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09:38 Apr 29 2009

Special ReportNetizen's VoiceMedia Voice
English>>Tibet Online
Hans and Tibetans mix like milk and water
09:34, April 29, 2009  

When Tsewang Gyumey grew up in Lhasa in the 1950s, he was one of the few students who were horse-led to elementary school.

His family was granted a noble title by Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), but his grandfather Changlochen Sonam Gyalpo (1897-1972) was a rare intellectual who dreamed of Tibet's modernization.

A picture of Changlochen Sonam Gyalpo. (Photo:

His ideas about replacing the feudal serf system with democracy got him sent into exile to India where he delved deeper into the ideas of Karl Marx and Dr. Sun Yat-sen. His dream came true only after the peaceful liberation of Tibet in 1951.

In 1952, when the PLA invited renowned Tibetan scholars to teach Tibetan language and culture, Sonam Gyalpo was applauded heartily when he said the Han and Tibetan people had united. "It's like two wooden boards: to stick together, you need glue. When two men want to be friends, a language barrier may keep them apart.

"I'm old, my teeth have fallen out. But I'm still learning Chinese. When the Hans learn Tibetan and Tibetans learn the Han language, we will unite like milk and water, instead of (being like) butter that floats on water."

Tsewang remembers his grandfather more as a poet and playwright who penned a play on Princess Wencheng. It was the old man's literary achievements that inspired Tsewang to study and give lectures on Tibetan literature.

Though his family had to distribute its lands to herdsmen during Tibet's Democratic Reform in 1959, Tsewang whole-heartedly embraced the changes. Even when he was mistreated during the Cultural Revolution (1966-76), Tsewang never lost hope.

"As long as I contribute to society, I will gain recognition."

Source:China Daily

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