61 Years of Democratic Reform in Tibet: Serfs become their own masters

In March 61 years ago, Tibet’s democratic reforms resounded like “spring thunder”, and millions of serfs ushered in this “spring”. From “working like a horse” to “being one’s own master”, it was a true spring for the vast number of serfs. The seeds they planted in the field returned to their own granaries at harvest time.

“In the past, everyone lived a dark life, and they didn’t even have the minimum of human rights. Now, there are pensions, medical insurance, and subsidies for the common people, and life is very good.” After having a hard life, elderly Nyima of Pula Village in Zonggar Town, Gyirong County, Shigatse City, Tibet Autonomous Region understands better where this happy life comes from. 

“It is my intention to donate 15 yaks to the impoverished herdsmen in my hometown. We hope these yaks can provide a stable source of income for the poor.” Tibet’s democratic reform helped Tseringpey, who has worked for the Damshung government since she was eight years old, to obtain personal freedom. She also went to the mainland to study. After finishing her studies and returning, she came back to work in Namuhu Township in Damshung County, Lhasa City. After she retired, she and her family settled in Lhasa. 

Tseringpey said that everyone in her family earns a salary, and they don’t have to worry about food or clothing. She says they should help as much as they can so that everyone can live a happy life together. 

Doqen, an elderly man who lives in Xingxia Village, Rinbung Township, Rinbung County in Shigatse City, had also experienced hardship in his early years and is an emancipated serf. Four generations, his family live under the same roof. At the beginning of this year, he added new furniture to their house, such as cabinets and rugs. In his old age, Doqen no longer worries about his children; his grandson’s business is getting better and better, and he does not have to worry about his great-grandson’s studies. He had always hoped his family would live in this harmonious and happy way. 

The days of suffering are long past. In the last 61 years, many changes have taken place in the lives of people living on Qing-Tibet plateau. Houses have been built, roads paved, electric poles  erected, communication easier with smartphones, trains and planes, 

Stories of happy lives are still taking place on the plateau.People on the “Third Pole of the Earth” are sowing seeds, hoping for another good harvest.