Preserving Tibetan masterpiece a challenge as time marches on

By Palden Nyima and Da Qiong in Lhasa ( China Daily ) Updated: 2016-02-01 07:56:11

Preserving Tibetan masterpiece a challenge as time marches on

Performers play King Gesar at a festival in Dege county, Sichuan province, which the legend describes as the king's hometown. Wu Guangyu / Xinhua

New technologies give Tibetans more entertainment options

Preservation of the masterpiece of ancient Tibetan culture, The Epic of King Gesar, is facing challenges on two fronts: The region's wizened storytellers are taking their treasures to the grave even as the younger generation is focused on contemporary entertainment.

"The epic is under constant onslaught from globalization and modernization," said Tsering Phuntsok, director of the Ethnic Institute of the Tibet Academy of Social Sciences, who has been leading preservation efforts in the Tibet autonomous region.

The King Gesar story of good vanquishing evil was transmitted orally from generation to generation over a millennium. Today, it's much less popular, quickly losing ground to the many activities of modern life on the plateau, known as the "roof of the world".

"The emergence of much modern technology has provided Tibetans more options on amusements, but it also has had an impact on the traditional way of transmitting the heritage, which is mainly transmitted orally," Tsering said.

"Both the governments and insiders have been valuing preservation, rather than studies, in the past few decades, because of its importance to Tibetan folk culture," he said.

Previous Page 1 2 3 Next Page

Editor's Picks
Hot words

Most Popular