My Hometown—Changes in Tibet
Secretary of the Neighborhood Committee of Chengguan District in Lhasa, the Tibetan Autonomous Region
Today I am very glad and excited to pay my first visit as a native of Tibet to the beautiful coastal city of Athens, Greece, which has a long history and is known as the cradle of Western civilizations.
Born in 1956, I am 55 years old this year. I stopped my school education after finishing primary school because of the financial difficulty of my family. My parents told me they were brought up under the feudal serf system of the old Tibet. Despite their poverty, they still had to pay heavy taxes to local aristocrats and officials.
My family had 9 members and was supported by my father alone. I am the third of seven children in my family, so I began to assist my parents and shared housework when I was only 14, taking care of my four younger brothers and sisters.
We had no possessions when my husband and I got married, and I had no decent dowry for my wedding. At that time, I earned about 60 yuan a month, and my husband was a carpenter, earning a little more than 70 yuan a month. The three of my new family crowded in a 30-square-meter cottage, which was dim and damp, and the furniture was shabby. In one word, the life was simple and difficult. As I remember, there was no single decent blacktop in Lhasa at that time, and I commuted to work by bicycle along potholed earth roads. In my memory, after the 3rd Plenary Session of the 11th CPC Central Committee in 1978, along with the reform and opening to the outside world, the State began to implement its strategy for the development of the Western Region and constantly increased its investment in Tibet. Especially over the past decade, I have seen with my own eyes the daily changes in Lhasa. In today's Lhasa, it is convenient both in transport and communication; blacktops cross each other and run through the city, the streets are wide, tidy and clean. No matter wherever you go, you can easily find supermarkets, shops and restaurants as well as other convenient service sites including post offices, banks and China Telecom and China Mobile offices. In addition, urban public transport is also very convenient, and there are many greenbelt parks and public sports venues. Today's people in Tibet don't have to worry about food and clothes and live happy life. Now, my family has an annual income of more than 50,000 yuan.
I have two daughters, who had both gone to school in Tibetan classes in the inland since their childhood, and are both college graduates. My elder daughter graduated from the Wuhan University of Economics and my younger daughter from the Tibetan Traditional Medical College. Now they both have a job, and earn 3,500 yuan each a month, nearly 60 times more than what I earned when I began to work. It is really a sharp contrast with my past.
As it is known, Greece is a civilized well-off country with a long history, and the Olympics, which is originated from here, is influencing the whole world. Having come to this beautiful country and being able to communicate with you right here, I feel highly honored. I come from the Lhasa City in Tibet, China; just like the beautiful and rich Greece, Tibet is a wonderful and attractive place. For long, the spectacle natural scenes and unique human atmospheres and interesting customs have attracted much attention of the world. Taking advantage of this occasion, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to Tibet.