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Protection for unique culture and heritage

By Daqiong and Xu Xiao (China Daily)

09:07, April 02, 2013

Notable achievements have been made in recent years to protect ethnic culture - traditions, customs and artworks - in Lhasa, capital of the Tibet autonomous region, according to the city government.

The effort follows the central government's call to preserve cultural heritage, which is said to be both a witness to history and the essence of the region's culture.

The Lhasa government said protecting original structures rather than rebuilding or replicating them and saving cultural legacies on the verge of extinction are its foremost concerns.

In the past few years, several such items identified by the local government have been placed on the national list for protection. Lhasa has also established a filing system now augmented with pictures and electronic documents.

One item is the Shoton Festival, one of the most popular in Tibet.

Held annually in the sixth and seventh months of the Tibetan calendar, the festival is celebrated with family reunions, singing and dancing, performing Tibetan operas and holding religious ceremonies.

The Lhasa government has also formed a team with professional knowledge in heritage protection.

In addition to finding and rescuing at-risk aspects of the region's culture, their tasks include helping raise public awareness in conserving the treasures.

Lhasa now has 20 items on the national protection list, 44 items on the autonomous region's list and 64 on the city's list.

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