Happy 90th Birthday!

On Tuesday, we were invited as honored guests to join in the celebration of the 90th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party.

Our group - students from the US, UK & China

Early in the morning, we were picked up by drivers from the engineering company in charge of building the new highway and tunnels into the valley  and driven to the Balang Shan Pass (shan is the Chinese word for mountain), at an elevation of 4500 meters.

Entrance to the engineering company's offices, site of the celebration

It was a perfect day, not a cloud in the sky, which is pretty rare for this area in the summer.

Beautiful setting for the festivities

The celebration was quite interesting – lots of singing and dancing performances at an exceptionally high volume.

Employees of the engineering company, getting ready for their singing performance

Luckily, much of what the MC’s said was translated for us. There was a lot said about the greatness of China and it’s people and happiness and the like.

The MCs. The man on the right is our friend Fugui who translates for us

Fugui's translation of the speaches

Most of the performances were ethnic Tibetan. I’m hesitant to discuss the sensitive Tibet issue on the blog.  Email me if you have questions.

"Traditional" Tibetan dance, although I couldn't tell how traditional or how reverent.

The backdrop to the event was stunning – we were up above treeline, offering a fantastic view of birds soaring in the air currents and yaks milling about on the slopes above.

YAK!

As we were preparing to leave, a mobile produce truck drove by... delicious watermelons at 16,000 feet

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