Even though I was thinking that I would return home to the warm embrace of the motherland, the Chinese were very impersonal. They weren’t used to outsiders and they had been taught through thirty years of communism that America was their enemy. And I found a lot of poverty, and I found a lot of distrust of any outsiders. And a lot of complete ignorance of the outside world. And a very heavy hand of the government.
Canyon Sam is a San Francisco-based writer and performance artist.
Her creative nonfiction and articles have appeared in Shambhala Sun, Seattle Review, Turning Wheel, San Jose Mercury News and numerous anthologies, and she’s written on Tibetan issues for Agence France Presse.
Following a year-long sojourn in her ancestral China and Tibet, she worked as an activist for Tibetan independence and human rights, and addressed a Congressional sub-committee hearing after Tiananmen Square.
Her solo theater pieces explore contemporary issues through the lens of Buddhist practice, and she hosted and co-produced a cable television show on Tibet.