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Faces of Shangrila and Their Stories

Cairang, a Tibetan musician, who was born in Gannan Tibetan area, he collected Tibetan folk music and composed Tibetan music in Anduo and Khampa Tibetan areas for last few years. His musical composition has slight difference from the popular Tibetan music heard in most part of China. He composes the music and songs with the combination of spirit and folk music. He once assisted the famous musician Zhu Zeqin with collecting and sharing folk music in Tibetan areas. When the fire took place, he was in his own music & culture company---Tingjian Culture & Media Co.Ltd.,recording and editing Tibetan folk music. Meanwhile, Cairang has been invited to make performances for the World Folk Music & Culture Inheritance in Harvard University for 3 years.

Dakpa(Zhaba). He runs a Tibetan herb shop and meanwhile he works as a trekking guide. He put his earnings to build a school for kids to study their language and other knowledge for a better future at Batang, which is a Tibetan nomad area.

In these pictures you see my ' Auntie' in her house from the time when I lived in Shangrila. She was my neighbor and landlady, but picked mushrooms in the forests to make a living. She  took care of me when I was ill and helped me to try and settle in the town. The house we both stayed in then do not exist anymore now.

This is a famous inhabitant of Shangrila, the owner of the local Tibetan bar' Namaster', which was listed in the Lonely Planet. His business has been burnt down by the fire now, though his hostel still stands. He has a strong spirit and sticks to the name of his bar which means ' Welcome Blessing'. He has also done his most to help protect his culture against all kinds of ruins, from recovering after the current fire to preventing mining near old villages in the area.

This one is called' Tang  Guo Nu Hai'r'- or Sugar Girl, the little girl of a Yunnan woman who is Chinese Han that moved to Shangrila from Heqing in Yunnan. When I was in Shangrila, Sugar Girl was just 3 months old. Her mom helped me to shop in the local market with the 'little sugar' on her back. Now she is 3 years old. Her mom's shop selling artisan bags and antiques has been laid in ashes and their future in Shangrila is uncertain.

He is a young Lhasa Painting seller whose shop and unique Tibetan paintings have been laid in ashes. He is supposed to be the youngest shop owner in the town. He spent a lot of time studying Buddhism and explaining Buddhism to his clients.

Finally I want to mention the  Dutch couple who had one of the best western restaurants in Yunnan there:"Somewhere Else".The Dutch couple always help the local people when they are in troubles.




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