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China launches children's chorus to preserve Tibetan epic

By Source:Xinhua 2016-02-25

A children's chorus has been established in northwest China's Qinghai Province to preserve a Tibetan epic that is inscribed on the UNESCO list of world intangible cultural heritage, local authorities announced on Monday.

The chorus, which consists of 36 Tibetan pupils from the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Golog, will sing the Gesar epic that has been preserved by singers and storytellers living on the roof of the world since the 12th century, according to the prefecture publicity department.

The youngest singer is 7 years old.

"My grandpa often tells me the tales of Gesar. I feel very proud to be singing it," said Bainma Nangmao, a 13-year-old lead singer in the chorus, who played the wife of King Gesar at a Spring Festival gala.

King Gesar was a warrior with boundless supernatural powers. Recurring, popular motifs are that Gesar was sent by the gods to vanquish monsters, end wars and unify tribes in Ling, a kingdom on the Tibet plateau.

"Similar as some Chinese traditional art styles, the Gesar epic is facing an inheritance crisis," said Caibar, art director of the chorus.

The chorus added modern singing techniques to cater for the aesthetic habits of the modern audience, said Caibar.

The chorus will also try to sing the epic in Chinese in the future to garner a bigger interest in the Tibetan legend, he said.

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