Every morning, Sonam Tsering takes his backpack and earphones, boards the subway and arrives in a commercial bank — his workplace in Beijing.
Sonam, 30, is doing a successful job in the international business unit of the bank. His success in the capital city is inseparable from his education background.
Sonam was born in Jone County of Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of northwest China's Gansu Province. Thanks to China's favorable ethnic policies, Sonam was able to study in a middle school in the northern Hebei Province.
"There were many ethnic classes in our school, and many of my classmates were from ethnic minority groups," he said. After graduation, Sonam went for further study in Britain.
"I am from a small town, but education truly broadened my horizons," he said.
Over the past decades, favorable policies have brought benefits for many children living in Tibetan areas.
In Sonam's spare time, he likes watching NBA games. Sonam, who is fluent in Chinese, Tibetan and English, is also a fan of Tibetan rap, and he occasionally hangs out with friends at a bar in downtown Beijing.
When he was studying abroad, he met the love of his life. Now both Sonam and his wife are working in Beijing while raising a one-year-old baby girl.
"We plan to let our child study in Beijing," he said. "We want her to get in touch with avant-garde thoughts, broaden her horizons and pursue a life she likes," he said.
Like Sonam Tsering, Tsering Lhakyi also benefited from the country's ethnic policies.
In the 1980s, due to a lack of talents and poor education foundation in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, the government decided to open classes for Tibetan children. In 1985, the first batch of Tibetan pupils went inland to study. Since then, an increasing number of Tibetan children came to pursue study in more developed areas in China.
Tsering Lhakyi, born in the 1990s, was raised in Tibet's Nagqu Prefecture with an average altitude of at least 4,500 meters. Her parents sent her to primary school in Lhasa, the regional capital. After that, she got high scores in the entrance exam and was admitted to an inland Tibetan class. After the national college entrance exam, she applied for a university in Yantai City of eastern China's Shandong Province because she "wanted to see the sea."
"The inland class truly taught me a lot about many new things," she said. As a fan of music, Tsering was once a singer in a bar and released two singles in Tibetan. She currently works for a state-own enterprise.
"After work, I love to write music with a bunch of friends," she said.
In 2017, she went to a popular talent show called "Sing! China" and became quite a sensation in the music industry thanks to her unique style and great music. Before Tsering, there were no other Tibetan contestants on the show, she said.
"People thought Tibetan singers were all about ethnic music, but I wanted to break that stereotype," she said.
After the show, Tsering became a celebrity, but she was quite patient in releasing new music.
"I don't want to make music just to cater to the market," she said. "I have been trying different styles of music recently, and I want to create something different."
Liu Hua, with Qinghai's ethnic and religious affairs committee, said that China's favorable ethnic policies not only brought quality education to students in ethnic areas but also changed their lives.
"These graduates are using their wide range of knowledge and images to influence people around them and generations to come," Liu said.
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