PARIS, March 27 (Xinhua) — The Chinese government has made significant efforts to promote the social development and preserve culture in Tibet, Sonia Bressler, French author of “Discovering Tibet” has said in an interview with Xinhua at the ongoing Paris Book Salon.
“Discovering Tibet,” the third book on Tibet of Bressler, also met readers at the book fair, after the previous two “Crossing Tibet” and “Journey to the Heart of Tibet”.
Bressler, a PhD in philosophy and epistemology, made three trips to Tibet in a period of 10 years since 2007, which allowed the female writer to have an in-depth look into the social development of the autonomous region in southwest China.
“What we notice, it’s the place of education, I found the efforts that were made to be enormous, which allows the children to have bilingual education, in Mandarin and Tibetan, and then be able to follow their studies, not necessarily to work the earth,” said Bressler.
The French author also shared with Xinhua her encounter with an old Tibetan man, who’s living in a nursing home run by the government.
The 65-year-old told Bressler that he’s happy to live in such a home with every necessities available and he’s not worried anymore about ending his days in streets.
“This encounter symbolizes all the work of the central government to assure care, to help the population,” Bressler told Xinhua.
According to Bressler, the encounter made her conscious of the importance of social evolution in Tibet.
“Before in Tibet, it wasn’t rare to see old people wandering in the streets looking for something to feed themselves, and life ended in that way along the roadside. Now nursing homes have been built to receive old people whose families can no longer take care of them,” she said.
The French also mentioned the progress made in other domains such as agriculture, which is especially difficult considering an average elevation of about 4,500 meters.
“To develop agriculture at high altitude, I find that to be extraordinary,” Bressler said.
While seeking social development, the Chinese government has also worked hard to preserve Tibetan culture, found Bressler, saying “Without the help of the Chinese government, it would be very difficult to preserve the Tibetan culture.”
Citing the the Tibetan research center of China in Beijing as an example, the French author said “I think it is extraordinary, the creation of museums, the cultural preservation, what has been done is colossal.”
“Without this support, I don’t think the Tibetan culture could survive by itself,” she underlined.
But the French writer feels regret that many westerners overlooked the efforts and developments made by the government in Tibet.
“No one speaks of positive effects, and in France we still have a very erroneous vision of China and Tibet,” she deplored, calling on western readers to read more reports on Tibetan history.
“It is to make readers want to go discover Tibet, to see the region with their own eyes,” Bresseler said while talking about her own book on Tibet.
“What interests me, it’s to go to the markets, to listen to the people, the stories, children’s tales, to go to the schools, to see daily life,” she said.
“When we learn to see daily life, we perceive that life is rich, that’s what it means to see differently. It’s also to avoid keeping things that are too imposed,” she added.
Bressler’s books based on her own encounters with the local offer an alternative choice for French readers who want to learn Tibet of today.
Tibet has always interested everyone, “the question is how to offer the true image of Tibet,” she said, calling on readers to call into question “our habits, our mental landmarks” to learn the heart of Tibet.
To allow her discovery of Tibet with “an independent vision,” Bressler had interviews with people from all walks of life, including artists, business persons, doctors and monks, who, according to Bressler, “make this region live and make the Tibet of today.”