Tibetan, Shangri La in China

Population

98,200

Christian

3.5%

Evangelical

0.10%

Largest Religion

Main Language

Progress


The Khamba

Source Asia Harvest                                                Download

Profile Source: Copyright © Operation China, Paul Hattaway


Identity

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.


History

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.


Customs

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.


Religion

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.


Christianity

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 ©: Yes Used with permission
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Country China
Continent Asia
Region Northeast Asia
10/40 Window Yes
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.
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People Name General Tibetan, Shangri La
People Name in Country Tibetan, Shangri La
ROP3 Code 114332
Joshua Project People ID 18700
Indigenous Yes
Population in China 98,200
Least-Reached Yes
Alternate Names for People Group Chongtien, Chung-tien Tibetans, Khampa, Rgyalathang, Zhongdian, Zhongdian Tibetans,
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Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Tibetan, Khams 98,166
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Affinity Bloc Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster Tibetan
People Name General Tibetan, Shangri La
Ethnic Code MSY50r
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Largest Religion Buddhism
Buddhism
95.00%
Christianity
3.5%    ( Evangelical  0.10% )
Ethnic Religions
1.50%
Hinduism
0.00%
Islam
0.00%
Non-Religious
0.00%
Other / Small
0.00%
Unknown
0.00%
Christian Segments
Anglican
0.00%
Independent
3.00%
Protestant
0.00%
Orthodox
0.00%
Other Christian
0.00%
Roman Catholic
97.00%
Photo Source: Anonymous
Video Source: Asia Harvest
Profile Source:
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more
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Copyright © 2014 Joshua Project. A ministry of the U.S. Center for World Mission.