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A 50,000-Km Long March
By Three Tibetan Women

15 March 2009

Every fortnight, high in the Tibetan plateau covered with thick snow, three Tibetan women, each carrying a heavy load weighted about 15 to 20 kg on their back, trudge up the mountain trail towards a hilltop at 4,700 m above sea level. The original photo of the trio plodding in snow was taken on 12 March 2009.

After 9 hours of hiking, the women eventually arrive in afternoon at their destination which is not their relative's home, nor is their sons' workplace, but a frontier post guarding the board with India from which 50 years ago Dalai Lama and his followers, the former slave and serf owners, sneaked through to join their master in the West.

Two of the three women are the daughters of former serfs, who grew up with stories told by their parents about how the PLA freed them from the cruel serfdom under the Dalai Lama. "The PLA soldiers taught us how to cultivate vegetables and raise poultry, and how to protect forest, and we used to help transporting military goods for the PLA to crackdown serf owners' armed riots".

In their little Tibetan village with only 81 households, there are 70 boys and girls with tertiary educations. Among 7 children of the three women, 5 kids studied or study at college with 2 in high school.

Like their parents, they feel grateful that frontier guards have stopped the return of the blood-sucking parasites - the rich lamas and serf-owners and CIA and other Western invasion forces - which is why they keep traveling to the top of the mountain to bring fresh vegetable to their dear soldiers. Normally the military squad relies on dried fungus, bean noodles and canned food in their daily diet, and only in their dreams the soldiers can see vegetable dishes appear in their menu.

The border guards also viewed the Tibetan women as their surrogate mothers. Over the years, the three received more than 500 letters from the soldiers retired from the post.

In 27 years the three women covered 50,000 km in their mountain journey. What an incredible long match!

(Source of info: 徐壮志、涂洪长、王逸涛; original photos: 涂洪长,

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