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New houses in Gansu's quake-affected zone maintain Tibetan style
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15:30, May 12, 2009

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Jin Chunlian's new house, now still under construction, is sturdier than the one she had before the massive earthquake that occurred in Sichuan Province on May 12, 2008. The outlook and the interior decoration of her new home will look like exactly her old one. The wall of the first storey is built of bricks and stones, and the frame of the second storey is made of logs.

While the outside of the house is carved with delicate patterns, the interior of the house is decorated with thangkas, scroll paintings framed in cloth or silk with various religious functions. All this helps the house maintain its traditional Tibetan style.

Longnan City and the Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in southwestern Gansu Province were also hit hard by the deadly May 12 earthquake that took place in neighboring Sichuan Province last year. The places that were hit worst by the quake were Danqu County, Diebu County and some Tibetan townships in Wenxian County.

In Huazhuangba Village, Zhongzhai Township, Wenxian County, the houses of the 80 households of the Tibetans who moved there after the quake were all rebuilt in the Tibetan style. The newly built Tibetan houses have become a distinctive scene in Gansu's quake-affected zone.


Photo taken on April 19, 2009, shows two villagers in Maigongshan Village, Tielou Township, Wenxian County, Gansu Province, smile while rebuilding their new houses. (Xinhua Photo)

During the reconstruction after the massive quake, respecting the customs of the Tibetan ethnic group, the local governments have been trying their best to maintain the traditional architectural styles of Tibetan houses as well as Tibetans' living habits.

Maigongshan Village in Wenxian County's Tielou Township is one of the major Tibetan-inhabited areas for Baima Tibetans. In the quake, 90 percent of the houses in Maigongshan Village collapsed and 47 household had to be rebuilt.

The local government did not follow the design of those reinforced concrete buildings, said Ban Xingren, the secretary of the Village Branch of the Chinese Communist Party. "However, it gave full respect to our traditions. The new houses are just like the old ones in terms of style and functions," he added.

A total of 167 administrative villages deep in the mountains in Panqu County were affected most adversely by the May 12 quake. As a county is inhabited primarily by Tibetans, the local government started reconstruction while preserving the ethnic features.

In Boyu Township, which was hit hardest by the quake, rebuilding has begun in accordance with Tibetan ethnic styles.

The earthquake-resistant capability of the new houses will improve greatly, while their ethnic characteristics remain unchanged, said Jin Zhongshan, secretary of the Boyu Township Committee of the Communist Party of China.

"The new house can also be used as resources for ethnic tourism," Jin added.

Source: Xinhua



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