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08:23 Feb 23 2010

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New kinds of celebrations reflect changes in Tibetan's life
08:23, February 23, 2010  

When Tsering Ngodrup, a young Tibetan man, drove his new car bought in Lhasa, capital of Tibet, back to his hometown in Xigaze Prefecture, his relatives and friends were holding Hada and the highland barley liquor in their hands and singing for celebration.

With Tibet's rapid economic development and local people's improved living standard, more and more kinds of celebrations have come into being, such as the celebrations for changing prayer flags, for moving into new homes, and for purchasing cars.

These emerging celebrations reflect the great changes that have taken place in the Tibetan people's life.

Tsering, who was born into a farmer's family and serves as a doctor at the Xigaze Prefectural People's Hospital, is keenly aware of these changes.

He said, "In the past, we rural residents could only live on a piece of highland barley farmland. My parents led a hard life to feed their four children."

Now, Tsering's eldest brother is a farmer, and one of his other two brothers works as a government official and the other as an enterprise employee. All of them lead a happy life with stable incomes.

Tsering added, "Sometimes I go back to visit my parents living in the rural area or my second eldest brother in Lhasa, so it is inconvenient without a car of my own."

For this reason, Tsering spent 70,000 yuan RMB buying a BYD F3 car in Lhasa on the eve of the Tibetan New Year's Day.

Sonam, Tsering's second eldest brother, bought a private car eight years ago. He said, "Apart from us government officials, many prosperous farmers have begun to buy cars."

He added that the young people change new cars every few years and his work unit has so many private cars that the basketball ground has been turned into a parking lot.

Tibetan farmers and herders, who used to show off their wealth by wearing Tibetan costumes made of marmot skins and jewelry, have changed their concept of value on wealth.

Now, automobiles, mobile phones and computers have entered rural Tibetans' homes, and more and more Tibetan farmers and herders have bought cars.

Either on the grasslands in northern Tibet or in the valleys in southern Tibet, one can easily spot rural Tibetans driving cars on the roads.

Purbu, director of Tibet's largest automobile dealership, said, "Our cars sell extremely well during the Spring Festival holiday, with many Tibetan farmers and herders becoming our customers."

The company's cars were almost sold during the Spring Festival and Tibetan New Year holidays in recent two years, with 80 percent bought by farmers and herders.

Purbu added excitedly, "We sold 100 cars in January alone"

Source: Xinhuanet

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