Pierre Boulat

Hope for a gentle race


On Sunday august 13, 1962, 16 small Tibetan, boys and girls of 3 or 4 years old (one does not know exactly as they have no birth certificate) and 2 girls about 11 years old arrived at Zurich airport, coming from Delhi. Most of them were orphans. They had fled with their compatriots in front of the advance of the Chinese. Some had walked for hundred kilometers, olders carrying their little brother or sister on the back. Others, like the little Tsesom,had been entrudted by their parents  to a caravan fleeing Tibet.  First hosted in India, they came to Switzerland at the initiative of an industrialist, Mr Charly Aeschimann, who had found families who agree to host them until their majority. They would retain their nationality and tight contacts with the Tibetan community in the village of Pestalozzi in Switzerland, receive a Tibetan education and culture until they could return home and rebuild a free Tibet. They were all deeply saddened and for them this trip was completely incomprehensible as the fact that they were the treasured seed of their stock. Speaking only Tibetan they couldn’t communicate with their foster parents and the first hours of their new life has been full of awe and anguish.