Since the Dalai Lama fled Tibet 1959, waves of Tibetans have joined in a mass exodus to new countries like India as refugees. Many died on the trek through the snow-filled passes of the Himalaya. Thousands more were to die in India – of heat, of disease, of the shock of losing a whole way of life. Against considerable odds, this small community has been able to preserve much of its unique 1300 year-old Buddhist culture from Tibet. It has also served as a focus for a lively Tibetan nationalism and its members as spokespeople for those inside the country. Exiles have repeatedly called international attention to abuses and misgovernment by China, until the Chinese themselves acknowledged those abuses at the end of the Cultural Revolution.