CHINA> Official Publication
Protection and Development of Tibetan Culture
Updated: 2008-09-25 15:45

Tibetan book, newspaper and periodical publication is developing rapidly. There are nine publishing houses in China that publish books in Tibetan, including China Tibetology Publishing House, Ethnic Publishing House, Tibet People's Publishing House and Tibetan Ancient Books Publishing House. They publish more than1,000 titles in Tibetan every year. Many ancient Tibetan books previously kept in private libraries or with only one copy extant have been collated by experts, and then published and distributed. At present, there are 14 Tibetan periodicals and ten Tibetan newspapers in Tibet. Over 20 periodicals in China have Tibetan-language versions. The Tibetan version of Tibet Daily was expanded in July 2002 from 28 pages to 36 pages, and its daily circulation now reaches 25,000 copies. Tibetan newspapers and periodicals, such as Tibetan Science and Technology, Tibetan Scientific and Technological Information and A Guide to Help You Get Rich, are very popular among the farmers and herdsmen thirsty for scientific and technological knowledge in order to learn more experiences and master good methods in a bid to improve their lives and welfare.

    There are now over 4,000 art and literary workers in the region, with 90 percent being Tibetans. There are ten professional performing art groups, four children's performing art groups, 18 folk art troupes, over 500 amateur village art and literary teams,and 160 Tibetan opera teams. These art and literary groups create programs and perform in Tibetan, and often go deep in farming and pastoral areas.

The spoken and written Tibetan languages are developing in all respects. In 1984 a Tibetan-script processing system compatible with Chinese and English versions was developed, and so precise Tibetan-script photo typesetting was realized. In 1997, an international-standard Tibetan character code was approved by the International Standards Organization, making the Tibetan script the first ethnic minority script in China with an international standard. At present, a Tibetan grammar framework and a grammar system have been set up for automatic machine processing in Tibet, and the work to enable automatic word segmentation and chunking identification of texts in the Tibetan script by machine is under way. A machine-based Tibetan-Chinese dictionary (120,000 entries) has been completed, while an electronic dictionary of Tibetan grammar needed for machine translation has been set up, laying a solid foundation for passing down, spreading and carrying forward Tibetan culture in the information age.

The application of computer technology and wide use of the Internet have provided a new platform for the learning, use and development of the Tibetan language. An advanced Tibetan-script editorial system, laser photo typesetting system and electronic publishing system developed independently in China have been widely applied in the press and publication field of Tibet. Through Tibetan platforms on the Internet and mobile phones, Tibetans can browse, read, listen to or watch domestic and world news and get access to various kinds of information. Tibetan has also been widely adopted for postal and telecommunications services in Tibet, including Tibetan telegram, Tibetan paging and Tibetan SMS. The advent of an identification system for Tibetan documents marked the prelude to a campaign to apply Tibetan script identification in the digitalization of the Tibetan language.

The standardization of Tibetan has also made great progress. In2005 the Rules on Translating New Words and Terms and Using Borrowed Words was drawn up. Altogether, over 3,500 Tibetan terms concerning the market economy and primary and high school education were approved and standardized, nearly 60,000 scientific and technological terms were approved, and over 8,000 terms concerning computer interfacing were translated and approved. Over the years, many Tibetan dictionaries and other language reference books have been published, including A Tibetan Dictionary by Geshe Chosta, A Comprehensive Tibetan Dictionary, A Tibetan-Chinese Spoken Dictionary, Chinese-Tibetan Glossary, Tibetan-Chinese Glossary, A Tibetan-Chinese Dictionary, A Tibetan-Chinese Dictionary of the Market Economy and A Tibetan-Chinese Law Dictionary. In addition, the Plan for Standardizing the Tibetan Language has been drafted, while the work to collect and collate materials for the Standard Manual for Transliterating Tibetan Personal Names into Chinese Characters has been completed.

II. Inheritance, Protection and Promotion of the Tibetan Cultural Heritage

The Tibetan cultural heritage is an important part of Chinese cultural heritage. The Central People's Government sets great store by the protection and development of traditional Tibetan culture, devoting a great amount of human, financial and material resources through legal, economic and administrative means to ensure the inheritance, promotion and development of the fine traditional culture of Tibet on the basis of effective protection.

Effective protection of historical sites and cultural relics. Since the Democratic Reform in 1959, the Central People's Government has attached great importance to the protection of cultural relics in Tibet by providing vigorous support in terms of policy, human and financial resources, and technology. As a result, institutions of cultural relics administration in Tibet have become more complete; the cultural relics protection system further improved, the cultural relics preservation contingent constantly strengthened; the cultural relics preservation system gradually improved; and the capability in the study and protection of cultural relics continuously enhanced. So far, the Tibet Autonomous Region has promulgated a dozen regulations, including the Regulations on the Protection of Cultural Relics, Interim Provisions on the Administration of Cultural Relics in Monasteries, Regulations on Fire Prevention at Historical Sites, Interim Provisions on the Administration of Scattered Cultural Relics and the Measures for the Protection and Administration of the Potala Palace. These regulations have brought the protection of cultural relics in Tibet onto the orbit of legalization and standardization.