Published on 24th October 2011 by

Beyond the Lost Horizon (2011): Thanks to China’s exploding economic development a new generation of ethnic Tibetans are feeling the winds of change. The boom is approaching Shangri-La and the locals are getting ready for new opportunities.

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The mythical Shangri-La is supposed to be heaven on earth, but the Tibetan inhabitants of the real Chinese town are still living very rudimentary lifestyles. While Eastern China has boomed, for those in the remote Yunnan province there have been problems of distance, altitude, ethnic tension and a life under Chinese occupation. Now an Australian named Ben Hillman has set up a training institute to help them catch up. “It’s about giving young people in these remote parts an opportunity, because the skills that have served them in the past are not going to serve them in the future”. Until now there hasn’t been much on offer beyond a subsistence life in remote villages, but many rural Tibetans are making the most of the opportunities available. “I only have this chance — I’m not going to get another”, says 18 year old Lhamo.

ABC Australia – Ref. 5317

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