Tibetan, Shangri La in China

Joshua Project has identified the Tibetan, Shangri La only in China





Largest Religion

Main Language


The Khamba

Source:  Asia Harvest      Download

The Zhongdian Tibetans wear a different traditional dress from the Deqen Tibetans and all other Tibetans. Zhongdian women prefer to wear a cone-shaped headdress which they wrap inside a scarf.


Local legends say the ancestors of the Zhongdian Tibetans were Qiang people who came to Zhongdian, fought and overcame the locals in battle, and eventually became assimilated to Tibetan ways. This would explain the linguistic, clothing, and cultural differences they have today with other Tibetan groups.


The inhabitants of the Zhongdian area live in two-story wooden houses. Except for a few new roads and electricity lines, life has not changed much in this remote part of China.


The great majority of Zhongdian Tibetans adhere to Tibetan Buddhism. The large Jietang Songlin Monastery, which houses several hundred monks, is located just to the north of Zhongdian Township.


French Catholic missionaries commenced work among the Zhongdian Tibetans in the late 1800s. Today, a large French-style cathedral still stands at Tchronteu, near Weixi. "The purpose of the monks of Saint Bernard was to minister to all in need who traveled over the high mountain trails in trade and commerce. Their most valuable helpers were huge Saint Bernard dogs - half Swiss and half Tibetan. In the city of Weixi, the monks, helped by the Cluny Sisters of Saint Joseph and two Tibetan nuns, ran a mission school attended by children from Sikkim, Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet." A Catholic priest is responsible for 9,500 Tibetan believers in his area. Of these, about 7,500 belong to the Deqen Tibetan group and 2,000 to the Zhongdian Tibetans.

Profile Source:   Operation China, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2013-07-31
People Name General Tibetan, Shangri La
People Name in Country Tibetan, Shangri La
Population in China 101,000
World Population 101,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.2
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Chongtien, Chung-tien Tibetans, Khampa, Rgyalathang, Zhongdian, Zhongdian Tibetans
Country China
Region Northeast Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 29  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Most inhabit villages in Shangri-La, Weixi and Lijiang counties in the north-western part of Yunnan Province, China. A few Shangri-La (Zhongdian) families have reportedly migrated to Switzerland..   Source:  Peoples of the Buddhist World, 2004

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Enthologue Language Map

Ethnolinguistic map from University of Texas or other map

Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Tibetan, Khams (101,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Tibetan, Khams 101,000
For Primary Language: Tibetan, Khams

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions No
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Four Spiritual Laws General
God's Story Video Film / Video
Jesus Film: view in Tibetan, Khams Film / Video
Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project) Audio Recordings
World Missionary Press Booklets Text / Printed Matter
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Religion Subdivision: Tibetan

Major Religion Percent
95.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.10 %)
3.50 %
Ethnic Religions
1.50 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
3.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
97.0 %
Photo Source: Anonymous  
Video Source: Asia Harvest
Profile Source: Operation China, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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