CHINA Podcast: Story in the Story (5/25/2020 Mon.)


Podcast: Story in the Story (5/25/2020 Mon.)

People's Daily app

02:08, May 25, 2020


From People’s Daily app.

And this is Story in the Story.

At dawn, Dorje put on a heavy cotton coat and a hat, carried a bag on his back, and walked out of his house into the vast alpine meadows.

The herdsman, in his 40s, has been living all his life in Pasum, a village located at the foot of Mount Qomolangma, the world's highest peak.

Dorje's village is administered by the Zhaxizom Township, located at about 4,200 meters above sea level and the closest human habitat to the mountain.

He leaned on the grass under the sun while leisurely keeping an eye on his flock of sheep in the distance, though there was one thing bothering him - the high altitude sickness, quite uncommon for a local Tibetan.

"I have been suffering from frequent headaches since I was a kid, but look, headaches never bother my sheep," he said.

Today’s story in the story looks at how a team of Chinese has the job of re-measuring the world’s highest peak.


(Photo: CGTN)

Not far from where Dorje lives, a team of over 30 Chinese surveyors are taking an arduous journey to the peak, aiming to remeasure the exact height of the mountain.

Dorje heard about the news and cracked a joke, "Is the mountain getting higher? Heavens, my head will ache more if it gets any higher," he said.

Dorje is not surprised by the number of tourists and climbers who come to the area frequently from April to October every year. But this year, the COVID-19 epidemic has affected tourism and sequentially forced mountain climbing to be suspended.

In a village nearby, locals are just beginning this year's spring plowing. Gesang, 51, went to his cropland early in the morning to hold the plowing ceremony.

He took with him some flora, roasted highland barley flour, pure water, and a sacred book used for praying for a bumper harvest.

At such high altitude, highland barley is the most-favored plant for the soil. It can be grounded into flour and made into zanba, a staple food for the Tibetans, or brew into highland barley wine.

Gesang flung a handful of roasted highland barley flour up in the air and murmured the prayers for a good harvest in autumn. After the ceremony, he began to sow the seeds.

Children also participate in farming. Tenzin, a 6-year-old boy, stands on the plow for it to bite deeper into the soil, his hands tightly gripping the horsetail to keep balance. The boy goes to a village kindergarten, but schooling has not resumed due to the epidemic.

Yet life at the "roof of the world" is not only about surviving the hardships of nature. Locals also know how to make their life as pleasing as possible.

Lochu, another village, offers hot spring baths for local people to drive away their cold and soothe pains from chronic diseases such as arthritis and rheumatism, often found in locals.

Samzhub, 37, is one to enjoy a hot spring bath in a Tibetan-style adobe house in the village.

"We get tired working in the field, but a good hot bath makes the stress go away. The hot spring baths also work well to prevent these plateau diseases," he said.


China conducts new research on Mount Qomolangma(Photo: CGTN)

Sitting on the "Roof of the World," Mount Qomolangma National Nature Reserve is one of the world's hotspots for biodiversity protection.

"Conducting research and protecting the region can help us learn more about the origin and development of the earth, as well as human-beings and wildlife," said Cheng Pengfei, president of the Chinese Academy of Surveying & Mapping (CASM).

The weather in the Mount Qomolangma area changes frequently and those taking part in the mission are ready for the task after preparing thoroughly at the base camp.

The complex geological environment has formed diverse landforms in the area. Distinctive snow mountains, valleys, rivers, lakes and glaciers can be found. And the unique ecological environment has also established a special biological diversity.

(Produced by Nancy Yan Xu, Brian Lowe, Lance Crayon and Da Hang. Music by Text from Xinhua, CGTN)

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