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Traditional Tibetan culture attracts young followers
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Tibetan cultural patrimony is finding young followers to spread the word. General inspections and maintenance continue year round to ensure the unique and opulent culture is handed down in its entirety.

Inside the hall of a small community in Lhasa, a Tibetan opera performance is part of daily life for the local residents. On stage are actors from the Tibetan Opera troupe, the region's sole professional group dedicated to the spread and preservation of Tibetan operatic traditions. Having performed in cities including Beijing, Shanghai and Nanjing, Dan Qu, who sings Tibetan pop songs on stage, found his participation at the Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony exhilarating.

Founded over fifty years ago, the Tibetan Opera Troupe not only recruits professional actors but students as well. The enrollment is held every few years with young people filling the majority of roles.

The young followers have given the once endangered art form a potential rosy future. The Tibet Autonomous Region has, with the help of the central government, done a good job in protecting the intangible cultural heritage and cultural relics. Since the 1980s, the central government has allocated a total of 1.4 billion yuan to the cause, setting up regulations and conducting inspections in 53 counties in the region. Officials said that the funds are unprecedented.

There are currently 60 items on the list of national intangible cultural heritage, divided between 31 groups capable of passing down the tradition.

(CCTV March 24, 2009)

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