Ti­betan keeps mem­ory of mar­tyrs alive

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE -

owes to the Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army. Born into a fam­ily of serfs, she started work­ing for a feu­dal lord at the age of 7 but was mis­treated.

She saw a glim­mer of hope when the PLA en­tered the Ti­betan city of Qamdo when she was 15. She man­aged to join the ord­nance reg­i­ment and served for 12 years, dur­ing which she took part in bat­tles against ban­dits and re­paired roads.

She was trans­ferred to civil­ian work in Qamdo in 1966, and mar­ried a sol­dier from Yichang. She fol­lowed her hus­band and set­tled there in 1987, and now sup­ports her­self with a gro­cery store.

Tier­ing Drolma was es­pe­cially grate­ful for the help she re­ceived from a pla­toon leader sur­named Zhang. He ac­cepted her into the army and took care of her as if she were his sis­ter, but died in a battle against ban­dits at the age of 23, leav­ing her heart­bro­ken.

She was ex­cited to find a sculp­ture on the mon­u­ment in the ceme­tery that looks very much like the pla­toon leader.

Tier­ing Drolma gives a warm wel­come to Ti­betan stu­dents who study at the China Three Gorges Uni­ver­sity in Yichang. To ease their home­sick­ness, she cooks for them and makes but­tered tea, a tra­di­tional Ti­betan drink, in her room in a bun­ga­low.

The 33-square-me­ter room is her gro­cery store, kitchen and bed­room. A three-shelf book­case is at­tached to the wall.

“The books and mag­a­zines are free to bor­row,” said Tser­ing Drolma, who is il­lit­er­ate but has a thirst for knowl­edge.

Jiang Yi­hua, her neigh­bor, said she is moved by the Ti­betan woman’s kind­ness.

“She is a re­ally good per­son. I al­ways see her set up two ta­bles in front of her house to serve Ti­betan stu­dents and talk to them. She also spon­sors those in need so they can con­tinue to study,” Jiang said.

“Some­times we think it’s silly for her to spend what she earned from here life­long hard work on strangers and live in a damp bun­ga­low. But she al­ways replies that it’s what she should do.”

Many of the Ti­betan stu­dents she helped are do­ing well back in their home­towns, and she loves to hear from her young friends when they gain pro­mo­tions and marry.

Champa Ten­zin, one of the Ti­betan grad­u­ates, vis­ited Tser­ing Drolma in De­cem­ber, bring­ing her goat’s milk and skins, and hid­ing 2,000 yuan ($320) un­der her pil­low.

As he said good­bye, the young man, who now works at a hos­pi­tal in Shan­nan pre­fec­ture in the Ti­bet au­ton­o­mous re­gion, held Tser­ing Drolma’s hand and said: “Thank you for mak­ing me de­li­cious but­tered tea, which I missed so much while study­ing in Yichang, and giv­ing me a home here.” Con­tact the writ­ers at xu­jingxi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Tier­ing Drolma shows an award cer­tifi­cate she re­ceived dur­ing her 12-year ser­vice with the PLA in her younger years. Tier­ing Drolma, a 76-year-old Ti­betan living in Yichang

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