About the Program

With the forced exile of over 100,000 Tibetans from their country in 1959, India became home to one of the world’s oldest and richest cultures.

Today, while Tibet is being methodically destroyed, elderly Tibetan refugees in India cling to memories of a country that the world will never see again.

And as these elderly Tibetans pass away, so too does a valuable historical record that must be preserved.

Enter The TEXT Program, an innovative oral-history project directed by Professor Sidney Burris and Geshe Thupten Dorjee at The University of Arkansas.

An acronym for Tibetans in Exile Today, The TEXT Program allows students to spend three weeks in the summer living in the Tibetan refugee settlements in India as they gather these vital stories of the elderly Tibetans. Trained in Tibetan culture and oral history by Professor Burris and Geshe Dorjee before leaving for the settlements, our students design and conduct the interviews, process the footage, create the transcripts, and upload the resulting materials to our online archive.

The TEXT Program, then, allows our students to participate in a unique act of cultural preservation, and as a result, to make a lasting contribution to one of the world’s vital and imperiled cultures—even before they graduate from the University of Arkansas.

Get involved with The TEXT Program today!

2013 TEXT Program

2008 TEXT Program

2009 TEXT Program Students with His Holiness the Dalai Lama

2011 TEXT Program