Wizards Lose Job as Science Is Introduced into Tibet

Tibetan wizards have felt that their time-honored job is becoming less attractive because the government is introducing modern technologies into the area.

For thousands of years the wizards managed major things in a village, especially, when they were said to be able to prevent hailstorms by reciting Buddhist scripture. 

On most occasions the method failed to work, but villagers, many of them illiterate, continued to employ them as guardians because they had no other choice. 

The situation changed in 1998 when three meteorological rocket launchers were purchased by the Lhazi county government of Tibet Autonomous Region. 

For the first time, Pusha village and Nam village, which were very famous for witchcraft in the county, have survived hailstones and saw bumper harvests. 

The excited villagers were more practical than dogmatic. The next year they bought 24 meteorological rocket launchers at their own cost and operated them with the help of county technicians. 

The wizards now face unemployment for the first time, and many of them are considering changing their profession. 

Losang Cedan, a wizard of Nam village, decided to learn rocket launching techniques and very quickly he became an expert in the field.

In the Xigaze Prefecture, known as Tibet's granary where hailstones are commonplace, a system comprised of computers, meteorological rockets and radar have been established, resulting in a reduction of economic losses of 40 million yuan a year.

In addition, chemical fertilizer, farm machines and laboratory-born seeds have become more popular than witchcraft.

(People’s Daily 10/27/2000)

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