Herders transition into modern living in Nagqu City, SW China's Tibet

By Qin Qi
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, October 15, 2023
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Many herders in Nagqu city, southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, used to migrate to summer campsites in early summer each year, returning to their original settlements as the weather cooled. However, a relocation policy has provided them not only with an alternative place to settle but also nurtured modern lifestyles for them.

On Oct. 13, 2023, dancers from the local art troupe performed songs and dances at the leisure square in Naxingtang Community, Seni district, Nagqu city, southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region. [Photo by Qin Qi/China.org.cn]

Naxingtang Community, located in the southwestern part of Nagqu's Seni district, provides free apartments to 55 households, housing 2,003 residents. Before moving to their new homes, most residents were herdsmen from the 12 townships across the district.

Luosang (M), a resident of Naxingtang Community, shared his relocation story with journalists at his home in Naxingtang Community, Seni district, Nagqu city, southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region. [Photo by Qin Qi/China.org.cn]

Luosang, a 46-year-old Tibetan man moved to the community with his two sons in 2019 and expressed satisfaction with his new home. Covering an area of over 80 square meters, the apartment, adorned with Tibetan-style wooden furniture and decorations by Luosang, has become a cozy home for him and his children. "Our old, stone-made house could barely shelter us from wind and snow in extreme weather," Luosang said. "The new house, with access to water and electricity, helps us stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer."

Unlike most herdsmen, who primarily earn a living by raising livestock, Luosang owned only a small number of cattle and sheep, supplementing their family income by making dairy products.

Recognizing his fine craftsmanship in making delicate dairy products, the local government and community provided a specialized training program to further polish his skills and subsidized him to open a small business. Additionally, the community offered guidance on business operation and management. Now, Luosang can earn at least 5,000 yuan ($684) per month by making and selling handmade dairy products.

A photo taken on Oct. 13, 2023, shows a credential recognizing Luosang's qualification as a new type of skilled farmer. [Photo by Qin Qi/China.org.cn]

Over the last four years, Luosang's family has transformed from a poverty-stricken household into a family of small business owners. Now, Luosang's eldest son, who has turned 21, started his studies in electrical welding this year, while the youngest son, 17, studies logistics at a vocational high school in Shannan city.

The changes brought by relocation extend beyond geographical shifts; people's lifestyles and mindsets have also transformed. Growing expertise and income have made Luosang increasingly confident in his family's future.

On Oct. 13, 2023, residents gathered to chat and laugh at the leisure square in Naxingtang Community, Seni district, Nagqu city, southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region. [Photo by Qin Qi/China.org.cn]

To further enhance people's sense of gain and happiness, the community has conducted thorough research into the employment situation of residents after relocation.

Cirenquncuo, Party Secretary of Naxingtang Community, shared a start-up story of a young person living there.

When Ciwangjiangcai first moved to the community in 2019, he was a high school graduate with uncertain prospects. After learning of his situation, the community helped him find a suitable employment orientation and applied for start-up loans on his behalf. During the business start-up stage, Ciwangjiangcai made many attempts and finally found his niche as a manufacturer of school uniforms, Cirenquncuo said proudly.

Although the relocation work was completed in 2019, the follow-up work for the local government has not yet finished. In 2023, each of the 455 households in the community received 500 yuan for participating in a resort project, which aims to transform the community into a holiday resort. To date, the community has helped over 50 residents find jobs in fields like handicrafts, cuisine, and modern services.

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