Headline News


Railway´s impact on Tibetans


07-01-2006 11:48

The Railway brings the remote Qinghai-Tibet plateau closer to the rest of the world. With people able to move in and out of the region more easily and the economic benefits the railway brings, the lives of Tibetans will never be the same again.

Cireng Lamu is making ghee, or yak butter, the traditional way. For almost forty years, she's made butter-tea, a typical Tibetan drink, for her family. Now she takes the extra to Naqu, a station along the railway.

Tibetan herdswoman said:"Our ghee is very delicious. It's very popular in the Naqu shops."

With her additional income, Cireng is planning to buy an electric churn. Though she wants a better life, she might not realize the significance of this little change. And it's little changes like this among Tibetans that mark the region's development.

Naqu, where Cireng sells her ghee, is the largest distribution center of ghee in Tibet. Some ten years ago, Lamu Zhuoma opened her ghee store. Business is good, and Lamu thinks it will be better with the railway.

Ghee store owner Lamu Zhuoma said: "The train is cheaper, faster and safer than trucks to transport goods. It will be easy for me to travel throughout Tibet, or to inland China to do business. "

Many kinds of ghee are on the shelves of Lamu's store. She even sells Nepalese ghee, which she brought from Lhasa.

According to the blueprint, Lhasa is not the end of the railway. A network will be built in the future with Lhasa as the center, extending to the border with Nepal.

The Trade Bureau of the Tibet Autonomous Region says the railway will boost trade with Nepal and India, making Tibet the gateway for South Asian economic links.

But for many local teenagers, it may be hard to picture the future. What they want now is a picture with the train. It could be the train is their future. And they themselves are the future of the plateau.


Editor:Wang Ping