Resistance and Suffering

Shared Emotions in the Early Tibetan Diaspora in India


  • Frederik Schröer Max Planck Institute for Human Development



Tibet, migration, exile, feelings, community, time


This article traces forms of resistance in the early Tibetan diaspora (c. 1959–79) in India as both political and emotional practices. It thereby seeks to make productive recent insights of research into the history of emotions for the study of migration and diaspora in general and Tibetan exile in particular. It zooms in on resistance and suffering as key concepts of Tibetan diasporic public discourse, both constituting complex semantic networks that entangle elements from Tibetan and Buddhist heritage as well as the refugees’ historical experiences. The article demonstrates the centrality of emotions to exilic morality and moral renegotiations, by probing into their historical effectivity and change. Furthermore, it will show how these concepts and practices are temporalised. This will uncover the ways in which key concepts such as resistance and suffering establish and negotiate multiple temporal relations to diverse pasts, presents and futures.

Author Biography

Frederik Schröer, Max Planck Institute for Human Development

Frederik Schröer is a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for the History of Emotions, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany. His research interests include Buddhism, migration, emotions, temporality and the environment in South Asia and global history. Email:


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