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08:46 Sep 21 2012

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Nomadic lifestyle receding into past
08:44, September 21, 2012  

Herdsman Geri Tashi used to believe he was destined to lead the nomadic life that his ancestors have led for centuries.

But the 48-year-old now believes that settling down in one place and living in a brick-and-mortar house is a better lifestyle.

"The nomadic life we previously led was OK, but now the biggest benefits after settlement are it's good for kids to go to school and the elderly can see a doctor more conveniently," said Tashi, a resident of Gaxiu village of Gahai township in Luqu county, Gansu province.

Luqu county belongs to the Gannan Tibetan autonomous prefecture in the province. Residents of Gahai township, located in the southwestern part of the county, with an average altitude of 3,500 meters, are mostly Tibetans living off animal husbandry.

According to Tashi, they have seven family members. He and his wife have "retired", and are now mainly responsible for housekeeping and taking care of their grandchildren. Their eldest son and daughter-in-law are still herding every day, riding a motorcycle to the ranch 11 kilometers from home. Their second son has graduated from secondary school, and has not yet found a job. Tashi also has two grandchildren, aged 8 and 1 year old.

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