China’s State Council has added to the growing list of national “intangible cultural heritages” — unique historic traditions that the country hopes to protect and preserve. Among them, are a number of historic traditions from the Tibet Autonomous Region, including dance, medicine and calligraphy.
76 year old Nima is a performer of Jiuhezhuo, a form of dance.
He lives in Qiongjie county in Tibet. He’s passing his moves on to his students - just like he learnt them, almost 50 years ago.
“Although I am old, I feel confident and ready to perform the dance wherever I can,” said Nima, Jiuhezhuo dancer.
Jiuhezhou has now been officially recognized as a historic national tradition, worthy of formal preservation.
It was already well known. In 2011, a Jiuhezhuo dance was performed at the CCTV Lantern Festival Gala.
Another Tibetan tradition being recognized is a form of herbal therapy, that has a history stretching back thousands of years.
It involves bathing in a mixture of special herbs and hot water, and is said to treat arthritis, skin disease and improve blood circulation.
And the traditional way to take the treatment is by sitting in a wooden barrel.
Nichi Tibetan calligraphy has also been recognized. Here at this calligraphy class, parents are eager for their children to learn the skills of the past.
In the past decade, China has spent 20 million US Dollars promoting unique aspects of Tibetan culture and heritage.
Currently, 89 specific Tibetan traditions are officially recognized as having special status, and significance for the nation’s cultural identity.