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13:26 May 14 2010

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English>>Tibet Online
In Yushu, life carries on
13:25, May 14, 2010  

On the uncompleted benches of a racetrack court, more than 100 butter lamps lit in the wind with sadness. Though looking rather weak amid the whirling sand, the lamps lit day and night.

From early in the morning to deep at night, the wind in Gyegu Township never ceased. This old township, over 4,000 meters above sea level was part of Xiqiang in the old days. Before the quake, it was the paradise for travelers and pilgrims. However, on the 9th day after the quake, the hail and the dust almost drowned me when I stood at an gap among the tents in the Third Comprehensive Primary School.

The collapsed houses made the air pervasive with strong dusty smell. From life rescue to properties, soldiers, volunteers together with people are digging in the ravaged area for household items. In the badly toppled temple, some officers and soldiers were searching for cultural relics with the help of monks, some lit bonfires to disperse the morning cold.

The wind pierced the ruins, adding weight on the people's hearts. On the settlements in Gesar square, Wu Zhiqiang was waiting for trucks to pick up his tent as the sun set gradually. His Tibetan wife Ischy and his 14-year old son buried themselves in cotton quilts, watching emotionlessly at a Gesar statue nearby. In the earthquake, they lost all their belongings.

In Tibetan folks, King Gesar, as embodiment of Guru Rinpoche, who spread the virtues and punished the evils during his martial life was the super hero whom the Tibetans were proud of. Along with the mountains nearby and torrent rivers, this significant brass statue watched from above the people silently and sublimated his last-stand posture to a symbol of conquers.

On the road to Gyegu Township from Batang Airport, an impregnable attitude of the people impressed me greatly on the ruins, people were praying calmly for the dead; two Tibetan women with prayer wheels in hand were choosing the size of shoe-pad seriously before a makeshift stand; near a branch of the Three Rivers, a mother was washing bowls with her daughter. Though homeless, life is keeping its minimum dignity.

In the medical treatment centers and free canteens in tents, the nearly-20-degree-temperature-gap between day and night did not block people's enthusiasm. The reason to prop volunteers to come and settle down was simple, "we felt so sorry and we may feel some relieved when come around here." It was the answer I got most of the time. The suspicious on the motivation in the early days was dispersed during the deeper and deeper understanding.

One of the most unforgettable scenes was that one female reporter opened her arms from far away and rushed towards one male reporter who just stood steadily. The two hugged, swirled, hand-in-hand with low heads. After the snowfall in Yushu, the couple just finished the transfer of report mission. For the next meeting, there might be a long time.

Source: China Tibet Information Center

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