Tibetans hail "Serfs Emancipation Day"
www.chinaview.cn 2009-01-21 06:36:59   Print

Villagers of the Tibetan ethnic group dance to celebrate the setting of the Serfs Emancipation Day in Banjorihunbo Village of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, Jan. 19, 2009.

Villagers of the Tibetan ethnic group dance to celebrate the setting of the Serfs Emancipation Day in Banjorihunbo Village of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, Jan. 19, 2009.(Xinhua Photo)
Photo Gallery>>>

    LHASA, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- The establishment of "Serfs Emancipation Day" will offer Tibetans an occasion to remember history and remind themselves to cherish the good days they have enjoyed since the democratic reform 50 years ago, local people have said.

    More than 380 legislators in Tibet unanimously endorsed a bill Monday to mark March 28 as "Serfs Emancipation Day", the date when about one million serfs and slaves in the region were freed in 1959 following an order of the State Council, or the Cabinet, to dismiss the local government of Tibet and replace it with a preparatory committee of the Tibet Autonomous Region.

    Emgyi Arma, 86 years old, said she cried with tears when she got the news that Emancipation Day was established.

    "Thank the government for the decision to mark the day. I hope our youth would not forget the history," said the old woman who was presented as a gift by her owner in Xigaze to an aristocrat in Dagdze County of Lhasa when she was a teenager.

    Gama Tenpa, an official in Lhozhag County, said it was the democratic reform and serfs emancipation that had changed the life of his family.

    His mother, who was 83 years old, today would always remind the family of the miserable days they had before the emancipation when they had to share one pair of shoes.

    "The Emancipation Day can serve as an occasion to educate the youth to let them know the history and cherish the happiness today," Gama Tenpa said.

    Tsesum, a sophomore in Tibet University, is one of the Tibetan youth who swear to remember the history, as Gama Tenpa expected.

    "We are the future of Tibet, we should not forget the history, and, what's more, we should never forget what the Party and the government have done to educate us," she said.

    The establishment of "Serfs Emancipation Day" was even hailed by descendants of aristocrats.

Villagers of the Tibetan ethnic group dance to celebrate the setting of the Serfs Emancipation Day in Banjorihunbo Village of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, Jan. 19, 2009.

Villagers of the Tibetan ethnic group dance to celebrate the setting of the Serfs Emancipation Day in Banjorihunbo Village of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, Jan. 19, 2009.(Xinhua/Purbu Zhaxi)
Photo Gallery>>>

    Rampa Yanggim Zhoigar, who was born in a noble family in 1938, said that great changes has happened to Tibet ever since the democratic reform.

    "People gained the rights to be the masters of themselves. The conditions of education, health care and transportation have been improved," said the woman.

    After March 28, 1959, serfdom-based feudal regimes of all levels were toppled and the people's democratic rule was established in Tibet. The Democratic Reform was launched, in which the liberated serfs were given cultivated land and cattle, for the first time in their lives.

    In 1961, the first-ever elections of people's congresses of different levels were held in Tibet, with all former serfs and slaves allowed to use their rights of electing or being elected.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
Related Stories
Photo Gallery
Top-whipping for fun and fitness
"Lung of Lhasa" -- Lalu wetland in Tibet
Miserable life of serfs in old Tibet
Tibetans in Longnan quake-hit area celebrate Lunar New Year
Golden statue of yak near Potala Palace in Lhasa
Tibetans celebrate Spring Festival
Abundant goods supply in Tibet
Tibet decorated for coming Spring Festival
 
  Back to Top