late 1980s and early 1990s, according to the so-called Bologna process, which has been the death knell of free research and meaningful university activity, in my opinion. Well, then everything had to be organised in programmes, not according to institutes and subjects, but programmes where you could combine all sorts of things. So, you would have a programme of East Asian Studies or a programme of Religious Studies or a programme of West European languages. So in the context of that, we did succeed in establishing a programme of Tibetan Studies, but not including the teaching of Tibetan.
It was stated very clearly that you cannot be accepted unless you can show that either you’re a native speaker, or you have got the necessary knowledge of either modern or classical Tibetan from somewhere else. So we did get students that had done Tibetan in Kathmandu, at the Rangjung Yeshe Institute, places like that, and could read Tibetan texts. There were a few in that category.
Then gradually we got quite a lot of Tibetan students from Tibet. They used to take their MA in the context of this programme, but this programme has now been abolished by the faculty for no specified reason. I think they just hate Tibetan because the Chinese lobby, the Sinologist lobby is quite strong. That’s just a theory. Of course, I can’t prove it.
Now you can still do Tibetan topics, but it has to be within History of Religions or within East Asian Studies. And there’s no language teaching.
IN: So you must have had many, many students?
PK: Well, the History of Religions would attract a great number of students because it was a subject which you could use if your aim was to become a teacher in a secondary school. In Norway, they teach History or Religion as a compulsory subject, actually, in secondary schools. It’s quite a good subject to take, combined with, let’s say, a language. So there were lots, actually.
IN: Was Hanna Havnevik your main student?
PK: Yes, I guess so. She came quite early and had this interest. She wrote an excellent Master’s thesis, which was published as a book. Her book, Tibetan Buddhist Nuns, is actually her Master’s thesis, which has also been translated into French by Françoise Pommaret. It’s been published in France, I have a copy. It’s more or less the first book on Tibetan nuns. Not the first thing ever written, I think, but certainly the first monograph.
Then later, she did her PhD, which I was involved in as her supervisor. It was on Ani Lochen, the Tibetan yogini who travelled all over the Himalayan area. She finally settled down at Shugseb Monastery outside Lhasa and then dictated, I think, this autobiography, which is quite interesting and is also full of interesting ethnographic and historical detail. She travelled with her old mother all over the place, and all their luggage was carried by a big goat, a billy goat, who was their dearest friend because he was big and strong and carried all their things.
Interestingly, Ani Lochen writes that on one occasion somebody gave them tea leaves as an offering because they were begging, of course, all the way. They had no idea what to do with it. That’s interesting. So what they did was, they thought it was a vegetable, which is true in a way, so they boiled it and strained off the water. Then they thought they could eat the leaves like some sort of spinach or something. They couldn’t eat it, they said it was too bitter. It’s interesting. It shows that the really poor Tibetans, at least in central and west Tibet, had no idea what tea was. So that was not something which everybody used to drink, as recently as the turn of the century.
The Network for University Co-operation Tibet-Norway
There were others who did do Tibetan Studies, including some Tibetans from Tibet, who were on this programme. This project, which has worked for 20 years is now actually on hold, let’s say, from the Tibetan side, and has recently been discontinued by the Norwegian side.
IN: I was going to ask you about it, how was it established?
PK: That was the initiative of a colleague of mine, Professor Jens Braarvig. He was in Bergen as a student when I was there as a young university lecturer. He’s only a couple of years younger than me. He learnt a bit of Tibetan from me there.
Later, he did Sanskrit in Oslo and eventually got his MA in Oslo. Then he wrote his PhD, which he got in Oslo, and eventually became a professor. He’s also a person with an interest in a great range of languages. He does Chinese, his Greek is very good, apparently, I don’t know Greek myself. My Latin’s fine but I don’t know Greek. He has a weekly class in Sumerian. This is totally off the record, he gets no credit for it, but he’s been able to establish something called ‘multilingual text reading’ or something like that. This is a class with a couple of people coming for Sumerian. He’s got that that kind of broad interest.
He was interested, like so many others, to see if he could get his hands on Indian palm leaf manuscripts of ancient Tibetan Buddhist texts, preserved in the Potala. He wasn’t very successful and nobody else has been either, as far as I know, at least to any significant extent. He thought — but when I’m saying he thought, it is only what I think — that if he could set up a broader cooperation structure with the Tibetans in Lhasa, then within that framework it could be done. I think that was the idea.
Anyway, it did get quite good support from the University of Oslo. He [also] got good financial support, initially from the minister of foreign affairs in Oslo. This was 22 years ago, so, 1995. At that time, the pro-Tibet lobby in the Norwegian parliament was very strong. Out of 165 members, they had about 90 members, which is quite a lot. For a period, there was a considerable consciousness about the Tibet issue. Also, internationally, by the way.
The Norwegian government was under pressure from the parliament, without any resolutions being passed. But it understood they were actually under pressure to do something. So they made it clear that they would not take up the issue of Tibet politically, like discussing the status of Tibet with China. They would not do that. But they would generously fund an initiative to promote cooperation and develop between our two countries, Norway and Tibet, research and higher education in Tibet itself. So with this economic backing from the ministry, it was feasible.
Then the university liked it because it was financed externally and it was something quite new and quite interesting. So the four universities, Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim, and Tromsö in the far north, set up a committee with this financial backing. Then they contacted Tibet, through various contacts that Jens and some others had. I had no such contacts because I was so involved in the political solidarity work at the time that I didn’t have this kind of good contacts. I had contacts with parliamentarians, but not with the ministry.
The Tibetans liked it. A delegation came, and everything was signed and set up for exchange of students, a joint project of research in Tibet, and so on. Also, the presence of a Norwegian university lecturer in English at the Tibet University, a post which was continuously there for all this period of time, and even later.
IN: Which year was it established?
PK: It was in 1995.
IN: So it was a Chinese delegation?
PK: Mainly Tibetans with one or two Chinese. It wasn’t a big delegation, maybe four or five people. It was not something you had to negotiate for years with a lot of opposition, hurdles, and problems. Not at all. From the Norwegian side, we never, ever negotiate with Beijing, with anyone in Beijing. Only with Lhasa. Initially it was Tibet University and the Tibetan Academy of Social Sciences.
This went on and on for 20 years. In those 20 years, up to three years ago, about 100 Tibetans, mainly from TAR but not only, got their got their MA in Norway and about 12 got their PhDs. Only one PhD, up to then, in Tibetan Studies. Well, one in art history, but it was contemporary Tibetan art, Tsewang Tashi, who was the professor of art at Tibet University. Otherwise in Biology, Climate Studies, Maths, and so on. We always said, Tibetan Studies was just a small part of it. Whatever we can offer, we have no agenda. You tell us what you want and if we can offer it in English, we will offer it in English. So it worked quite well.
Then for political reasons it was not ratified the last time. Every three years the camp came up for renewal. That didn’t happen three years ago, unfortunately. But the students who were still in Norway have been able to finish their studies. It hasn’t been like everybody had to go back or anything like that, except one young lady who went back because she became pregnant. She wanted to have her baby in Lhasa, but she’s still actually on the programme and I hope she will be able to deliver her PhD as well.
IN: Did all the Tibetans then return to Tibet? Which jobs did they have?
PK: Many already had jobs on a junior level, I would suppose, at university, Tibet Academy, or other places outside TAR. So they would go back to their jobs. Others got jobs when they returned without, as far as I know, any problem. No one has remained behind. Although there have been a couple of cases that we know of where they went back but then eventually, they moved out. One is married in Japan and one has gone to Canada, but none to Norway. They’ve gone back to Tibet and then they’ve gone off. So it’s not our problem.
IN: They might be quite influential in Tibet?
PK: In one way, yes. In a Tibetan context it’s quite a few young people, and they’ve had anything from at least two years here. Most would have had three or four. Some have done their MA plus their PhDs and would have been here for six or seven years. So, yes, of course, that that is not negligible.
On the other hand, it doesn’t seem that these [individuals] tend to get appointed to the really top-notch jobs that carry real influence on university policy and so on. That’s reserved for others, I think. Whether that has to do with the fact that they’ve been abroad and absorbed the foreign ideas or not, I can’t say. But all of them have returned and have gone back and forth in their holidays and so on. There’s never been a problem that suddenly they haven’t turned up or their passports have been taken. This hasn’t happened. Not for Lhasa even. So, all in all, it’s been quite successful.
Now, with the new development that I hinted at between Norway and China, I would not be surprised if in some time it might be possible to renew it. When it was not renewed, there was doubt if the Norwegian government would still fund it or would they shut the whole thing down, in which case it would be difficult to start it again. But they’ve had the consultants, the reports, and stuff like that, which have been prepared. The conclusion seems to be, as far as I’m aware, that they will not shut it down, but they will downgrade it a bit. It can be revived in a more active form. There will be somebody employed, like a secretary and so on. So we’ll see what happens. There are also contacts with Minzu, Xining, and so on. If Lhasa can’t come onboard, then maybe some of these other institutions can.
The establishment of Tibetan and Himalayan studies at the University of Oxford
IN: Were you also involved in the establishment of Tibetan Studies here in Oxford, with Anthony Aris?
PK: Yeah, I was involved. Actually, I was involved by Michael Aris because he wanted to establish a centre of Tibetan Studies. Initially it was at St. Antony’s, if I remember correctly. There was the Warden of St Anthony’s, Sir Marrack Goulding, whose past was in the foreign service and United Nations diplomacy in the Balkans, that kind of background. He retired from that and was then hired by St Antony’s College as its Warden to fundraise and generally be the administrative head of it.
At that time, this was just a thought. Michael and he took various contacts with different people. Then Michael became ill. His illness didn’t really last very long, it developed quite quickly. But he did want to set up the centre, and they were quite interested in doing that at St Antony’s. So, I came here many times because of that, because there were meetings and discussions, and they had a building in mind that they could buy or rent. It was close to the college and would be suitable. There were all sorts of thoughts.
When he was in hospital, Michael said to me, I want you to be the first director of this place. What could I say? I said, yes, of course. After Michael passed away, then it fell on Anthony to carry this on. I didn’t know Anthony that well before, but gradually we became very close friends, I must say. So, he carried on.
Quite soon it became clear that St Antony’s wasn’t going to do it after all. What I was told, or what I was made to understand, was that they wouldn’t really do it because they hadn’t had centres like that before, and this would be quite a big thing, relatively speaking. It would become too concentrated, too many Tibetologists. So, they pulled out, and that was basically the end of that aspect.
But then, of course, came the idea of getting a permanent chair of Tibetan Studies here. This is very complicated. I don’t know much about it because while I didn’t exactly withdraw, it developed somewhat without my participation after a certain point. One person that probably could supplement and knows a bit about this is Richard Gombrich. He was on this from the beginning, being the senior professor of Buddhist Studies. I’m sure he can give you some insight in what actually happened.
IN: Do you know what was Michael Aris’ vision?
PK: His vision was to have a physical centre of Tibetan Studies with someone organising workshops and things, and people coming and going, visiting lectures, and so on. That was his vision.
IN: And one permanent chair?
PK: Well, yes, but whether that chair would be at the centre or located somewhere else was not the major issue. It was more to create a centre of activity, the presence and visibility of Tibetan Studies at Oxford. I think that was his idea.
Eventually it worked out the way it has worked out, which is very good. I also think that Anthony understood that setting up a physical centre, with its own administration and so on, would be quite a major undertaking. He wanted to promote things, but I don’t think he really wanted to have to spend the rest of his life struggling to keep it going. So, I think when Wolfson came up as an alternative to St. Antony’s, and the solution was found there, it was a very good solution.
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(4) Songs of the Mystic Path, Bangkok (White Orchid Press), 1986. Reprint of (2), with “Preface to the Second Edition”, pp. v‑vii.
“Priceless Collection of Buddhist Tantric Songs for Serious Reading”, Bangkok Post, 13.8.1987, p. 34 (Peter Skilling).
Bon, Buddhism and Democracy. The Building of a Tibetan National Identity, Per Kværne and Rinzin Thargyal, Copenhagen (NIAS): “Introduction”, pp. 5–6; “Religious Change and Syncretism: the Case of the Bon Religion of Tibet”, pp. 9–26. [NIAS Report no. 12].
Tibetan Studies. Proceedings of the 6th Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies, Fagernes 1992, 2 vols., Per Kvaerne (ed.), Oslo (Institute for Comparative Research in Human Culture). [“sNgon-brjod/Foreword”, vol. 1, pp. i‑vi; vol. 1, photo on cover].
(5) The Bon Religion of Tibet. The Iconography of a Living Tradition, London (Serindia Publications), 155 pp (incl. 60 colour plates). [Also published Boston (Shambhala), 1986; reprint 2001].
- Revue Bibliographique de Sinologie, 1996, pp. 174–175 (Anne Chayet).
- Arts Asiatiques, vol. 51 (1996), p. 164 (Anne Chayet).
- East and West, vol. 46, 3–4 (1996), p. 518–520 (Ramón Prats).
- Boletín de la Sociedad Española de Ciencas de las Religiones, vol. 6 (1996), pp. 57–59
- The Mirror, no. 39 (Feb./March 1997) (Andy Lukianowicz).
- Orientations, vol. 29, 9 (October 1998), p.110 (Deborah Klimburg-Salter).
- Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, vol. 51, 1–2 (Alice Sárközi).
- Himalayan Research Bulletin, vol. 30,1 (1999), pp. 63–64 (Donatella Rossi).
2013 (Introduction, pp. 9–23).
(6) The Stages of A‑Khrid Meditation. Dzogchen Practice of the Bon Tradition, Per Kvaerne and Thubten K. Rikey (trans.), Dharamsala (Library of Tibetan Works and Archives), ??? pp.
(7) Die Mythologie der Bon-Religion und der tibetischen Volksreligion, Stuttgart (Klett-Cotta), ??? pp. [Wörterbuch der Religion. 1. Abteilung, 33. Lieferung, pp. 831–875 (published as a separate fascicle)].
(8) A Catalogue of the Bon Kanjur, Dan Martin, Per Kværne, Yasuhiko Nagano (eds.), Osaka (National Museum of Ethnology), iv+799 pp. [“Foreword”, pp. iii-iv; Bon Studies 8. Senri Ethnological Reports 40].
Central Asiatic Journal, vol. 49, 2 (2005), pp. 311–314 (Helmut Eimer).
(10) Un peintre norvégien au Louvre. Peder Balke (1804–1887) et son temps, Sous la direction de Per Kværne et Magne Malmanger, Oslo (Novus Press/ The Institute for Comparative Research in Human Culture), 202 pp. [“Avant-propos”, pp. 7–8; Instituttet for sammenlignende kulturforskning, Serie B: Skrifter CCIX].
(11) “Singing Songs of the Scottish Heart”. William McTaggart 1835–1910, Edinburgh (Atelier Books), 288 pp. (incl. 267 ill.).
- 1. Scottish Art News, No. 9 (2008), p. 56 (Francesca Baseby and Hayley Brown).
- Journal of the Scottish Society for Art History, vol. 13 (2008–2009), pp. 67–68
- The Kintyre Magazine, No. 68 (2010), pp. 14–15 (Angus Martin).
(12) “Le vie del Sacro. L’avventura spirituale di uno storico delle religioni fra Tibet e Sacri Monti/ Paths to the Sacred. The spiritual adventure of a historian of religions from Tibet to Sacri Monti, Crea, Ponzano Monferrato (Centro di Documentazione dei Sacri Monti, Calvari e Complessi devozionali europei), 158 pp. [Bilingual text Italian-English, numerous colour plates, incl. 19 photos by the author].
“Remarques sur l’administration d’un monastère bon-po”, Journal Asiatique, vol. 258, pp. 187–192 + 2 plates.
“A Chronological Table of the Bon-po. The bstan-rcis of Ñi-ma bstan-‘jin”, Acta Orientalia, vol 33, pp. 205–282.
“Un nouveau document relatif à l’épopée tibétaine de Gesar”, Bulleting de l’École Française d’Extrême-Orient, vol. 58, pp. 221–230 + 1 plate.
“Aspects of the Origin of the Buddhist Tradition in Tibet”, Numen, vol. 19,1, pp. 22–40. See also (??).
“Bonpo Studies. The A‑Khrid System of Meditation”, Kailash, 1,1, pp. 19–50 and 1,4 247–332. [Dissertation for the degree of Magister Artium, Oslo University 1970]. See also A (6).
““Comparative Religion: Whither – and Why ?” A Reply to Wilfred Cantwell Smith”, Temenos, vol. 9, pp. 161–168. [Reply by W.C. Smith, ““The Finger that Points to the Moon”. Reply to Per Kværne”, Temenos, vol. 9, pp. 169–172].
“The Canon of the Tibetan Bonpos”, Indo-Iranian Journal, vol. 16,1, pp. 18–50 and 16,2, pp. 96–144.
“Introduction”, René de Nebesky-Wojkowitz, Oracles and Demons of Tibet, Graz (reprint: Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt ), pp. iii-xix.
Translation of “Introduction”:
*? Lhasa 1987, pp. 150–168.
Archiv Orientální, vol. 45 (1977), pp. 360–361 (Josef Kolmas).
“On the Concept of Sahaja in Indian Buddhist Tantric Literature”, Temenos, vol. 11, pp. 88–135.
“Le Caryāgītikoṣa”, Inde Ancienne. Actes du XXIXe Congrès internationale des Orientalistes, Paris, Juillet 1973. Section organisée par Jean Filliozat, pp. 68–72.
““Research Course “Minority, Culture and Community”. Report from Group 3. The World-view Oriented Group”, NIF Newsletter, 1976/3, pp. 14–16.
“The Genesis of the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition”, Tibetan Review, vol. 11, 3 (March 1976), pp. 9–15. See also ??
“Who are the Bonpos ?”, Tibetan Review, vol. 11, 9 (September 1976), pp. 30–33. See also ??
“Who are the Bonpos ?”, Communications of the Alexander Csoma de Körös Institute for Buddhology, vol. 6, 1–2, Budapest, pp. 41–47.
“Seminar of Young Tibetologists”, Tibetan Review, vol. 12, 8 (August 1977), pp. 7–9. [“From Our Special Correspondent”].
“Continuity and Change in Tibetan Monasticism”, in: Korean and Asian Religious Tradition, Toronto (??), pp. 83–98. [Translation of (??)].
“A Tibetan Death Ceremony”, Martin Brauen and Per Kværne, Temenos, vol. 14, pp. 9–11.
[Authored by Per Kværne: pp. 9–11].
“The Visit of Prince Waldemar of Prussia to Nepal in February and March 1845”, Kailash, vol. 7, 1, pp. 35–50. [Translation from ????, pp. ??].
“Mongols and Khitans in a 14th-century Tibetan Bonpo Text”, Acta Orientalia Hungarica, vol. 34, 1–3, pp. 85–104.
*Lhasa (1987), pp. 119–136 (Chinese).
“The Bonpos of Tibet – An Historical Enigma”, History of Religions. Proceedings of the Thirteenth Congress IAHR Lancaster 1975, Michael Pye and Peter McKenzie (eds.), Leicester 1980, pp. 45–46. [Leicester Studies in Religion, vol. 2].
“A Preliminary Study of Chap. VI of the gZer-mig”, Tibetan Studies in Honour of Hugh Richardson, ed. Michael Aris and Aung San Suu Kyi, Warminster (Aris and Phillips Ltd.), pp. 185–191. [Proceedings of the International Seminar on Tibetan Studies, Oxford 1979].
“A bibliography of the works of Siegbert Hummel”, Acta Orientalia, vo. 42, pp. 89–106.
Dictionnaire des mythologies, 2 vols., Yves Bonnefoy (ed.), Paris (Flammarion): “Anthropogoniques (mythes). Au Tibet”, vol. 1, pp. 42–45; “Cosmogoniques (mythes). Au Tibet”, vol. 1, pp. 249–252; “Origines. Leur importance dans la mythologie tibétaine”, vol. 2, pp. 194–195; “Royauté divine. Au Tibet”, vol. 2, pp. 381–384; “Tibet. La mythologie, Introduction au problème”, vol. 2, pp. 495–497. [Reprint, paperback and without illustrations, 1999].
See (??) (English); *Milano (Rizzolo), 19?? (Italian).
“Georg Morgenstierne and Tibetan Studies”, The Journal of the Tibet Society, Bloomington, Indiana, vol. 1, pp.40–43.
“A Bonpo Version of the Wheel of Existence”, Tantric and Taoist Studies in Honour of R.A. Stein, ed. Michel Strickmann, Bruxelles, pp. 274–289. [Mélanges Chinois et Bouddhiques, vol. 20].
“Preface”, in: Tadeusz Skorupski, Tibetan Amulets, Bangkok (White Orchid Press), pp. vii-xi. Reprint (Orchid Books) 2010.
“’The Great Perfection’ in the Tradition of the Bonpos”, in: Whalen Lai and Lewis R. Lancaster (eds.), Early Ch’an in China and Tibet, Berkeley, pp. 367–392. [Berkeley Buddhist Studies Series, vol. 5].
“Tibet: the Rise and Fall of a Monastic Tradition”, chap. 10 in: Heinz Bechert and Richard Gombrich (eds.), The World of Buddhism. Buddhist Monks and Nuns in society and Culture, London (Thames and Hudson), pp. 253–270. [Reprint, paperback, 1991].
Die Welt des Buddhismus, München (??), 1984, pp. 253–271 (German; transl. Jens-Uwe Hartman). [Reprint ????].
Le monde du bouddhisme, Paris (Bordas), 1984, pp. 247–263 (French; transl. Hervé Denès).
Journal of the International Association for Buddhist Studies, vol. 8,1 (1985), pp. 126–133 (Roger Jackson).
Göttingische Gelehrte Anzeiger, vol. 237, 3–4 (1985), pp. 293–305 (Georg von Simson).
Acta Orientalia, vol. 46 (1985), pp. 214–217 (Peter Schalk).
“Croyances populaires et folklores au Tibet”, in: Mythes et croyances du monde entière, 6 vols., Paris (Editions Lidis), vol. 4, pp. 157–169. [*Reprint vol. 4, new title L’Asie. Mythes et traditions, ??? (Brepols)].
“An Invocation of the Bonpo Deity Ñi-pan-sad”, Antwerps Tibet-Symposium 1971–1986, Antwerpen (private circulation only), pp. 38–46.
“Peintures tibétaines de la vie de sTon-pa-gçen-rab”, Arts Asiatiques, vol. 41, pp. 36–81.
Pp. 36–39, (??).
“The ‘Water-miracle’ in Tibet”, in: Eivind Kahrs (ed.), Kalyânamitrârâganam. Essays in Honour of Nils Simonsson, Oslo (Universitetsforlaget), pp. 159–164. [Instituttet for sammenlignende kulturforskning, Serie B: Skrifter LXX].
“Herman Ludin Jansen (1905–1986)”, Temenos, vol. 22, pp. 142–144.
“Dualism in Tibetan Cosmogonic Myths and the Question of Iranian Influence”, in: Christopher I. Beckwith (ed.), Silver on Lapis. Tibetan Literary Culture and History, Bloomington, Indiana (The Tibet Society), pp. 163–174.
The Encyclopedia of Religion, 16 vols., ed. Mircea Eliade, New York (Macmillan), “Bon”, vol. 2, pp. 277–280; “Tibetan Religions. An Overview”, vol. 14, pp. 497–504. [Reprinted, (??)].
“Bön-religionen”, Tidskriften Tibet, 1989/1–2, pp. 7–12 (Swedish). [The article “Bon”].
“Bon”, M. Eliade (ed.), Enciclopedia delle Religioni vol. 13 [Religioni dell’Estremo Oriente], Milano (Jaca Book) 2007, pp. 59–62 + transl. of Tibetan Religions. An Overview
“A Set of Thangkas Illustrating the Life of sTon-pa gShen-rab in the Musée Guimet, Paris”, The Tibet Journal, vol. 12, 3, pp. 62–67. [English translation of “Introduction”, Arts Asiatiques 1986, pp. 36–39].
“Religion and its relation to progress”, Kuensel (Thimphu), vol. 2, 16 (25.4.1987), p. 7; vol. 2, 17 (2.5.1987), p. 7.
“Le rituel tibétain, illustré paar l’évocation dans la religion Bon-po, du ‘Lion de la parole’”, in: Anne Marie Blondeau and Kristofer Schipper (eds.), Essais sur le rituel I, Louvain/Paris (??), pp. 147–158. [Bibliothèque de l’EPHE, Sciences religieuses, vol. 92].
“A New Chronological Table of the Bon Religion. The bstan-rcis of Hor-bcun bsTan-‘jin-blo-gros (1888–1975)”, in: Helga Uebach and Jampa L. Panglung (eds.), Tibetan Studies. Proceedings of the 4th Seminar of the International Association of Tibetan Studies, München (???), pp. 241–244. [Studia Tibetica. Quellen zur tibetischen Lexicographie, Band II, Kommission für zentralasiatischen Studien der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften].
The Religious Traditions of Asia, ed. Joseph Kitagawa, New York (Macmillan), “The Religions of Tibet”, pp. 195–205; “Bon”, pp. 217–220. [Reprinted from (??)].
“Sâkyamuni in the Bon Religion”, Temenos vol. 25, pp. 33–40.
“The Bön of Tibet: The Historical Enigma of a Monastic Tradition”, in: Christoph von Fürer-Haimendorf (ed.), The Renaissance of Tibetan Civilization, Oracle, Arizona (Synergetic Press), pp. 114–119.
“The Monastery of Snang-zhig of the Bon Religion in the Rnga-ba district of Amdo”, in: Daffiná, P. (ed.), Indo-Sino-Tibetica: Sino-Indo-Tibetica: Studi in Onore di Luciano Petech, Rome (Bardi Editore), pp. 207–222.
“A Preliminary Study of the Bonpo Deity Khro-bo Gtso-mchog Mkha’-‘gying”, in: Lawrence Epstein and Richard F. Sherburne (eds.), Reflections of Tibetan Culture. Essays in Memory of Turrell V. Wylie, Lewiston, N.Y. , pp. 117–125. [Studies in Asian Thought and Religion, vol. 12].
“A Bonpo bsTan-rtsis from 1804”, in: Tadeusz Skorupski (ed.), Indo-Tibetan Studies. Papers in honour and appreciation of Professor David L. Snellgrove’s contribution to Indo-Tibetan Studies, Tring (The Institute of Buddhist Studies), pp. 151–169. [Buddhica Britannica, Series continua 2].
“The Bon Religion of Tibet. A Survey of Research”, NIAS Report 1990 (Copenhagen), pp. 143–153. (See also ??).
“Foreword”, in: Markus Aksland, The Sacred Footprint, Oslo ???, p. v. [Reprint Bangkok ??].
Mythologies, 2 vols. ed. Wendy Doniger, Chicago (University of Chicago Press), vol. 2, pp. 1075–1088. [Translation of (??)].
“The Date of Sâkyamuni According to Bonpo Sources”, in: Heinz Bechert (ed.), The Dating of the Historical Buddha. Die Datierung des historischen Buddha, Part 1, Göttingen (Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht), pp. 415–420. [Symposien zur Buddhismusforschung, vol, 4,1].
“Le symbolisme des Caryāgīti”, in: F. Mallison (ed.), Littératures médiévales de l’Inde du Nord, Paris (École Française d’Extrême-Orient), pp. 35–38. [Publications de l’Ecole Fraçaise d’Extrême-Orient, vol.165].
Who’s Who of World Religions, ed. John R. Hinnells, London (Macmillan): “Gshen-rab Mi-bo-che”, p. 136; “Shar-rdza Bkra-shis rgyal-mtshan”, p. 371; “Shes-rab rgyal-mtshan”, p. 373.
“Chronological Tables (bstan-rcis) of the Bon Religion”, in: A. Wezler and E. Hammerschmidt (eds.), Proceedings of the XXXII International Congress for Asian and North African Studies, Hamburg, 25th-30th August 1986, Stuttgart (Franz Steiner), pp. 2212-213. [ZDMG Supplement 9].
Heart Drops of Dharmakaya. Dzogchen Practice of the Bon Religion, ed. Richard Dixey, Ithaca, New York (Snow Lion), “Introduction”, pp. 13–15; “Bibliographic Essay”, pp. 161–163.
“A Bibliography of the works of Siegbert Hummel – Supplement”, Acta Orientalia, vol. 54, pp. 107–112.
“Preliminary Study of an Inscription from Rgyal-rong”, with Elliot Sperling, Acta Orientalia, vol. 54, pp. 113–125.
Dictionnaire des religions, ed. Paul Poupard, 2 vols., Paris (Presses Universitaires de France), “Bön”, vol.1, pp. 231–133; “Kagyupa”, vol. 1, p. 1075; “Méditation de la Grande Perfection”, vol. 2, p. 1287; “Nyingmapa”, vol. 2, p. 1452. [2nd ed. – 1st ed. ?].
“The Bon Religion of Tibet: A Survey of Research”, in: Tadeusz Skorupski and Ulrich Pagel (eds.), The Buddhist Forum, vol. 3, London (School of Oriental and African Studies), pp. 131–141. [Reprint of (??)].
“The Ideological Impact on Tibetan Art”, in: Robert Barnett (ed.), Resistance and Reform in Tibet, London (Hurst and Co.), pp. 166–185.
“Kunst og folkedans som politisk myte. Tibetanerne som “nasjonal minoritet”” [Art and folk dance as political myth. Tibetans as a ‘national minority‘”], Samtiden (Oslo)1993:1, pp. 19–30.
“The Literature of Bon”, in: J.I. Cabezón and R.R. Jackson (eds.), Tibetan Literature. Studies in Genre, Ithaca, New York (Snow Lion), pp. 138–146 (chap. 7).
“In Memoriam Nils Simonsson (1920–1994)”, Orientalia Suecana, vol. 43–44 (1994–1995), pp. 5–6.
Religions of Tibet in Practice, Donald S. Lopez, Jr. (ed.), Princeton, New Jersey (Princeton University Press): “Bön Rescues Dharma”, pp. 98–102; “Invocations to Two Bön Deities”, pp. 395–400; “Cards for the Dead”, pp. 494–498.
“Foreword”, in: Josef Vanis/Vladimir Sís/Josef Kolmas/Per Kvaerne, Recalling Tibet, Praha (Práh Press), p. 5.
Vzpomínka na Tibet (Cech)
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Imagining Tibet. Perceptions, Projections and Fantasies, Boston (Wisdom Publications), 2001, pp. 47–63.
“The Succession of Lamas at the Monastery of sNang-zhig in the rNga-ba district of Amdo”, in: Samten Karmay and Philippe Sagant (eds.), Les habitants du Toit du monde. Études recuillies en hommage à Alexander W. Macdonald, Nanterre (Société d’enthnologie), pp. 157–159.
“Discovering Buddhist Art of Kinnaur”, Studia Indologiczne vol. 4, pp. 89–90.
“Khyung-sprul ‘Jigs-med nam-mkha’i rdo-rje (1897–1955): An Early Twentieth-century Tibetan Pilgrim in India”, in: Alex Mckay (ed.), Pilgrimage in Tibet, Richmond (Curzon), pp. 71–84.
The Tibet Journal, vol. 22, 4 (Winter 1977) [Guest editor]: “Foreword”, p. 3; “A Bibliography of Siegbert Hummel”, pp. 5–22 [revised version of ???].
“Le Bön, l’autre religion”, in: Katia Buffetrille and Charles Ramble (ed.), Tibétains. 1959–1999: 40 ans de colonization, Paris (Éditions Autrement), pp. 58–73 [Collection Monde HS no. 108].
L’Homme, vol. 156 (2000), pp. 292–293 (Gisèle Krauskopff).
“Michael Aris”, The Independent, 29.3.1999, p. 6 [obituary].
Orientations, vol. 30, 6 (June 1999), p. 89 [without additions made by The Independent].
“Foreword” in: The Tibet Journal, vo. 23, 4, p. 3. [Special issue: “Bon Religion of Tibet”].
“The study of Bon in the West: Past, present and future”, in: Samten G. Karmay and Yasuhiko Nagano (eds.), New Horizons in Bon Studies, Osaka (National Museum of Ethnology), pp. 7–20 [Bon Studies 2, Senri Ethnological Reports 15].
“Los rituals tantricos y sus instrumentos”, in: Ramon N. Prats (ed.), Monasterios y lamas del Tibet, Barcelona (Fundación “la Caixa”), pp. 58–71.
“Die Bon-Religion. Ein bibliographischer Führer”, in: Susanne Knödel and Ulla Johansen, Symbolik der tibetischen Religionen und des Schamanismus. Tafelband, Stuttgart (Anton Hiersemann), pp. 187–189 [Symbolik der Religionen 23].
Asien, no. 82 (January 2002), pp. 131–132 (Andreas Gruschke).
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“Dedication. In Honour of Samten Gyaltsen Karmay”, in: Toni Huber (ed.), Amdo Tibetanss in Transition, Leiden (Brill), pp. ix‑x. [Brill’s Tibetan Studies Library vol. 2/5].
“La politique envers le dalaï-lama”, in: Anne-Marie Blondeau and Katia Buffetrille (eds.), Le Tibet est-il chinois ?, Paris (Editions Albin Michel), pp. 171–180.
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??? Taiwan (Avanguard Publishing House), 2011 (Chinese).
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“Tonpa Shenrab Miwo: Founder of the Bon Religion”, pp. 83–97; “Bonpo Tantric Deities”, pp. 165–179, in: Bon. The Magic Word. The Indigenous Religion of Tibet, Samten G. Karmay and Jeff Watts (eds.), New York (Rubin Museum of Art)/London (Philip Wilson Publishers).
“Bon”, M. Eliade (ed.), Enciclopedia delle Religioni vol. 13, Religioni dell’Estremo Oriente, Milano (Jaca Book), pp. 59–62.
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“The Bön Religion of Tibet”, in: The Tibetan History Reader, Tuttle, Gray and Kurtis R.Schaeffer (eds.) New York (Columbia University Press), pp. 183–195. [Reprinted from: The Bon Religion of Tibet, Boston (Shambhala) 2001, pp. 9–23].
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“James Lindsay – A Late Nineteenth-Century Edinburgh Art Collector”, Journal of Irish and Scottish Studies, Vol. 10, 2, pp. 1–18.