Rebgong is an extensive cultural origin. Tibetans take the largest portion of the local population by more than 90%. People have put great efforts into the works of cultural preservation and dissemination in this place. Among all these that continuously contributing to the cultural works, Rrongwo Monastery is holding the central position. Huangnan Prefecture Secondary Middle School is to its South. Shaw First Nationalities Middle School, Huangnan Prefecture Tibetan Medical School, and Primary Boarding School are to the north. Nationalities Middle School is to the east, by Dguchu River. Students graduated from these schools have gained certain knowledge. As a result, more and more people started to emphasize on learning knowledge and many cultural workers from different places gather here. However, we encounter with difficulties in promoting Tibetan culture. Those difficulties include lack of internet access, books in other languages and advanced knowledge.
In addition to this, a Tibetan library is even incomplete. Thus, the condition is pulling the leg in education as well. In order to assist the education and cultural preservation & dissemination works, we proposed to the government about our work. The local government showed enthusiastic supports to our work. The establishment of Rebgong Cultural Center has been a great success to the individuals as well as to the government. The cultural center is located in the county town. It is a building with 3 floors over 2000 square meters. The total cost of the building is around 5, 5 million RMB. All the ground floor rooms are used for library. A huge number of books from all other the world are collected in the library. It includes books in different languages, master pieces of great intellectuals respected by different Buddhist sects, popular folktales and joke, geomantic signs, and numerous other endangered traditional books. The library also served to support Tibetan culture in many other ways and it is highly recognized by the society.
Process of proposing to the government and gaining its support At the beginning on the project, we are aware that without the support of the local government, we will not be able to implement a thoughtful project. Therefore, we proposed to the local government the idea of establishing a library for the locals. It can assist us to nurture more intellectual people. At the same time, it is a great contribution the Tibetan people. Local officials took it into consideration and believed that establishing a cultural center would help the people and it’s not only our responsibility but also theirs as well. Soon after our proposal, the local government replied with positive answers and supported us in many ways. Ever since the actual work started, we started our hard working in implement this project more than over 10 years as fellow:
Although Rebgong has been an origin of Tibetan culture in this region for a long time in the history, no libraries have been built so far. This project was brought to life to fill that gap. It provides great reference resources to those who want to contribute to Tibetan literature. In order to provide a clear and broader range of book types for those who work in Tibetan studies, we spent more than 2 million RMB and collected Kangyur and Tangyur, teachings, various books applicable to all Buddhist sectors, magazines, newspapers, oil printings and hand-writing books. We worked year after year, traveling from monasteries to villages. We were able to even collect old scriptures and oral traditions. We made catalogs and categories for the books to make it easier for the readers. To expand its impact, we made the listings available on line. Gradually, we made the library a treasure house that contains every kind of books to fulfill the needs from the society. For what it’s worth, we plan to make the library accessible online.
Currently, what we have in the library as such; 2 sets of Kanjur, 2 sets of Tengyur, 1 set of Kanjur from Bon, 1 set of Tengur from Bon, 115 literature books, 4300 long bundles, 1000 short bundles, 51358 published Tibetan books, 2300 magazines, 5158 Chinese books, 824 English books, and other materials including newspapers, handwritings, old scriptures, and paintings.
We provided help to a great number of people including 9,321 academic scholars looking for reference materials, 31,235 borrowers, and 67,321 readers. We provided 17,218 pages of photo copy service for free. We have in total of 67,791 books in Tibetan, Chinese and English.
In order to improve the quality of the education, Rebgong Cultural Center implemented summer and winter enrichment programs mainly aiming to raise students’ Tibetan and Chinese levels since 2003 to 2012. The program was strictly led under regulations and to improve the qualities of the program in all possible ways, we determined our strategy. Qualified teachers are recruited for the program. We raised the students with the combination of the teachers’ methodology and their own efforts. And a part from that, in order to increase their knowledge, we invited scholars in and outside of the country to discuss teaching methodologies, education procedures, teaching experiences, human behaviors and mortality, and health. After the training, we awarded students who performed in excellent ways to encourage them in their study. Our works have been acknowledged by many people and welcomed by the society.
In 10 years of enrichment program, we invited 20 teachers each year, in total of 200 teachers, 8 classes per year with 60 students in each class, 480 students in a year. And in total, 4800 students participated in our program.
Nowadays, all the countries in the world developed dramatically in economic, and many more job opportunities are created. Therefore, to get these opportunities we need to encourage children to attend schools and learn different skills. Orphans and nomadic children from remote areas still face difficulties to afford tuition fee and parents lack abilities to support their children’s education. Even more, local girls get less opportunity to attend schools and less support from parents because of gender issues. As a result, we have been supporting girls from economically disadvantaged families since 2003, and we will continue our effort in support more female students from different Tibetan areas. In addition to support students, Mother’s wish program has been dedicating its expertise and efforts in fundraising. We encourage people to spread our missions so that our effort will reach out to more economically disadvantage female students. In the past years, we provided supports to 70 college students, 200 high school students and 45 orphans.
To preserve and highlight the long history of local culture, we have collected old objects that are used by local ancestors and AV materials such as documents, folk songs, stories and festivals. In order to see the importance of old tradition, we are arranging certain times to show AV materials to the students and children from different schools in Rebgong Areas. Now, we have 1200 old objects, 671 cassette tapes and 732 videos of teaching materials, 457 cassette tapes and 398 videos of folk songs and modern songs.
Lots of manuscripts and books by local scholars were destroyed during the culture revolution, and the few left are in a bad condition. To preserve these manuscripts and books, we are planning to publish them with RCC’s support. Since 2003, we published Professor Dorjee Gyal’s book named Dzamling Dungda Karpo and Geshe Gedun Tashi’s book Dadak Chema Lepkyi Chendrel and Sumtak Kyi Drilen. If we get financial supports, we are planning to publish more books.
In 2011 we spent one and half million to repair the original buildings, and now the construction works are completed and the condition is much better than before. For the past ten years all the staffs of RCC worked hard and accomplished great works. Therefore, we received great supports and recognition from local people. We will extend our works in numerous projects and RCC will become a cultural center in Amdo areas.