November 18, 2009

Modern Tibetan cowboys at Xiahe, Gansu, China

Locations: Xiahe, Gansu, China (35° 11' 50 N, 102° 30' 36 E)
Date: 26 June 2004; 5.40pm
Camera: Canon 300D with kit lens

Xiahe is a small town in present-day Gansu. It used to be part of Greater Tibet in the old days and hence, the town is still very predominantly Tibetan in every sense of the word. It is also the location of Labrang Monastery, one of the largest Tibetan Buddhist monasteries outside of the Tibet Autonomous Region. These days, the Tibetans here have substituted their choice of transport from horses while roaming in the mountains and grassland to “steel horses” i.e. the motorbikes. It is common sight to see groups of young Tibetans with their customary cigarette in their mouths on motorbikes gathering to update on the latest developments on the grasslands.

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