Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Riders on the plateau: Tibetans gather for horse festival

Thundering across the vast Himalayan plateau in their traditional finery, Tibetan horsemen gather for an annual riding festival which is a colorful feast for the eyes.

Multicolored prayer flags inscribed with religious texts flutter in the breeze and tents line the green hills surrounding the racing ground in Yushu, in the northwestern Chinese province of Qinghai.

The area is home to many of China's eight million strong Tibetan minority, some of whom chafe against Chinese rule.

The festival held since the 1990s lasts for around five days. It was suspended for several years following a 2010 earthquake in Yushu which killed some 2,700 people.

The Tibetan people of the area — known as Kham — are famed for their equine skills. Shows of horsemanship and archery are the festival's main events, drawing hundreds of spectators.

Beijing says its troops "peacefully liberated" Tibet in 1951 and insists it has since brought development to a previously backward region, where serfs were exploited.

But many Tibetans accuse officials of repressing their "religion" and eroding their culture, adding that natural resources are exploited to benefit China's ethnic Han majority at the expense of the environment.
 i24news.tv by AFP
2/8/16

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