Favorable ethnic policies bring benefits to Tibetans

Updated: Apr 19, 2019 China Daily Print
Villagers celebrate the start of ploughing in Menzhonggang village, Lhokha city, Tibet autonomous region, on March 16. [CHOGO/Xinhua]

XINING - Every morning, Sonam Tsering, 30, takes up his backpack and earphones, boards the subway and arrives at a commercial bank in Beijing for work.

Sonam's job in is the international business unit of the bank. His success has a lot to do with his educational background.

Sonam was born in Jone county in Gannan Tibetan autonomous prefecture of Gansu province. Under China's ethnic policies, Sonam was able to study at a middle school in northern Hebei province.

"There were many ethnic classes in our school, and many of my classmates were ethnic minorities," he said. After graduation, Sonam went for further study in Britain.

"I am from a small town, but education truly broadened my horizons," he said.

Over the past decades, favorable policies have brought benefits to many children in Tibetan areas.

Sonam likes watching NBA games in his spare time. Fluent in Chinese, Tibetan and English, he is also a fan of Tibetan rap and occasionally hangs out with friends at a bar in downtown Beijing.

When he was studying abroad, he met the love of his life. Now both Sonam and his wife work in Beijing while raising a daughter, who is now a year old.

"We plan to let our child study in Beijing," he said. "We want her to get in touch with avant-garde thoughts, broaden her horizons and pursue a life she likes," he said.

Like Sonam Tsering, Tsering Lhakyi also benefited from the country's ethnic policies.

In the 1980s, due to a lack of skilled workers and the poor educational foundation in the Tibet autonomous region, the government decided to offer classes to Tibetan children. In 1985, the first batch of them went inland to study. Since then, an increasing number have pursued studies in more developed areas in China.

Tsering Lhakyi, born in the 1990s, was raised in Tibet's Nagchu prefecture. Because of her high scores in the primary school, she was admitted to an inland Tibetan middle school. After the national college entrance exam, she applied to a university in Yantai, Shandong province, because she "wanted to see the sea".

"The inland class truly taught me a lot about many new things," she said. As a fan of music, Tsering was once a singer in a bar and released two singles in Tibetan.

In 2017, she went on a popular talent show called Sing! China and became a sensation in the music industry thanks to her unique style of music. Before Tsering, there were no other Tibetan contestants on the show, she said.

"People thought Tibetan singers were all about ethnic music, but I wanted to break that stereotype," she said.

Liu Hua, with Qinghai's Ethnic and Religious Affairs Committee, said China's favorable ethnic policies not only brought quality education to students in ethnic areas but also changed their lives.

"These graduates are using their wide range of knowledge and images to influence people around them and generations to come," Liu said.

Xinhua

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