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Lhasa Rehabilitated -
A Year After Violent Riot

17 March 2009

The original photo of the Lhasa scene shown here is captured on 14 March 2009 which is Saturday. Like all other Saturdays, lama temples received more visitors - tourists and believers - than normal week days, and at the Great Mosque over 500 hundred Muslins gathered together for their daily payer. In the Lhasa Youth Activity Centre on Middle Beijing Road, parents queued up to enrol in vocational courses for their kids; behind a retail stall selling various spices at Chongsaikang Market (冲赛康市场), Mr Li Xianliu (李先六) bathed in Tibet's splendid spring sun reading a novel in between serving his customers.

Among the leisurely strolling crowd in the Lhasa streets, there is a man called Dangzhu (党珠), a native of Duodi Village in Lhasa (夺底乡村民), who's feeling on the day was mixed.

A year ago he was one of the brutal Tibetan mobs who looted shops, burnt buildings and people, and killed scores of Muslins and Han Chinese. On that day, mosques were forced to shut down, and the traders, like Mr Li Xianliu, had to pack their stuff and fled for their lives at two in afternoon. For his crime Dangzhu served 15 days in detention.

Last October Dangzhu's house was destroyed in earthquake. His family was placed on government's emergency assistance program and received 20,000 yuan that helped him to rebuild a new home which is expected to be complete by the end of June. Looking back, Dangzhu felt terrible for what he did last year. "I did bad thing in the past, and I received punishment that I deserve. Now I only wish to live in peace and work hard for a better life and future," he said.

But not everything can be easily forget and forgiven. On the anniversary, flowers were quietly placed before Yichun Clothing Store (以纯”服装专卖店), in memorial to six girls - one of them with Tibetan background - who were burned alive by some heartless Tibetan lamas and their followers during last year's riot.


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Red Funeral

In China, not all funerals are considered to be a sorrowful event. Sometimes, a funeral could be an occasion of celebration - when a 103-year old lady in Shantou City, Guangdong Province, passed away in the end of February, such an occasion occurred. It is not that her eight children and countless grand children and great grand children are keen to see her leave. Quite opposite! They do hope she could stay with them for a longer time. It is her kindness and longevity when she lived and her serenity and ill-free at the moment of her death that they celebrated, for which has been traditionally viewed in Chinese community as a great human achievement.

In the funeral, red lanterns were hung and red carpet placed on the path which her casket was carried through, with 200 villagers lining up along the way to farewell her final departure.

The matriarch of a big family with four generations under one roof was born in 1907 and brought up two sons and six daughters on her own as her husband died young.

(Source of info & original photo: 陈正新, 金利明, 广州日报)

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