Source: China Daily

08-19-2006 15:23

After the Qinghai-Tibet Railway opened in July, some American reporters oppugned that the railway would destroy the traditional ethnic culture in Tibet. With this question in mind, reporter interviewed Mr. Wang Daiyuan, vice director of the Economic and Strategic Research Institute of Tibetan Academy of Social Science last week. Director Wang said the Tibetan culture is well preserved and the accusations are groundless.

Tibet is the place where ethnic culture was preserved to the most complete extent, and where people can enjoy traditional culture with original taste. Chinese government's protection of Tibetan culture is better than US government's protection of Indian culture, Wang said.

For this point, tourists shall experience and compare in person, and experience the great efforts that Chinese government has exerted on the protection of Tibetan culture.

Wang has paid a visit to the Indian tribe in the state of New Mexico this April. He said: "During my trip, I selected some representative spots to visit. There is a place called Santa Fe in the state of New Mexico, a so-called place where Indian culture is preserved to the best, the origin of Indian culture, and a holy place longed for by American people. I even had contact with an Indian sheikh, chief of the tribe, who called himself 'president.' But I feel their life style, behaviors and values are totally American, without a slight trace of Indian culture."

"My feeling about US' protection of Indian culture is that there are sufficient efforts in oral and written materials, but I cannot find living Indian culture. Wherever I visit, I could only find 'dead' traces such as museums and relics, but nothing living related to Indian culture. But in Tibet, you can feel everywhere the life style according to traditional Tibetan culture," Wang said. 

With the opening of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, more and more chinese and foreign tourists will come to Tibet, the most important influence on the traditional Tibetan culture shall be that more people will learn and understand Tibetan culture, and bring forward the excellent traditional Tibetan culture, Wang added.

He also said: "It is taken for granted that along with the increase in incoming population, there will be some changes in conception, which is objective. Any nation in the world and any society shall admit that culture is constantly evolving, and cultural development is an objective law. US' protection of Indian culture cannot resist the rule of self-development with Indian culture. Cultural evolution is an irresistible trend, we shall deal with it by adopting measures with a view to effective guidance."

"For instance, we can tell the local residents that such culture is extremely rare and excellent, and we shall protect it together. In addition, we shall take some specific measures to protect culture by making use of the fortune created by tourism economy. We shall carry out cultural protection from such a point of view, instead of sealing it and prohibiting it from developing, which is neither possible nor human. People from every corner of the world have the right to seek development, and live a better life, no matter Americans, Europeans and people in other parts of the world, this is an option that meets the prevailing values of the world," he added.

On the protection of traditional cultures, Wang said, at the time of coexistence of traditional ethnic and national cultures around the world, people did not realize the importance of protection. Nowadays, when traditional cultures are less and less, the human has a strong consciousness of traditional cultural protection. As long as having seen with their own eyes in Tibet, friends from home and abroad will be able experience the strength of Chinese government's protection of traditional Tibetan culture.
By Zhang Nan (