Being the first of its kind in Macao, the Exhibition of Essence of Tibetan Intangible Cultural Heritage opened here on Friday, which featured a total of 99 exhibits that are of Tibetan cultural importance.
With the theme of "Customs and Practices in Snow-capped Plateau", the five-day exhibition was sponsored by China's Ministry of Culture, and co-hosted by various associations and governmental departments in the Chinese mainland and the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR).
Former vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, Raidi speaks at a joint interview after attending the opening ceremony of the Exhibition of Essence of Tibetan Intangible Cultural Heritage in Macao, south China, March 20, 2009. He emphasized that the fundamental issue of Tibet is economical development and living standard improvment relies on science, education and cultural development and also human resources training. [Xinhua photo]
The exhibition showcased Tibetan cultural classics, such as Thangka, golden Buddha statues, scriptures, Tibetan opera masks and precious historical records of Tibetan literature, music, dancing, and opera, etc. The event attracted over 450 local visitors upon opening.
Being an inalienable part of China, a unitary multi-ethnic country, Tibetan ethnic culture is "a shining pearl" of Chinese culture and "a valuable treasure" to the world, said Raidi, former vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress, in a speech delivered at the opening ceremony of the exhibition. He is also an ethnic Tibetan and a former leader of Tibet Autonomous Region.
Over a long historical period, the Tibetans created a rich and diversified culture with distinct characteristics, which not only include a large number of tangible cultural heritage, such as the world-renowned Potala Palace, but a more comprehensive intangible cultural heritage in the forms of language and literature, opera and music, painting and sculpting, etc.
For the time being, a total of 46 items of Tibetan dancing, music, opera, etc have been put under national preservation as they are listed in China's intangible cultural heritage catalog, according to the organizer of the exhibition.
Meanwhile, there were at least 2,330 registered historical sites of various types in Tibet, among which 329 had been put under protection at different levels, including 35 key ones under state protection, 112 under regional protection, and 182 under the protection of cities and counties by the end of 2006, according to the white paper issued last year by China's Information Office of the State Council.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the democratic reform in Tibet. In the years following the reform, China's central government has drawn up specific laws and regulations and invested a large amount of manpower and funds to preserve Tibetan cultural heritage, said Raidi, adding that the preservation works and its development have achieved "huge success".