Tibetan Prayer Flag Printing

Tibetan Prayer Flag Printing

Course length available: 45m, 2h, 4h
The Tibetan prayer flag is a hallmark of Himalayan culture. As you travel through the countryside of Tibet you are bound to see these colorful banners strung across the mountain sides. They have many symbolic meanings related to sacred prayers that generate merit to bolster one’s life force. Additionally, their five-color pattern reflects the five elements of the Tibetan culture. In this program, you’ll be taught to make an authentic Tibetan prayer flag using ancient wooding printing blocks from the famous Printing Institute in Dege; the same wood printing technique the locals have been practiced for generations. You will also have the chance to carve your own block and print your own prayer flag that feature wishes of your own!
In this Program, you will participate in:
1.Learn the history and current situation of Tibetan wood printing techniques.
2.Learn the symbols and scripts on the Tibetan prayer flags.
3.Print Tibetan prayer flags with the traditional technique.
4.Carve your own printing block and print your own flags using traditional techniques.
5.Hike to a nearby meditation cave in the village, hang your prayer flags and make wishes.

Tibetan Culinary Adventure

Tibetan Culinary Adventure

Course length available: 4h
Eastern Tibet features delicious cuisine found nowhere else in the world. With ingredients like the Sichuanese pepper, wheat, corn, walnuts, and a variety of fruits and vegetables, Zhonglu is a bread basket rich in flavor. With long agricultural history, locals in Zhonglu have an in-depth understanding of how the land works and have developed an array of unique recipes based on the products the region readily produces. In this ‘farm to table’ program, you’ll be taught the fundamentals of where food in Zhonglu comes from and how it’s prepared to create the mouthwatering dishes that make the region so unique.
In this Program, you will participate in:
1.Collect vegetables to cook from the field.
2.Learn to prepare a traditional Tibetan dish from our local master chef.

Towers of the Himalayas

Towers of the Himalayas

Course lengths available: 45min, 2h, 4h, 1 Day
For centuries, the Gyalrong Tibetans have built watch towers. These ancient structures are shrouded in mystery and their meaning and original purpose is far from certain. Scholars speculate that they are as old as 700 hundred years old, however since the local communities lack a written history this has been difficult to confirm. There are numerous popular folk stories and explanations for the towers and Zhonglu is said by some to feature the tallest and most numerous of the lower Himalayan region in the past. They are a prized hallmark of the local cultural aesthetic and are listed as one of China’s National Historical Relics. In this program, you will have the opportunity to learn more about the tower’s history, build a small replica tower and even climb one!
In this Program, you will participate in:
1.Understand the construction method and the practical functions of the towers
2.Climbing one of Zhonglu’s watchtowers
3.Mapping the tower and its surrounding environment
4.Utilizing traditional building methods to construct a mini-tower replica.

Gyalrong Embroidery and Weaving

Gyalrong Embroidery and Weaving

Course lengths available: 45m, 2h, 4h
The women of Gyalrong are famous for wearing headbands and dresses that feature a variety of rich floral designs, unique in the Chinese Himalayan region. Traditionally, young women in Zhonglu begin learning embroidery and weaving skills at the age of 12 and will perfect the technique throughout their lifetime. New patterns are created and draw inspiration from the natural landscape that surrounds them. For them, this practice is far more than a way to pass time, it is a vibrant expression of their cultural identity. In 2011, Gyalrong Embroidery and Weaving was listed as Chinese National Intangible Cultural Heritage, solidifying its recognition on a national level. In this program, you will get to know the fundamentals of Gyalrong clothing, learn embroidery and weaving techniques from the local women, and make beautiful pieces of your own!
In this Program, you will participate in:
1.Learn the clothing culture of Gyalrong Tibetan region.
2.Learn Tibetan embroidery techniques from local woman and then embroider your own piece.
3.Learn Tibetan weaving techniques from local woman, make a weaving piece of your own.

Nature and Outdoor Education Camp / 7 DAY

Nature and Outdoor Education Camp / 7 DAY

Yunhe Centre’s Nature and Outdoor Education camp is an in-depth nature and cultural emersion experience. We host our programs at our sustainable facility in Zhonglu, a village located in the rural countryside. Through the variety of engaging course, our participants become acquainted with the history and culture of the region as well as it’s pristine ecosystem. Campers will explore the ancient architecture of the village, be taught in making local cuisine and handicrafts all while learning more about the traditional wisdom of the Tibetan people. Additionally, we host activities in sustainability, indigenous agriculture, folklore, conversation, and much more. This camp provides the perfect opportunity for students to be exposed to positive cultural exchange and stimulating outdoor activity, all while making a positive impact for the community through the process of responsible tourism!

Tibetan Woman Empowerment Through Handicrafts

Tibetan Woman Empowerment Through Handicrafts

Project length available:1 week – 1 month

As a social enterprise, Yunhe Centre is dedicated to the overall process of cultural revitalization in Zhonglu. This area features culturally distinct clothing styles that have been perfected and refined for centuries. In recent years, traditions of embroidery and weaving have become less and less practiced by the local women in Zhonglu. This is primarily a result of the pressures of modernization and the subsequent decline in free time for these villagers. This community engagement project will give participants the opportunity to assist our team in revitalization of this age-old art style. Through gaining an in-depth understanding of the craft style, participants will aid us in devising and executing workshops that will be available to women from the village. These workshops will be a crucial first step in bolstering the prevalence of this tradition and will help ensure its vitality for future generations in Zhonglu.

Age Requirement: 18-60

Background Requirement: None

Project Period: All year round

Project Length: 1week – 1month

Accommodation: Dormitory

Meals: Self-prepared

Reference

  1. Volunteer certificate
  2. Letter of reference for participation

Knowledge Obtained:

  1. Culture, nature, and history about Kham Tibetan Area, Gyalrong Tibetan Area
  2. Tibetan traditional handicraft skills, such as embroidery, weaving, etc
  3. Combination of traditional craftsmanship and modern design
  4. Understanding the current working and living situation of women in Tibetan areas.
  5. Deep thinking about the sustainable development path of Tibetan areas
  6. Development of Eco-Tourism in ethnic minority region in China

Volunteer work:

  1. Learn Tibetan embroidery techniques from a local woman. Design and make Tibetan embroidery eco bags and handicrafts
  2. Learn Tibetan weaving techniques from local woman, design and make weaving crafts
  3. Lavender picking, drying, screening. Design and make crafts with lavender.
  4. Teach local woman about how to make the handicrafts mentioned above combining traditional techniques and modern design. Help to sell the handicrafts in the market and online
  5. Keep recording the project and make a final presentation
Sustainable Living

Sustainable Living

Project length available:1week – 1month

The indigenous Tibetan community in Zhonglu has upheld practices allowing it to sustainably coexist with nature for centuries. Our centre prides itself on incorporating this traditional wisdom and merging it with innovative techniques for sustainability. The programs we offer at our Yunhe Centre are effective at training our participants in realizing their potential as a changemakers for a sustainable future. In this program, you will have the chance to gain hands-on experience in organic farming, waste treatment, composting, natural building through everyday work, while learning from the locals and your fellow passionate changemakers.

 

In this Program, you will participate in:

  1. Learn Sustainable living principles and ethics.
  2. Base on the current situation and requirement, build structures like UDDT, earth oven, rocket stove mass heater, cob house, keyhole garden by using natural materials.
  3. Every day work on waste treatment and composting.
  4. Practice organic farming
  5. Teachings themed in environmental issues to the local villagers
  6. Keep recording the project and make a final presentation
Tibetan Biodynamic Practices

Tibetan Biodynamic Practices

Course lengths available: 45m, 2h, 4h, 1Day

For generations, the Tibetan village of Zhonglu has maintained a waste-free, agricultural lifestyle. Over the course of thousands of years, the same fields were used repeatedly without exhausting the soil’s resources. Through traditional agricultural practices they consistently returned the organic materials back into the land. With this program, you will develop an in-depth understanding of indigenous Tibetan farming practices and how they utilize the symbiotic relationship between the plants, animals and people of this pristine region.

In this Program, you will participate in:

  1. Wheat, Corn, and Sichuan Pepper Farming
  2. Lessons in the use of biodynamic practices in Tibetan agricultural and nomadic areas.
  3. Lessons in daily composting and land fertilizing practices.
  4. Lessons in sustainable treatment of human waste.
  5. Practice in utilizing fermented materials for sheet mulching.