Kyenze never expected a better new year gift than this year's.
On the first day of the Tibetan New Year Tuesday, he and some 2.6
million Tibetan Amdo language speakers have got access to an
officially launched TV channel broadcast in their mother tongue,
the Amdo dialect.
The special gift for the Tibetan Year of Fire Dog, which falls
approximately a month later than the Chinese Lunar New Year, is
prepared by the Qinghai provincial TV station. It is the first Amdo
language satellite TV in the history of television.
According to Bai Jubi, director of Qinghai TV Station, the
channel will broadcast 17.5 hours of programs daily, including news
broadcast in the Amdo dialect, dubbed movies and TV series.
"Our long-cherished dream to watch Amdo language TV programs has
finally come true," said Kyenze, a herdsman in Gonghe County in the
Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Hainan, Qinghai Province.
China is home to over 5 million Tibetans and about half of them
speak Amdo dialects. However, the Tibetan language channel
currently broadcast by Tibet TV Station is in the Lhasa dialect,
which is incomprehensible for the Amdo speakers who inhabit 60
percent of the Tibetan areas across west China's Qinghai, Gansu and
Proposed by the Qinghai provincial advisory body and approved by
the State Administration for Radio, Film and Television in 2005,the
channel started trial broadcast on October 18 last year and has
Before the Tibetan New Year, about 60 households of herdsmen
from Kyenze's village have bought new color TVs to watch the
first-ever Amdo language televised New Year gala at home.
Kyenze said when his family watched TV in the past, they were
like deaf people looking at colored motion pictures and did not
understand the stories and plots.
Jambai Toinzhub, a specialist in Tibetan studies, said the TV
channel can serve as a tool to better preserve traditional Tibetan
culture as well as to facilitate the social and economic
development of the Amdo dialect speaking regions.
(Xinhua News Agency March 1, 2006)