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The Tibetan ethnic minority (12)


10:59, August 08, 2011

The living standards of the Tibetan people have been rising steadily. The peasants, who lived in rickety sheds and never had enough food, have moved into bright and spacious houses with glass windows and stored up more grain and meat than they can consume. Brightly decorated furniture, television sets and cassette recorders have also made their way into the home of former serfs. However, about small percentage of the peasants and herdsmen have not yet shaken off poverty, although their living conditions are better than in the old days.

Religious activities are protected by the government. Temples have been renovated and repair. Buddhist statues, volumes of scriptures, ancient porcelain articles and other precious relics lost during the ten-year turmoil of the "cultural revolution" have been returned to the monasteries. Among them was a bronze statue of Sakyamuni brought to Tibet by Princess Brikuthi from Nepal in the 7th century. It is now kept in the Qoikang Monastery in Lhasa. An institute of Buddhist theology has been set up and preparations are being made to restore the scripture printing house. Tibet now has several thousand lamas, and the government sets no limit to the number of monks in the monasteries.

Tibetan officials and government functionaries are increasing rapidly. By the end of 1985, there were 31,900 officials and government functionaries of Tibetan and other minority nationalities, accounting for 62 per cent of the total. The principal positions in the governments at all levels are now held by members of these minority ethnic groups. Their ability and educational standards have been improving steadily.

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