Akhu Tenpa is a Tibetan folk hero whose sharp and often-funny witticisms land him in difficult circumstances only to enable a much-deserved escape for him. Introducing the first Tibetan cartoon to Tibetans, China’s Tibet Tianli Company will produce the cartoon which will be broadcast through Tibetan media.
The Tibet TV Station and Lhasa TV Station will telecast the new Akhu Tenpa cartoon series spread into 20 different stories.
However, the disconcerting thing is that China is projecting Akhu Tenpa as living in a feudal land. His primary task in the cartoon is to use his intelligence to help “free the poor from their feudal rulers”. According to Wikipedia, Akhu Tönpa is a fictional character portrayed is a trickster in Tibetan folklore. “Akhu” means uncle in Tibetan, but it is also used as a title for older men by younger people.
Akhu Tenpa, who had first appeared in Tibet’s comedy in 1983, is an influential and a bright character for Tibetan children owing to the originality of his ventures and the historic background of his stories.
While it may be wrong to categorically say that China’s main motive in doling out the cartoon is spreading its propaganda, it is a supposition which cannot be easily discarded.
The influence of cartoon on children is always far-reaching than many conventionally believe. To project the once Dalai Lama-ruled-Tibet as a dilapidated feudal land with grim conditions for the poor is enough propaganda to change young perceptions.