BOOMING TIBETAN CULTURE
The growing number of Tibetan migrants in inland provinces has in turn created a Tibetan cultural boom. In many parts of Sichuan, Tibetan music and dance dominate local entertainment markets.
"Tanggula Wind," a Tibetan art troupe based in Chengdu, stages music, dance and operatic performances that draw large audiences every evening. The troupe has staged a number of well-known musicals and helped talented Tibetan farmers to become nationally renowned performers.
However, the troupe struggled for most of the years following its founding in 1999, undergoing major restructuring ten years later. In 2009, Li Jin, a Tibetan from Sichuan's Ngaba prefecture, turned the group into a joint stock company and began targeting national audiences.
"We hope to promote Tibetan art and culture across the country," said Li, the company's board chairman.
The opportunities, benefits and charms of urban living have drawn many Tibetans away from the remote, underdeveloped villages they previously called home. In Jinchuan county of Ngaba, about one-seventh of the county's population of 70,000 have moved to inland cities to do business or study.
"These migrants have brought Tibetan culture to other parts of China and helped reshape the mindset of folks back home," said Rigzin Losel.
Rigzin Losel and his associates believe the migration of Tibetans to China's inland provinces is an "irreversible trend" that can serve regional economic development and enhance cohesion.
In Ande, a small town in Pixian county, one of the region's largest yak trading centers has allowed Tibetan herders from remote areas to sell cattle for higher prices and make up for a lack of yak beef in urban areas.
"The increase of Tibetans in Sichuan province reflects a higher degree of equality, tolerance and cohesion between Chinese people of different ethnic groups," said Rigzin Losel.
"The fact that many Tibetans have bought homes in Chengdu indicates that they are comfortable with city life and their new neighbors," he said. "Their migration shows that Tibetans and the Han are getting along." Enditem