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From: China Tibet Online 2011-07-12 08:41:00
by: Melinda Jin
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'Tibet experience' integrates tradition with modernization

When travelling in Tibet, modern elements can be seen everywhere.

Herds of cattle and sheep scatter on the grassland as if pearls of black and white decorated a green blanket—a beautiful scenery of boundless grasslands seen in a car heading to Nyingchi from Chamdo. However, next to the temporary tents of herdsmen, there are parking modern vehicles such as cars and motorcycles. 

A journalist was deeply impressed by the "iron horses" in front of him because he had long imagined there were only herdsmen on horsebacks before he came to Tibet.

As a local Tibetan of Chamdo, driver Sonamning is quite familiar with its folk custom. The herdsmen used to live by water and grass, so every time they migrated, they moved very slowly with herds of cattle and sheep for about 10 kilometers in every three days. Nowadays, the herdsmen settle down in newly-built houses and only a small number of herdsmen go out for pasturing.

Since the way of migration changes, the nomadic ritual of herdsmen is no longer seen in modern time.

The change of nomadic mode is also a mirror of the modernization of Tibet. Throughout the second journey to Tibet, the infrastructure construction such as highways and communications have been greatly improved; the previous dirt roads have been turned into asphalt roads; ordinary people now have access to mobile phones and internet; some Tibetan youngsters are keen on modern fashions like jeans and are eager for novelty introduced from inland China.

The Denba ethnic minority living in Zayul County have said goodbye to their primitive life long ago and now it enjoys the benefits brought by modernization.

With many voices questioning the protection of traditional culture, Tibetans have their concerted answers. "Our Tibetans need to improve our life and change with the development of the society", said Migmar, Secretary of CPC Branch of Newu Village of the Tohlung Dechen County.

In terms of protecting the traditional Tibetan culture, the Central Government has made effective efforts, including making large investment in protecting the monasteries, launching census for the protection of intangible cultural heritage in order to inherit and develop the traditional culture.

In Tibet, the traditional culture and modernization can coexist harmoniously. In Namlu Township of Nyingchi Prefecture, dubbed as "oriental Switzerland", with its boosting modernization and development of market economy, the traditional culture will not decline but revive instead, said Yang Shaoxin, magistrate of Namlu Township. 

As tourism started to boom, some Tibetan people opened "Tibetan's Houses" to attract tourists by their traditional culture such as Tibetan painting, Tibetan costume, folk dance and shooting skills.

The achievements Tibet has made in protecting the traditional culture is greater than those by many other provinces thanks to its strength and potential in development. The "Tibet experience" of integrating tradition with modernization is of remarkable value of the times, according to some scholars.

[editor : ]
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