Changes in Losar in old Tibetan woman’s eyes

On the 7th Day of the Tibetan New Year, or Losar, 73-year-old Yangzom from Lhoka was dining in a restaurant on Lhasa’s main street.

It was her first time to celebrate Losar in Lhasa with two of her daughters who work there.

Wearing a brown hat, Yangzom was dressed in a dark red coat and a Tibetan style skirt. The emerald earrings also looked striking.

Yangzom began to herd cattle for her master at the age of eight. The four-year life as a serf left her s a miserable memory that she could never forget.
“I didn’t have enough to eat when I was young, nor have clothes to wear,” Yangzom recalled her life before Tibet’s peaceful liberation in 1951. “I could hardly feed myself even in Losar.”

Now Yangzom is living a life she could never have imagined before.

She has two sons and three daughters. The two sons are living in Lokha, while the eldest and youngest daughters living in Lhasa. She usually does some gardening at home and looks after her grandsons.

“This year my two daughters invited me to spend Losar with them in Lhasa,” Yangzom said smilingly.

“There have been a lot of changes in our life. Look at the fashions the young people wear, and the Tibetan costumes have also become more stylish. And we can buy everything we want in the stores.”

Lhasa’s modernized look combined with the traditional architecture impressed Yangzom most in her sightseeing during Losar. And the two- or three-storied houses with the traditional Tibetan style in color and window looked “gorgeous” in Yangzom’s eyes.

“Dozens of years ago, I had to go a long distance to visit my relatives or friends in Losar. Now I call them with my cell phones,” Yangzom said.
Among her five children, her second daughter is the one who calls Yangzom most of the time because she lives in Zhengzhou in central China’s Henan Province after graduating from college 20 years ago.

“Believe it or not, I had spent one Losar in Zhengzhou,” Zangzom said proudly. And besides Zhengzhou, she has been to many cities in inland China such as Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu with her children.

She said that many friends of ethnic Han came over to extend New Year greetings to her during her special Losar celebration in Zhengzhou with her daughter and son-in-law, who is a ethnic Han.

“Although the customs are different between the lunar New Year and the Tibetan New Year, they both are festivals to send best wishes and enjoy family reunions,” said Yangzom.

source: CCTV-News, 17 Mar 2014

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