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Fragrance of yoghurt on streets of Lhasa ahead of Shoton

Publish Time: 2018-08-10 Author: From: China Tibet Online

In Tibetan language, “Shoton Festival” means a festival to have yoghurt. In this year, the festival falls on August 11. Ahead of the festival, many farmers and nomads from surrounding counties have begun to sell their yoghurt on the streets of Lhasa. These “small yoghurt businesses” have enriched the flavor of the traditional Shoton Festival.

On the streets of Lhasa, reporters saw vendors’ stalls selling yoghurt, some in glass bottles, some in porcelain bowls, some in paper cups, and others packed in small bamboo tubes. Local Lhasa residents and tourists buy a small bowl, sitting in the shade, and gently scooping out spoonfuls of yoghurt to eat. The cool yoghurt melts at the tip of the tongue; its sweet and sour flavor particularly pleasant.

Delivering their delicious yoghurt is also a chance for local nomads to increase their incomes. For Tsering Beldron, a nomad from Damshung County, and her family, the main source of income is from selling yoghurt. “This is the best yoghurt in Damshung County; we made it by ourselves. Add some sugar as you eat it; the sugar doesn’t melt and is crunchy and chewy in your mouth.” Tenzin Beldron is very proud of her family’s yoghurt. “We didn’t bring too much yoghurt to Lhasa this time, and we've already been selling for two days, so I think we will sell out before Shoton Festival. Almost everyone in Lhasa knows Damshung yoghurt.”

Tsering Beldron has a small yoghurt shop in Damshung County, right on the National Road. “Everyday I get up very early to boil the milk, then ferment it. Right now in summer, there are many people who come to Tibet for sightseeing, and my yoghurt sells very well. I sell more than 20 small plastic buckets of yoghurt on average every day, and I’ll also take some to the neighboring stores. My income gets better and better,” Tsering Beldron said. “The milk we use is from our own cows, but if there isn’t enough then I’ll buy some from my neighbors.”

Tsering Beldron told reporters that selling yoghurt was her idea. “I saw other people around me working hard and getting rich, and I thought I could try it myself. I never thought that my small yoghurt business would be so much better,” she said, full of self-confidence.

With the quality of life improving for common people, citizens’ creativity and entrepreneurial attempts have increased the consumption of Tibetan yoghurt. There are many kinds of yoghurt, such as frozen yoghurt, tsampa yoghurt, barley wine yoghurt, fruit yoghurt salad, and honey yoghurt. “I’m already looking forward to the Shoton Festival. Our family will have a picnic, eating yoghurt, dancing, and singing together. This is the flavor of the festival,” Karma, a citizen who is currently eating yoghurt on the street, says.

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