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End of Misery: Tibet celebrates 64th anniversary of democratic reform
update:March 29,2023
By:CGTN
March 29, 2023 -- 64 years ago, China's central government led the people of all ethnic groups in Tibet to carry out democratic reform, bringing an end to an ancient system of serfdom. Over a million Tibetan serfs became true masters of their society. Many celebration activities to mark the anniversary are taking place around the autonomous region. Our reporter Guo Tianqi has more. 
 
More than 3,000 people from all walks of life attended the flag-raising ceremony at Potala Palace Square in Lhasa, to mark the 64th anniversary of the democratic reform of the Tibet Autonomous Region.
 
BIANBA WANGJIE Cemenlin Community "We came from the village to attend the flag-raising ceremony and I felt very excited."
 
Before 1959, the region was extremely poor.
 
Serfdom hindered social development, and farming techniques and economic systems remained at primitive levels.
 
Most people suffered from hunger and disease, and had no opportunity to go to school. These histories are shown in detail at the Memorial Hall of Emancipation of 1 million Serfs.
 
ZHOU ZHIFENG Yunnan Tourists "I was very shocked. Torture photos of old Tibetan serfs make me tremble. Many people yearn for the sacred and holy Tibet, but the history of serfs is not sacred at all. The truly beautiful Tibet was brought by the Communist Party of China after liberation."
 
After democratic reform, life in Tibet has tremendously improved. The whole region was lifted out of poverty in 2020, and its GDP reached 31 billion U.S. dollars last year.
 
Life expectancy was raised from 35 to 72 years old, and population was raised from about 1 million to 3 million.
 
Changes can be seen everywhere.
 
GUO TIANQI Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region "Many of tea houses in Lhasa's date back about a hundred years ago. But before 1959, only noble people could afford it. Now, tea houses have become a popular hangout for everyone."
 
The citizens organized the Guozhuang dance to commemorate the end of their misery.
 
GAWA YONGQING Lhasa Resident "Today is the day we will never forget, we must celebrate by dancing. The CPC gave us such a good life. Before the liberation, 95% of us were slaves. After they came, we Tibetans stood up."
 
Democratic reform in Tibet is also considered as a monument to human rights protection in the world, as the most basic human right is the right to development.
 
GUO TIANQI, CGTN, Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region. 


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