Happy Sisters

This section is split into two stories: one illustrated with passages overlaid in blank space and the other is of full page of texts with pages of illustrations interspersed throughout. The illustrated story tells the tale of Haha, a young Tibetan girl that makes sacrifices for her country joining the PLA in repairing a road along with other Tibetans. She is injured due to her overzealous desire to help the country and further the efforts of the nation and its people. She refuses compensation because her family is happy and the country needs the money to help defeat enemies. The other members of the work crew are forced to buy her gifts with the money so that she will accept remuneration. Haha vows to join the PLA in two years, to go to Beijing, and to see chairman Mao. This message of this story is clear, it promotes such ideals as Han-Tibetan cooperation, solidarity and unity, altruistic sacrifice for the nation and the communist party, among others.

The second story, is, in fact, “Happy Sisters” and it is more complex as its target demographic is of an older age than the first story, but it does still promote similar themes, which include unity among ethnic nationalities, (minzu tuanjie) the preservation of minority folk customs and traditions, but also touches upon the conditions of Tibetan society before liberation, with the common theme of the harsh life of slavery being the lot of the proletariat with extreme inequality taking the form of the master ruling over all. This story is preceded by a quotation form chairman Mao which fits in with the general theme of the story, it encourages the acceptance of the Eight Route Army and the New Fourth Army as the soldiers of reform and it stresses the importance of bringing medical and sanitation jobs to the countryside.

It does also seem that could be some form of an adaption of the story “Little Sisters on the Grasslands” for Tibet.

Happy Sisters

A section from “Happy Sisters” with illustration demonstrating promotion of ethnic musical traditions.

Illustration from the first story depicting a PLA member and fellow Tibetans aiding Haha.