China Focus: People across China pin high hopes on New Year

BEIJING, Jan. 1 (Xinhua) -- Tsewang, 71, living in a government-sponsored nursing home in Lhasa, capital of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, made a wish on the first day of the new year.

"Life has finally been kind to me. I wish I could stay healthy and taste the sweetness of life for as long as possible," she said.

Tsewang's right eye turned blind when she was a child. She remained single all her life. Thanks to the nursing home that was established in 2008, she now has a "sister" and even a "granddaughter."

Chudrun, 56, is like a sister to her at the nursing home. They always spend the day walking, basking and chatting. Their nurse, 26-year-old Pema, cares for their clothing, food and accommodation, and is even more endearing than a daughter.

In the nursing home, 155 lonely elderly and physically challenged people are being taken care of. As financial support from the local and regional governments expands, life at the nursing home is getting better.

"We have witnessed 12 new couples tie the knot so far. It's a blessing to find a life companion at their age," said Tsering, a manager at the nursing home.

In the neighboring Sichuan Province, Ramen, a respectable artist, made a resolution to train more Thangka painters and support more poor children from Tibet in the new year.

He has been living in Wuhou District of Chengdu, capital of Sichuan, since 2003. As one of the nearest metropolises to Tibet, Chengdu is a second home to many Tibetans. Wuhou alone received more than 2 million Tibetans in 2017.

He has trained over 1,000 Thangka painters, some of them Tibetans and some Han, over the past 15 years. More than 400 children from impoverished households in Tibetan regions went to school thanks to his support.

"The inclusiveness and understanding of Chengdu citizens give us warmth, while Tibetans win the respect and love of their city neighbors with enthusiasm, kindness and unremitting efforts," Ramen said.

In northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Wang Fucong, 35, wishes for a bumper harvest in the new year.

He set up a rural cooperative in May. With subsidized loans from the local government, he raises 30 cattle and manages nearly 50 hectares of buckwheat in his village.

"The government has been very supportive. With better infrastructure and more incentives, I am confident to help more of my fellow villagers shake off poverty in days to come," he said.

Wang's aspiration was echoed by Duan Biqing, a village official in southwest China's Yunnan Province. In 2009, he returned to his hometown after graduating from college.

Life was extremely difficult in Huwa Village. Duan spent three months visiting every household there, trying to figure out a way to lift them out of poverty.

He raised 400,000 yuan (57,000 U.S. dollars) by the end of 2010 to set up a chicken farm and registered a trademark to promote organic chicken, which became an instant hit on.

"The sales exceeded 8 million yuan in 2018, which brought an extra income of 9,000 yuan for every household," he said.

A chilling temperature of minus 24 degrees Celsius in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region still could not hold herders from celebrating the coming of the new year.

People in Xilinhot gathered around Aobao, stone mounds serving as signposts, on the north of the city for the traditional blessing ceremony while waiting for the sunrise.

"The past 2018 is a good year. The rising price of mutton has improved our life. I hope the coming new year will bring more prosperity and peace," said Agoura, a local herdsman.