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"Living fossil" of Tibetan culture protected and inherited

28-01-2013 | From: chinatibetnews.com

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Folk actors perform Tibetan Opera at Norbulingka Park in Lhasa, capital of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, May 1, 2012. The traditional Tibetan Opera performance attracted lots of citizens and tourists. [Photo/Xinhua]

Hailed as the "living fossil" of Tibetan culture, the ancient Tibetan Opera has gained good protection and inheritance under the support of the Chinese government and Tibet regional government, according to the local cultural bureau.

The Tibetan Opera, drawing materials from folk tales or legends, is a comprehensive art of dance and music with a history of over 600 years, and is quite popular among local residents.

Over the past years, the Chinese government and Tibet regional government have taken effective measures to protect the time-honored Tibetan Opera, which was inscribed into the Intangible Cultural Heritage list by the UNESCO in 2009.

Since the survey and protection of intangible cultural heritages started in 2005, over 10 million yuan has been pumped in the protection and inheritance of Tibetan Opera.

Tibet established its Tibetan Opera Art Center with an investment of over 23 million in 2006, to promote the first local professional troupe which created a series of traditional and modern operas.

The "Golden Homeland", an award-winning Tibetan opera on the recent 4th Minorities Art Festival of China, presented the traditional art form with modern technological approaches.

Adapted Tibetan operas such as the "Golden Homeland" play an important role in the inheritance and development of the traditional Tibetan art.

The Tibet cultural bureau has subsidized over 100 folk Tibetan Opera troupes in successive 3 years, rebuilding more than 30 Tibetan Opera troupes on the verge of dissolution.

A folk art troupe in Nyangri County has expanded from a dozen actors to over 70 actors, which is now holding performances for major festivals in Lhasa, showing vitality through rich traditional and innovated programs on stage all year around.

Statistics shows that Tibet now boasts 10 professional art troupes, 35 county-level folk art troupes, 100 folk art troupes and almost 500 amateur troupes across the region.

Among the 21 key items of Intangible Cultural Heritage certified by Tibet government in 2010, eight Tibetan Opera schools were listed as the focus projects which received special funds to improve the cultural facilities and train young inheritors.

At present, there are 9 national-level representative inheritors of Tibetan Opera in Tibet, who effectively promote the ancient art by teaching apprentices and cultural exchanges at home and abroad.

The Tibetan Opera is not only a program for traditional festivals and wedding ceremony in Tibet, but also an attractive ethnic performance showed on international stages, including the opening ceremony of 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and the exhibition on 2010 Shanghai Expo.

The Tibetans, considering the Tibetan Opera a part of their life, now enjoys rich achievements on cultural protection and easy access to Tibetan Opera by on-the-spot performances and well-developed digital publications of books and videos.

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