About an hour drive from Lhasa, we visited a nomadic village. I wasn’t expecting such permanent housing. The Chinese government is building cement brick homes for nomadic people who now seem to be more semi-nomadic. When you drive through the countryside you can see much building of roads, bridges and infrastructure. Mining is apparent in the hills.
Prayer flags fly from bridges and in the hills.
We visited a nomadic family in their new house. We were greeted by a Tibetan mastiff (at least half of him.) They treated us to dumplings, new potatoes, sweet tea and butter tea.
Surprisingly, every room in the house had a tv, except the religious room.
I tried to search online for information about the government housing. All I could find was how wonderful it is, how much better lives these people have now…thanks to the government. The sites with headings about destroying the nomadic way of life and countryside would not open. Not surprising as most internet searching is blocked. No google or gmail, the only search engine I have found to work at all is the Chinese Bing site, and then only some pages will open.
Yes, the living conditions of the nomads have been improved. But there is a cost. The nomads are not allowed to take their cattle wherever they want. If they try to go over the mountains they will be turned around by police. They cannot go close to India or Nepal borders because they are not allowed to leave the country. Tibetans do not have passports. They are not allowed to leave China!
All this aside, it was interesting to visit the village. The people were very welcoming. I wonder what the future will hold.