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The Tu ethnic minority (4)

(People's Daily)

15:35, August 28, 2011

Birth of Industry

Prior to 1949 no modern industry of any kind had been developed in the Tu areas. Agricultural production and transportation were backward. Since the founding of the People's Republic, the Huzhu Tu Autonomous County has set up a fair number of industrial and mining enterprises turning out more than 200 kinds of products including farm machinery, chemical fertilizers, wine, ores and coal. Whereas the entire county did not have a single motor vehicle or farm machine before 1949, it now has a substantial number of trucks, cars and buses, tractors, harvesters, threshers and processing machines. The opening of roads to motor traffic throughout the county has helped bring about a big change in its agricultural production. Over 1,00 hectares of irrigated farmland has been newly developed, along with the construction of 60 reservoirs and ponds for draining waterlogged areas. The building of seven hydro-electric stations has made electricity available throughout the county.

Cultural, educational and public health facilities have been gradually developed. By 1981 the county had founded more than 500 schools of various kinds with a combined Tu student population of over 10,000. College graduates, engineers, artists, journalists, teachers and doctors of Tu origin are playing active roles on all fronts. Quite a few officials from the ethnic group have been promoted to leading positions at the provincial, prefectural and county levels.

People of the Tu ethnic group are renowned for their talent for singing and dancing. Ballads with beautiful melodies, as well as oral literature with stirring plots can be heard everywhere in the Tu populated areas. A traditional ballad-singing festival is held once a year, when thousands upon thousands of singers and young people gather from all over the area to get together and sing to their hearts' content.

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