Chinese translation of Tibetan “Epic of King Gesar” published in book series

Publish Time: 2022-01-28 Author: From: Xinhua

LHASA, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- Southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region on Thursday released a series of books containing a Chinese translation of the Tibetan "Epic of King Gesar." It is said to be one of the most complete Chinese versions of the poem.

The latest translation saw researchers and publishers work for about eight years to transcribe the epic as it was told by the late folk balladeer Samdrup who died at the age of 90 in 2011.

Samdrup’s narratives were recorded by the region’s academy of social sciences and totaled more than 2,110 hours, the world’s longest record for the epic as an individual singer, according to the institute of ethnic studies under the Tibetan Academy of Social Sciences.

In 2013, the academy launched a project to translate the Tibetan epic into over 320,000 lines of poetry in the Chinese language.

The "Epic of King Gesar" is generally considered the world’s longest folk epic and tells the story of how an 11th century Tibetan demigod king conquered his enemies and aided ordinary people.

Listed as a form of UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2009, the epic has been passed down orally by singers, herders and farmers from provinces and regions including Qinghai, Tibet and Inner Mongolia.

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