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China's TV series on Tibetan minorities

China will telecast a drama series about Tibetan ethnic minorities living in the country's southwestern Shangri-La region.

india Updated: Mar 17, 2006 11:08 IST

China will telecast a drama series about Tibetan ethnic minorities living in the country's southwestern Shangri-La region during the Chinese civil war over six decades ago.

The producers said the 30-episode series would tell the life story of a Tibetan herdsman, Dainba, from 1930s to 1940s when local Tibetans helped the Red Army during the historic Long March through the region.

"It looks like a drama involving historical events of a specific region but actually it underlines two major themes of the current world - peace and development," said Danzim, deputy head of the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles, who wrote the preface for the scripts.

Titled "Shangri-La", the series is expected to air during next year's 50th anniversary of the founding of the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Dechen in Yunnan province in southwestern China.

The script for the series has been written by top Chinese writers - Tang Shijie, Wang Zifu, and Liu Jinyuan, after a year's stay in Shangri-La in Yunnan province where they interviewed local residents, studied local history and consulted cultural experts.

The civil war between the Kuomintang (Chinese Nationalist Party or KMT) and the Communist Party of China (CCP) began in 1927 after the Northern Expedition when the right-wing faction of the KMT, led by Chiang Kai-Shek, purged the Communists from a KMT-CCP alliance.

It ended in 1950 with an unofficial cessation of major hostilities, with the Communists controlling mainland China (including Hainan Island) and the Nationalists restricted to their remaining territories of Taiwan, Penghu, and several outlying Fujianese islands.

The Long March was a military retreat undertaken by the Chinese Communist Army during the conflict to evade pursuit by the Kuomintang army.

The Communist Army led by Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai was on the brink of annihilation by Chiang Kai-Shek's troops in October 1934. The communists escaped to Shaanxi in the north, covering about 8,000 km over 370 days through some of the most difficult terrain in western China.

Stories about ethnic minorities are often overlooked on Chinese TV and filmmakers. Statistics show that out of a total of 212 films made in China in 2004 only 12 were related to ethnic minority culture.

First Published: Mar 17, 2006 11:08 IST