Shangri-La is a word created by British author James Hilton in his 1933 novel "Lost Horizon", which won popularity at a time when the Second World War made people disappointed with the real life.
Hilton describes Shangri-La as a mystical, harmonious valley, gently guided from a lamasery, enclosed in the western end of the Kunlun Mountains. Shangri-La has become synonymous with any earthly paradise but particularly a mythical Himalayan utopia — a permanently happy land, isolated from the outside world. In the novel Lost Horizon, the people who live at Shangri-La are almost immortal, living years beyond the normal lifespan and only very slowly aging in appearance. The word also evokes the imagery of exoticism of the Orient.
The use of the term Shangri-La is frequently cited as a modern reference to Shambhala, a mythical kingdom in Tibetan Buddhist tradition, which was sought by Eastern and Western explorers; Hilton was also inspired by then-current National Geographic articles on Tibet, which referenced the legend.
That is why even today Tibet is always been imagined as an absolutely pure and peaceful place where there should not be any modernity. However, literature is romantic while the life is all about reality. And people living anywhere need to improve their living standard, and Tibetan people should be no exception.
Source: China Tibet Online
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