Religions (Nov 2021)

How Tibetan Nuns Become Khenmos: The History and Evolution of the Khenmo Degree for Tibetan Nuns

  • Padma’tsho (Baimacuo)

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 12, no. 12
p. 1051


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Tibetan Buddhist nuns are making history in numerous ways. They now meet in classrooms instead of tents, earn the title “Khenmo” after many years of dedicated study, and take exams that are standardized, frequent, and both written and oral. Additionally, the new educational system encourages Tibetan Jomos to take on more responsibility, increase their scholarship and practice, and obtain superior monastery/nunnery status. This article chronicles over two and a half decades of extensive fieldwork, covering the advances in monastic education and the rising standing of women in Larung Gar and contemporary China. These advances are in stark contrast to the limited opportunities for women in the past.