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14:44 Apr 13 2009

Special ReportNetizen's VoiceMedia Voice
English>>Tibet Online
Gesar folk artists promote world's longest epic
13:49, April 13, 2009  

For 20 years, Geri Jiancan has kept writing at least one section about the story of King Gesar each day. By now, he has written down 34 totally different versions of the life of King Gesar, among which 11 have been published.

"I've written down 120 different outlines for the story of Gesar and hope that I will keep writing," said Geri Jiancan.

Tibetan artists perform dance at a gala to celebrate the Tibetan New Year in Lhasa, capital of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, Feb. 18, 2009. (Xinhua Photo)

Geri Jican began singing the heroic epic of Gesar at 16. He started to write it down when he was 18, and at 20, he was admitted to the Cultural Department of Guoluo Tibetan Autonomous Region in southeastern Qinghai as a special talent, specializing in writing, collating and researching the Gesar epic.

In "hometown of Gesar culture"-- the Guoluo Tibetan Autonomous Region, there are many other folk artists like Geri Jianshang who are dedicated to Gesar. They are passing down the world's longest epic Gesar among Chinese popular via folk literature, ballads and Tibetan opera.

The story of King Gesar displays outstanding qualities like kindness, bravery and responsibility. It also demonstrates the history of the Tibetan ethnic group, its culture, and economy, thus is very popular among Tibetans.

"There are 20 Tibetan opera troupes propagating the ancient epic in different forms," said Zhang Yong, a leading official of the Culture, Sports, Radio and Television Bureau of the Guoluo Tibetan Autonomous Region.

Zhang said, in a village called De'erwen in Gande County, Guoluo, all villagers, young or old, can sing the ballad. There are more than 30 villagers who can sing more than two versions of the epic. The village thus was named "De'erwen Gesar Culture Epic Village."

There are more than one hundred folk artists engaged in Gesar epic, and 24 folk Tibetan opera troupes in Guoluo. With the perseveration and creation of the folk artists, the story of Tibetan hero King Gesar has been widely propagated.

By now, more than 200 version of the life of King Gesar have been published, 500,000 lines in total. The heroic epic will continue to be written in different media among Chinese folks.


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