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Tibetan cultural delegation highlights education, gender equality during Belgium visit

By Source:Xinhua 2017-06-23

Tibetan girls enjoy the same rights as their male peers in education, jobs and other aspects of the society, members of a Tibetan cultural exchange delegation from China told participants of the meeting on Thursday in the Belgian city of Huy.

"In fact, in most Tibetan families, parents usually favor daughters, and often see them as inheritors of the family," said Gama Danba, deputy secretary-general of the Tibetan Association for International Cultural Exchange, who is among the the group of senior experts on Tibetan history and culture.

"Take my family for example, my parents have four children, and it's one of my younger sisters who will take charge of the family," he explained.

Speaking of the progress on education in Tibet, Danba told participants that 95 percent of Tibetans did not have access to any sort of education before 1959, the year when the region was peacefully liberated from the theocratic feudal serfdom.

"But now all Tibetan children, both boys and girls, get equal opportunities to attend schools where they can learn in Tibetan, Mandarin and English languages," he said.

The delegation was on a visit to Belgium to promote Tibetan cultural exchange and share the development of Tibet over the past decades.

The meeting began with a lecture on Tibetan history by anthropologist and member of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Hao Shiyuan, which provided an overview of the region's development from the social, economic and cultural aspects.

Citing the latest figures, Hao made comparison of Tibet before and after 1959, the year when the region was peacefully liberated from the theocratic feudal serfdom.

"Many Westerners have misconceptions about Tibet. That's why we're here to present the reality," Hao said.

He underlined that Tibet's GDP grew by 11.5 percent in 2016, and people's income grew by 10 to 13 percent.

The lecture was followed by a Q&A session in which many participants were keen to ask questions about Tibet's education, gender equality and the Buddhist religion.

Books, DVDs and traditional Tibetan incense were provided at the meeting to help locals get a glimpse of the region's unique culture.

"It was completely different from what I thought of Tibet before," local resident Claude Honore said after the meeting. "I have never visited China but now I'm really intrigued to go there and see for myself."

Two aldermen of Huy, Eric Dosogne and Andre Deleuze, welcomed the delegation, saying that the exchange was a great opportunity for the Belgians to learn about Tibet.


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