A traditional Tibetan ‘Cham Dance
Early in November 2011, I was able to attend a performance of the traditional Tibetan dance form ‘cham. It was in a small village outside Rebgong (Tongren in Chinese), a Tibetan town in Qinghai. The whole village turned out to watch the dance, which was performed by some of the men of the village, all of them amateurs. The dance was performed in a square outside the village temple. It represents the struggle of good against evil and features symbolic masks. The people of this village believe in the ancient Bon religion, which preceded Tibetan Buddhism. Nowadays, however, there is very little difference between the two faiths. I was one of the few non-Tibetans in the audience and gained the impression that Tibetan culture is very much alive and well.
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