April 16, 2018 -- A villager works at one of the village's greenhouses. Jogod/Xinhua
“Mother was shy. She was elected to the village committee to represent the interests of women. She was a serf and used to say, ‘I did not grow up eating tsampa (dough made from highland barley flour), but eating bitterness, being beaten and cursed,’ ” said Losang Qozom, her daughter.
“When the committee convened meetings in the hall where the master previously resided, my mother hesitated before entering. It was dark and a forbidden space for women.”
Losang Qozom, 56, still lives in Khesum. She has three daughters and proudly shares their achievements. Two of them hold university degrees and the youngest works as a doctor at a local clinic.
The second daughter, Baima Tsenyi, 26, graduated from Yunnan Normal University last year and is now studying to become a kindergarten dance teacher. Over 130 people in the village hold university degrees, and another 50 are currently studying at universities around China.
The Yarlung River flows near the village and nurtures fertile farmland. Khesum has about 93 hectares of land in the river valley and farming is highly mechanized.
Village official Penpa Tsering said the plan is to expand cornfields to raise money for farmers. The village has built 89 vegetable greenhouses.
“Khesum will see new opportunities with the rural revitalization strategy. We will continue to protect the environment, while developing the local economy,” said Nima Tsering, Party secretary of Nedong district in Lhokha.
About 370 people from the village work in nearby towns. “We are also faced with an aging society,” Penpa Tsering said. “We will try to build good businesses in the village and keep the young people here.”