Saturday, April 23, 2011

China - Kham Tibetan Area/Shangri-la In The Mainland

Homes for herdsmen in the snow plateau.

Sent by Aida, a postcrosser from Shanghai, China.

This is from Wikipedia : Kham (Tibetan: ཁམས; Wylie transliteration: khams; Tibetan pinyin: kam; Chinese: 康; pinyin: Kāng), is a historical region covering a land area largely divided between present-day Tibetan Autonomous Region and Sichuan province, with smaller portions located within Qinghai, Gansu and Yunnan provinces of China. During the Republic of China's rule over mainland China (1911–1949), most of the region was called Xikang Province (西康省). It held the status of "special administrative district" until 1939, when it became an official Chinese province. Its provincial status was nominal and without much cohesion, like most of China's territory during the time of Japanese invasion and civil war. The people of Kham are reputed warriors.

Linguists and anthropologists refer to Kham as the 'Ethnic Corridor of Southwest China', as its vast and sparsely populated territories are inhabited by over 14 culturally and linguistically distinct ethnic groups. For reasons of simplicity, the Chinese government combines the various ethnic groups of Kham together with the Tibetans to form one big nationality, called the "Tibetan Nationality". There are, however, significant differences in traditions and beliefs—even physical appearance—between the peoples of Kham and Lhasa. At least one-third of Kham residents are speakers of Qiangic languages, a family of twelve distinct but interrelated languages that are not closely related to the Khams Tibetan language.

Kham comprised a total of 50 contemporary counties, which have been incorporated into the Chinese provinces of Sichuan (16 counties), Yunnan (3 counties), and Qinghai (6 counties) as well as the eastern portion of the Tibet Autonomous Region (25 counties).

Minya Konka mountain rangeKham has a rugged terrain characterized by mountain ridges and gorges running from northwest to southeast. Numerous rivers, including the Mekong, Yangtze, Yalong Jiang, and the Salween flow through Kham.

It is called by the natives of the region as: Tibetan: ཁམས་པ; Wylie: khams pa; Chinese: 康巴; pinyin: Kāngbā.

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