Rescue & Aid

Comforting sounds of mother tongue

By Ma Lie (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-04-19 08:20
Large Medium Small

XI'AN -- Kunkyap Tsedrup, an 83-year-old Tibetan injured in the earthquake in Yushu of Qinghai province last Wednesday, felt at ease once she heard the sounds of her native language in the hospital ward.

Related readings:
Comforting sounds of mother tongue Photos: Yushu quake and rescue efforts
Comforting sounds of mother tongue School opens in quake-hit Yushu
Comforting sounds of mother tongue Air force mercy flight to help quake injured
Comforting sounds of mother tongue Death toll rises to 1,706 in China quake

She had been sent to a hospital in Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi province, for further treatment on Friday and a volunteer who was a student at the Tibet Institute for Nationalities in Xianyang, a neighboring city of Xi'an, came to volunteer as her interpreter.

"We six Tibetan students led by a teacher from our university came to help the injured and doctors communicate better with each other. As a volunteer, I want to help the people who were injured in the earthquake," said Tseten Drolma, a second-grade student from Lhasa.

The majority of the population in Yushu are Tibetans, who most Mandarin-speaking Chinese have difficulty understanding.

Meanwhile in Xining, capital of Qinghai, an increasing number of Tibetan students have volunteered to interpret for the hospitalized.

Qiao Wenliang, an official with Qinghai Ethnic University, said on Saturday that more than 170 Tibetan students from the school have been interpreting for the injured since Thursday.

Another batch of 130 Tibetan students from Qinghai University and Qinghai Normal University are providing language aid in hospitals in Xining.

Some of the injured in Yushu have also been sent to nearby provinces, such as Shaanxi, for medical treatment.

On Friday morning, 95 injured arrived in Xi'an and were sent to the three best hospitals in the city.

Huang Lixun, deputy director of the Shaanxi Provincial Health Bureau, told China Daily that the three hospitals had carried out seven operations on severely injured quake victims and would do 10 more within two days.

"Beside medical treatment, we sent psychiatrists to calm and comfort the injured. We also organized volunteers who can speak Tibetan to help serve the injured Tibetans," Huang said.

Phelgye, 67, another injured Tibetan sent to Xi'an, was overjoyed when he saw his son for the first time after the earthquake via the Internet with the help from doctors and nurses.

"After I talked with him I learned that he was eager to know if his son Sangpo was alive. I tried to find his son who was sent to another hospital in Xi'an," said Samdrup, one of the Tibetan volunteers from the Tibet Institute for Nationalities.

So doctors, nurses and volunteers in the two hospitals set up computers on the beds of father and son and helped them meet online.

According to the Xi'an blood center, thousands of local residents and college students went to the center to donate blood for the injured in the earthquake.

"In the past two days, we got some 600 bags of blood from local residents. In total we had prepared 2,000 bags (200 ml each) of blood for the injured people," said Wu Qiangju, director of the center.