History is witness to many cultures “disappearing” into politically better organized societies. The paradox of Tibetan culture is that it is in danger of meeting the same fate, in spite of vigorous nationalism. As Tibetans celebrate Monlam, an important festival, this realization can’t be far. The practices that inform the selection of senior lamas—such as the Dalai and Panchen Lamas, key parts of Tibetan identity—are under threat. The Chinese government is unlikely to permit such selections save under its supervision, rendering the process meaningless.