Multiethnic Family's Virtues Nourish Younger Generations

ByXie Lin March 28, 2024


Zhabao, a doctor in Dalong, a village in Tongde, a county in Hainan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, in northwest China's Qinghai Province, is affectionately known by the locals as "good person Zhabao." His four-generation family is composed of members of three ethnic groups — Tibetan, Hui and Han. Under the influence of Zhabao, the multiethnic family lives in harmony and happiness. 


'Ordinary Hero' 

One afternoon, Zhabao reset a boy's carpal bones, which were fractured when the boy fell off a horse. Zhabao wrapped the boy's wrist in gauze, without charge.

"Doctor Zhabao is a big name in our village. Many people come to the clinic because of his fame. He has always voluntarily provided medical services to us. He is such a good person. We are very grateful to him," the boy's father reportedly said.

For decades, Zhabao has traversed every corner of his hometown, to provide medical services to the villagers, in keeping with his childhood dream. "When I was young, if we were ill, we needed to go to the hospital in the county seat. At that time, some people were unable to afford to see a doctor, and some could not receive timely treatment due to the long distance. So, I made up my mind to become a doctor, to help herdsmen treat diseases," recalls Zhabao.

In his twenties, Zhabao met a doctor, who was skilled at setting fractures, in Tongde County. The doctor could set bones and help relieve patients' pain without performing operations. Zhabao was impressed by the doctor's excellent skills, and he eventually became the doctor's apprentice.


After several years of hard work, Zhabao become skilled at setting fractures. He has since helped thousands of villagers in Tongde set their broken bones. He has a great reputation for his bone-setting skills, and for his dedicated spirit. As long as a patient needs him, no matter what he is doing, he will immediately rush to that person's home. "I am not only a village doctor, but a Party (Communist Party of China) member. That's what I should do," says Zhabao.

Zhang Xiujuan, Zhabao's daughter-in-law, believes her father-in-law is an "ordinary hero." She says, "He has always voluntarily provided villagers with door-to-door medical services. He often returns home late, tired. He feels it's incumbent on him to help patients set their bones and relieve their pains."

Zhang and her husband, Wanmalengzhijia, live in Xining, capital of Qinghai Province. The couple sometimes has their parents stay with them in Xining. "My father-in-law always has his patients on his mind. Every time he stays in Xining for a few days, he is impatient to return home. We always persuade him to take some time off. However, if a patient gives him a call, he will return to the village without delay," Zhang says.

Zhabao is concerned about passing his bone-setting skills to the next generation. "It's hard to learn the bone-setting skills. Not many young people are willing to take up the baton and learn the skills. In the future, I plan to return home and learn the skills from my father, to pass on his spirit and medical skills," says Wanmalengzhijia.


Loving Family

Zhabao's wife, Caicuoji, is a traditional Tibetan woman. She never complains that her husband often treats patients without charge. Instead, she backs him up, by taking good care of the family, so he can concentrate on his work.

"Every time my husband and I visit his parents, my mother-in-law airs quilts, puts clean sheets on the bed, and cooks delicious dishes, in advance ... I like sharing my current work and life with her, and she listens to me carefully, with a smile. She stuffs the car trunk with various kinds of food before we return home. I feel happy to live in such an extended family," Zhang says.


Gerecaidan, Zhang's son, is a primary school student. He vows to learn bone-setting skills from his grandfather in the future, and he says he will provide medical services to many patients, so his grandfather will have more time to relax.

Zhabao and Caicuoji always tell their grandson that knowledge, experiences and horizons, rather than money, are the greatest forms of wealth a person can attain. As such, good traditions are passed from generation to generation within the family.

In 2017, Zhabao was named a Good Samaritan of China for his generosity in giving help. In May 2023, Zhabao's family was selected a National Most Beautiful Family. 


Photos from Interviewees

Source: Department of Family and Children's Affairs of the ACWF

(Women of China English Monthly February 2024)


Please understand that,a non-profit, information-communication website, cannot reach every writer before using articles and images. For copyright issues, please contact us by emailing: The articles published and opinions expressed on this website represent the opinions of writers and are not necessarily shared by