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Tibet celebrates emancipation of serfs
update:March 29,2022
March 29, 2022 -- More than 1,000 people from all walks of life attended a flag-raising ceremony at Potala Palace Square in Lhasa, Tibet, on Monday to mark the 63rd Serfs Emancipation Day.
The annual commemoration reflects on the 1959 democratic reforms in the Tibet autonomous region that ended feudal serfdom and freed about 1 million Tibetan serfs.
"Time is the most objective recorder, and history is the most faithful witness," said Yan Jinhai, chairman of the regional government, in a televised speech. "Over the past 63 years, we have witnessed magnificent progress in Tibet."
Before the 1959, beggars were everywhere in the region. They suffered from hunger and lack of clothing, Yan said, adding that absolute poverty has been eradicated in a historic effort, and all ethnic people in the region are now part of an all-around well-off society."
On Monday, a symposium was held in Lhasa to mark the day.
Resident Champa Tashi, 43, addressed the symposium, noting that he was the child of serfs and that he had heard his parents talk many times about their miserable experience in the earlier dark system.
"Thousands of poor people were forced into heavy labor and exploited," he said.
Champa Tashi said he now lives in the city's Luguk Community, which was a slum of beggars before 1959 — a place where the poorest people suffered from hunger, disease and death.
"Before 1959, street dogs, rubbish and flies were everywhere," Champa Tashi said, recounting his parents' story.
"Now we live in a big and bright house. We can get good treatment in a hospital when we're sick. And our children have a chance to receive a good education."

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