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Tibet : four-level intangible cultural heritage system

By Zhu Shan Source:China Tibet News 2015-09-17

From 2006 to 2015, with an investment of 130 million yuan by the State and southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region and about 40 million yuan by local prefectural (city) governments, Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) has done much and made remarkable achievements towards protecting, inheriting and carrying forward Tibet’s excellent intangible cultural heritage. During the past decades, TAR has listed the regional inheritors of intangible cultural heritage for three times. At present, there are 68 singers of Tibetan epic Gesar chosen as the national intangible heritage inheritors. 350 person were listed as the regional intangible heritage inheritors. Almost 30,000 people took part in the activities of intangible heritage held in TAR, among which there are 5 people awarded the national inheriting reward, 10 people awarded the name of best inheritors.

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According to the survey, there are 10 kinds of intangible cultural heritages such as folk lecture, traditional music, traditional dance, traditional art, Tibetan medicine, folklore and traditional acrobatics and 769 intangible cultural heritage projects. Among them, Tibetan opera and Gesar have been chosen as Masterpieces of UNESCO Intangible Heritage of Humanity; 89 projects were on the national list; 323 projects were on the regional list; others were on the county-level list.

On June, 2015, the Second Exhibition on the Achievements of Tibet’s Intangible Cultural Heritage Protection showed 47 national and regional intangible projects. Penpa, from Panam County, Shigatse city, also joined this exhibition with his Kadian (Tibetan people’s favorite cushion). 32-year-old Penpa has engaged 15 years on this work. All the Kadian are knitted from pure wool. The most expensive pair of Kadian costs 4,500 yuan, while, the cheapest one need 3200, said by Penpa. Wooden bowl, Tibetan paper, traditional Tibetan medicine and other intangible heritage were also displayed on this exhibition.

It is introduced from Ngawang Tenzin, the vice director of TAR Intangible Cultural Heritage Protection Center, that TAR began the survey of intangible cultural heritage from 2005, with 12 survey teams working around 1.2 million square kilometers of Tibet. Intangible cultural heritage in Tibet were figured out in terms of number, species and places.

Last year, the Ministry of Culture carried out the review activities for representative project of the fourth national intangible cultural heritage. TAR introduced 35 projects in total. At the end, 13 projects were listed on the fourth national intangible cultural heritage list, forming four-level intangible cultural heritage system.

Ngawang Tenzin said that Tibet published a lot of books, audios and videos dealing with the protection on intangible cultural heritage such as “ the History of China Tibetan Opera”. Besides, Tibetan opera competition, Thangka Expo and other activities and performances were also promoted. The protection of intangible cultural heritage has made great achievements.


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