Former Tibetan serf remembers her first pair of shoes - Economy & Society - Tibetol

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Former Tibetan serf remembers her first pair of shoes
By:China Daily
update:March 01,2019
Mar. 1, 2019 -- The freed serfs in China's Tibet autonomous region can never forget March 28 of 1959, the day that ended Tibet’s feudal serf system, and about one million serfs were freed, according to a recent report by Tibet Daily.

Droldrol, now 69 years old, lives in the Gundrong village of Nyingch city in the Tibet autonomous region and is one of the few Tibetan serfs still alive in the region, Tibet Daily reported.

Tibetan serf Droldrol can never forget the moment when she was given the first pair of shoes in her life from a soldier of the People’s Liberation Army in 1959.

When she went to see the army repairing a road near her manor, she, barefoot then, was given a pair of shoes.

“Although the shoes did not perfectly fit my feet, that was the first pair of shoes in my life,” said Droldrol.

Droldrol used to be a serf of Tob Manor, which was located near the city’s Nyangchu River, and all four people of her family were the serfs of the manor before 1959.

Thanks to the region's democratic reform movement in 1959, like other serfs in the region, Droldrol’s fate took earthshaking transition, and the transition is reflected in microcosm with changes in the family of Droldrol.

“Every day, I worked from dawn to dust to carry out the work of farming and herding for the manor, I suffered from cold and hunger most of the time and was often beaten,” Droldrol said.

Her family did not have a decent house, and they lived in a hut made of stones, broken wood blocks, and tree branches.

“We suffered from rain leakage in the summer time and strong gale in the winter, and it was worse than the pigsty of the manor,” she said.

On the day when her family heard the news of serfdom abolishment in 1959, they could not sleep all night, and it was an unforgettable moment for her.

After the democratic reform movement in 1959, her family experienced tremendous improvements.

“Since 1960, our family had enough food and clothes, I was sent to the literacy school when I was 12, I spent two years in the school, and I can now read newspapers,” she said proudly. 

In 1970, she was elected to work as her village’s women’s leader and accountant.

Currently, the village where she living is very clean, all the families are connected with proper roads, villagers all live in Tibetan featured second-story houses.
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