Tibetans in Beijing looking forward to Olympics

Updated: 2008-03-24 07:35

BEIJING - De'gyi Yangzom said she has to spare some time everyday to enlarge her English vocabulary for "not to be left aside when the Olympics are held in Beijing".

Her job in the three star hotel -- Beijing Tibet Hotel as a receptionist had not come by easily, She said.

"I went through rounds of tests and competitions in 2003 and was finally selected," she said, "I had long dreamed of working in Beijing and the day I was informed, I even had a sleepless night."

Besides her traditional Tibetan gown, her reddish, pinky complexion that distinguishes her from the rest of the locals make most Tibetans feel at home in the hotel.

She said it would be appropriate to call her a member of the "unity ethnic group" rather than a Tibetan.

"My father was from Gansu Province in northwest China and met my mom in Tibet in the 1950s, and they finally settled down in Nyingchi, Tibet."

De'gyi Yangzom said she used to feel homesick but she did go back until  the completion of the Qinghai-Tibet railway in 2006 as she could not afford an air ticket.

Now the hotel she works for is designated to receive guests who will come to Beijing for the Olympic Games in August, and the girl and her colleagues are learning English, just for hope of receiving foreign guests.

"I have missed English lessons for weeks due to my tight work schedule.I have to work hard to catch up with my colleagues," she said.

However,for 28-year-old Domcog, English is not the only problem she faces.

"My restaurant is short of hand currently. The 2,000 yuan (about 281.7 US dollars) monthly salary seems to be less attractive to young people back in my hometown -- Tibet," said Domcog, who runs a restaurant in Beijing.

"The living standards in my hometown has improved so much and the young people there are not willing to go out", she said.

Domcog finally hired 4 Tibetan waiters and chefs through her relative's personal connection.

"I am planning to decorate this restaurant in a Tibetan flavor with brighter lighting system, which will provide a 'grand vision' for foreign guests who come for the Olympics."

"There will be a lot of beautiful Tibetan pictures on display in this room, which I guess will capture guests' attention when they step inside."

"Their journey to Tibet will start from here", she said.

But the Tibetan girl was very angry as the delivery of decorations bought in Tibet was postponed by the recent riot in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet.

"It's detestable that the rioters disturbed the peaceful life of the ordinary people just because they don't want to live in peace themselves," Domcog said.

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