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Tibetans mark Serfs' Emancipation Day

By Source:Xinhua 2015-03-30

Celebrations of the seventh Serfs' Emancipation Day were held in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region Saturday.

Some 3,000 people gathered at Potala Palace Square in the regional capital of Lhasa Saturday morning to watch a national flag raising ceremony.

In 2009, the regional legislature established March 28 as a day to commemorate Tibetan democracy, which ended the feudal serf system in 1959, freeing 1 million serfs; 90 percent of the region's population at that time.

Wearing a traditional woolen pulu coat, Cering Norbu, 80, a former serf who carried water for the feudal administration, traveled by public transport to attend the ceremony in the square.

Cering Norbu was a civil servant in the Lhasa environmental protection bureau after gaining his freedom in 1959.

"What tremendous changes have happened to me," said Tubdain, a retired official who was once a beggar in the street in Lhasa. He was sent to college in the 1970s and worked in the regional educational department.

Tibet's GDP increased to 92 billion yuan (15 billion U.S. dollars) last year from 174 million yuan (24 million U.S. dollars) in 1959. Per capita disposable income for rural residents in Tibet hit 7,359 yuan in 2014, with a double-digit growth for 12 consecutive years.

"Our life is getting better every year," said Cering Norbu, who moved to a new Tibetan-style house last year.

In a park behind the Potala Palace, locals and tourists surrounded a temporary stage to watch performances of dance, song and drama depicting Tibetan life since emancipation.

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